Make sure you work out a proper budget before you start refurbishing an empty home. The Empty Homes Agency suggests budgeting for a contingency sum of at least 10%, and if the property is very dilapidated, nearer 25%.
The building work may affect your home and contents insurance - contact your own insurance company. -
It's great to have imaginative plans for redeveloping an empty home, but if they won't get planning approval or building-control consent, you need to think again. Talk to the Local Authority sooner rather than later so you don't waste time and money.
Choosing your builder
Building work can be expensive and stressful so it is important you choose the right builder to work for you. It is not only the dishonest ‘cowboys’ you want to avoid, some very honest and genuine tradesman are just not up to the job.
There are a number of websites that you can visit for advice on choosing your builder:
- Citizens Advice
- Chartered Institute of Building
- Federation of Master Builders including a downloadable “Plain English” contract and an Essential Guide to Home Improvement
- National Federation of Builders
- Trustmark is a not for profit organisation support by the Government which enables you to search online by post code local tradesmen