House Renovation: A Guide to Choosing and Transforming a Property

Abel Hinchliffe
House Renovation: A Guide to Choosing and Transforming a Property

Transforming a house from drab to fab can be a rewarding process. But it's not one that should be entered into lightly.

To succeed in renovating a home, it's important to plan carefully and pay attention to details from the start. Let’s look at two main parts of home renovation – choosing a property and how to transform it.

Factors to consider when choosing a property


The old real estate adage, "location, location, location," rings true. The location of your property will influence not just its current worth but also its future appreciation. Consider how close you are to public transportation, schools, shopping centres and other facilities. Remember to consider the neighbourhood's safety and future development plans.


Your budget will determine a lot of what you can do. Think about the cost of buying the house, the money you'll need to fix it up and extra money for surprises. It's a good idea to set aside an extra 10-20% of your budget for unexpected costs.

This contingency money can be a lifesaver if you run into problems like plumbing issues or electrical repairs that you didn't plan for. Keeping a cushion for these unplanned expenses will help keep your renovation project running smoothly and can save you from a lot of stress.

Structural integrity

Get an expert to check the house to make sure it's in good shape. Watch out for big problems like a weak foundations, wood-eating insects or old wiring and pipes. Fixing these can cost a lot of extra money. Having an expert's opinion can help you avoid expense later down the line.

Future resale value

Even if you want to live in the house for a long time, think about how much you could sell it for in the future. Look at how house prices are changing in the area, what renovations you're planning and what similar houses nearby cost. This will help you make smarter choices.

Project scope

Assess the house to see if it fits what you want to do. If you want to make big changes, a house that needs a lot of work might be good for you. But if you want to finish fast, pick a house that only needs small renovations. If you know what you want ahead of time you will pick the right house and avoid wasting time and money.

Planning the transformation

Budgeting and financing

Once you've selected your property, revisit your budget. Get a few quotes from different builders, check the cost of materials and don't forget money for permits or designs. If it's looking too expensive, think about getting a loan or doing fewer changes to the house.

Prioritising renovations

Not all renovations are created equal in terms of return on investment and impact on living conditions. Fix the important things first, like a weak floor or roof. Making the kitchen or bathroom nicer usually helps the most if you want to sell the house at a later date.

After that, you can look at other changes like painting or adding new furniture. These smaller upgrades can make the house look better but may not add as much value compared to the improvements we’ve already mentioned. It's good to know what changes will help you the most, whether you plan to stay long-term or you’re selling in the near future.

Hiring professionals

For big or complicated projects, it's really important to get help from people who know what they're doing. Architects can turn your ideas into real plans and contractors will turn that vision into a reality. Ensure that you pick reputable professionals by asking for recommendations, looking at their past work and making sure they have the right qualifications and insurance.

Legal requirements

Before you pick up a sledgehammer, familiarise yourself with local building regulations and obtain any required permits. If you don't follow the rules, you could get fined or have to undo what you've done. Being ahead of the game with planning permissions and building regulations will ensure your project goes much smoother.


Building repairs often take longer than you think. There are a lot of moving parts to keep on top of to make sure that timings are coordinated and that your project is finished on time. Consider factors such as weather, availability of materials and builders schedules. This information can all help you be more prepared for delays.

Material choices

The types of materials you choose can greatly affect both the cost and the aesthetic of your renovation.  You can go cheaper or more expensive, but make sure they fit what you want and how much money you can spend. This way, your house will look good without going over budget.

Quality vs. savings

You might want to save money by doing some things cheaply. But be careful. Important elements like the wiring or the strength of the building should not be skimped on. It's good to spend more money on these vital aspects and save money on less important areas. This way, your house will still have a safe structure that you can enjoy for years to come.


An often overlooked aspect is the sustainability of your renovation. Things that save energy will make a big difference to costs and energy efficiency, for example, using bamboo or cork insulation. You could even put in solar panels. Doing this is not just good for the environment but can also save you money in the long run. So, it's a win-win to think about being eco-friendly when renovating a house.

Expert help and guidance with CODA Bespoke

CODA Bespoke is a Sheffield-based, award-winning architectural firm dedicated to bringing your dream home to life. Specialising in high-quality designs, innovative approaches and exceptional customer service, we are your go-to experts for every phase of your home renovation project.

To discuss your ideas and options, contact the friendly team at CODA Bespoke. You can also explore our rich online portfolio to view past renovation projects that we've successfully transformed.

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Abel Hinchliffe

With a wealth of experience Abel heads up CODA Bespoke, specialising in luxury residential developments both large and small. Recently entrusted with the responsibility of also heading up Studio 4 which is currently delivering numerous office to residential developments. Connect with Abel Hinchliffe on LinkedIn >

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