House renovation in England: 10 essential tips

Oct 26, 2023

Katie Malik, an award-winning interior designer specializing in luxury interior design and renovation projects in Cambridgeshire and London, draws upon her extensive industry experience to provide you with tips for successful home renovations and interior design projects.

  1. Regulations and Permissions: Ensure you have the necessary permissions and comply with building regulations. Never make assumptions; it's always best to triple-check everything and collaborate with recommended professionals. Continuing work that doesn't align with regulations on a property without planning permission can lead to a work stoppage, financial loss, and potential legal penalties. Safety hazards and heritage status can be reasons for denied permission. It's crucial to involve professionals who specialize in renovating graded listed buildings, as these properties come with additional constraints and regulations.
  2. Surveys: Building surveys can prevent you from investing in a property needing extensive repairs or help you prepare for the costs and time required to renovate a rundown property successfully. An experienced chartered surveyor will comprehensively assess your potential purchase and report on its condition to you and your chosen lender. Sometimes, during our projects and site visits with contractors, we discover issues that could have been identified earlier, making clients aware of building or plumbing problems.
  3. Budgeting: Your budget is paramount when embarking on a housing renovation project. It would help to account for every expense down to the last detail. Setting aside additional funds to cover potential budget overruns and unexpected costs is prudent. We typically advise having an extra 10-15% available since, in most cases, the original budget is exceeded due to construction or unforeseen issues.
  4. Scheduling Works: It's essential to consult with construction professionals to grasp the required tasks and schedule them efficiently. Having professionals on board leads to quicker and smoother project completion. This is why we always recommend hiring a reputable contractor and having a project manager or a studio with a project coordinator. It saves significant time, reduces hassle, and ultimately saves money. 
  5. Working Towards a Return on Investment: While covering the costs of a complete renovation can be substantial, it's ultimately an investment. Avoid being too frugal with interior and exterior features, such as bathroom fixtures, as they may require repairs soon. Investing in and installing high-quality materials, such as wood floors, fittings, and fixtures, will enhance the property's value, resulting in a significantly higher return on investment. On average, a property's value increases by 15%-20% after renovation.

    oak flooring london
    House renovation project in Cambridge. Wood floring: Ecohardwood. Colour: Ivory. Finish: Brushed. Width: 180mm. Grade: Select. Interior design: Katie Malik Studio. Installation: Ecohardwood Contractors. Photo by Maciek Platek. 

    Interior Design Tips
  6. Doors and Windows: A property's front door is a crucial feature for creating a great first impression. Your choice of style sets the property's overall feel, so it should be aesthetically pleasing and match the exterior. Renovators often aim to create an airy and modern space. Achieve a light and spacious feel by focusing on window frames and positioning. Careful window placement and transparent double doors can greatly enhance a property's appeal.
  7. Lighting: Clients often overlook lighting in home renovations, settling for basic ceiling downlights. While we, as interior designers, have a good grasp of lighting, complex projects may benefit from a lighting designer's expertise. Don't treat lighting as an afterthought; allocate a significant budget. Good lighting can utterly transform any space.
  8. Flooring: Consider the functionality of the flooring. Choose a durable material that complements the interior style, especially if you plan to rent or sell. The flooring should appeal to many potential buyers, including those with pets or families with young children. Simple and natural materials like hardwood or engineered wood floors are highly durable and resist everyday wear and tear. Moreover, wood flooring adapts to temperature, staying cool in summer and retaining warmth better than man-made laminates, tiles, or stone floors, providing enhanced comfort, especially during colder months. If you have an underfloor heating system, check with the manufacturer to ensure your floors are compatible with it.
  9. Worktops: Functional rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, and utility areas need durable worktops. While they may be costly, high-quality materials prevent the need for frequent replacements, saving you or potential buyers in the long run. Invest in a quality worktop for a luxurious touch in your kitchen or bathroom, even if you don't splurge on expensive cabinetry. It's a worthwhile investment.
  10. The Garden or Green Space: Amidst the renovation chaos, pay attention to the importance of a beautiful garden. It's your green sanctuary and should feature diverse styling. Adding garden furniture enhances a property's appeal. Plants can bring nature into your home if you don't have a garden; plan their placement.

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At Ecohardwood, oak is our speciality. We've been manufacturing oak flooring, oak stairs, oak doors, and other products since 1999, with a strong focus on quality at every step. Visit our flooring showroom in London or contact us today.

Highly motivated approach to customer service, exceptionally high quality flooring, delivered exactly on the day that was first estimated, extremely pleased and satisfied with the whole experience and will be placing another order in the next month or two for phase 2 of my flooring project.
Hamilford Design have used Ecohardwood floors across multiple projects. The product is incredible and the team are extremely professional and efficient. We look forward to working with them in the future!
We recently collaborated with Ecohardwoods for our project in Ealing, and I must say, the experience was outstanding. A special thanks to Irmantas for his invaluable assistance. His expertise in engineered wood was evident in the quality of materials we received. The precision and quality of their engineered wood contributed immensely to the aesthetic and durability of our project. Our clients were extremely pleased with the results. Kudos to Irmantas and the Ecohardwoods team for their exemplary service and top-tier products. Highly recommend them for anyone in need of premium engineered wood supplies.
We used Dune brushed throughout our new house renovation. Absolutely love it. Beautiful tone, interesting details, hard wearing. I did wax the floors after installation as recommended which takes some time but makes all the difference. Highly recommend.
The product was of excellent quality and very well finished. Beautiful solid light oak, planed on all faces and accurate. Speedy responses to queries before I placed my order, and then a completely smooth experience of ordering and receiving goods. Arrived well packed - really excellent experience - highly recommend Ecohardwood Ltd
Ecohardwood Ltd - Hardwood Oak Flooring & Engineered Wood Floors London
(70) 5/5