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A checklist for renovating your home & how it may affect your home insurance

In this article we talk about how ambitious renovation projects can be and make a checklist with the things you should consider when renovating your home.

Dry and hot days are good moments for some people to renovate their homes, instead of moving to a new place. Renovations can be straightforward and economical alternatives to moving if keeping a careful eye on expenditure. After all, home improvements could increase the value and comfort of your home, or add value to your buy-to-let property. But there can be many pitfalls along the way if you’re considering renovating your home.

According to a Hiscox report in 2018, the average budget set aside for a renovation project was £16,100. Some renovation process can be enjoyable; some projects can run into unexpected delays and issues. 40% of past renovators admitted they overshot their original budget by an average of 20%, equal to a cost of over £3,200 in today’s budgets. Overall, the last decade has seen a rise of nearly one third (29%) in the number of planning permission requests made in the UK.

Here’s our checklist when renovating your home:

  1. Keep in communication with your contractor to clear things up if you have questions or concerns about the renovation project. It’s a great moment to check if your buildings insurance covers empty homes.
  2. Write it down: keep a journal of your project and keep track of your timeline - You can have it for reference if any issues arise.
  3. Take a look around: check the progress of the renovation project whether you’re living in the house while the work is being done, or have relocated. You need to make sure the job is progressing to your liking.
  4. Check your contract: make sure you’re aware of what you signed and that both parties (you and your contractor) are holding their end of the deal.
  5. Stay on your budget: going over the budget is common, but make sure you communicate with your contractor about any change in the project or approval of any excess spending.

What are the most popular home renovations?

The bathroom is a renovation priority with 54% of homeowners either currently undertaking an update or planning one. The kitchen is not far behind at 51% according to this Hiscox report .

bathroom

So bathrooms and kitchens are the most likely rooms of the house to be either added to a property or renovated. After all, they are usually very busy rooms. Often hidden by decades of use, you can never have too much storage space and you can make the most of every inch with bespoke shelving, or a change the style if you desire. Or you need to transform the bathroom or kitchen by choosing a clever choice of tiles for a colourful and modern update. Or you need a power shower but your water pressure is low and you need to change the boiler... so many reasons!

Be sure to inform your insurer when renovating your home

As many experienced renovators will attest, home renovations are complex projects with few going exactly to plan. Many homeowners are unaware that they should notify their home insurer before undertaking a major renovation project, and potentially take out additional insurance cover.

Did you know you could risk being uninsured if the project leads to a claim?

You should check with your insurer about the type of renovation you have in mind and check the tradespeople have the right insurance too.

Homes under renovations are often exposed to more risks. There are many factors to consider like:

  • How could you deal with an unexpected storm when repairing your open roof?
  • Are building materials or personal possessions secure against theft?
  • Did you take out enough public liability if you damage your neighbours’ property?
  • Is accidental damage cover included as standard in your buildings insurance policy?
  • Does your buildings and contents insurance include unoccupied homes if you need to leave your home empty?
  • Is legal cover useful in the event of a violation of the contract?

Having a suitable level of cover in place before work begins can be very important. In some cases, there may be cover restrictions/additional premiums to pay depending on the extent of the work, so you should contact your insurance company to discuss any work you are undertaking, because it might affect your existing home insurance policy altogether. It might affect your rebuilding costs or sum insured, for example. In the end it’s all about your peace of mind, right?

* The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.

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