7 things to consider before having building work done

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  • Make sure you're prepared for every eventuality

    Dreaming of a new bathroom or a fabulous extension? Big home projects and building work can be really exciting and the thought of the end result makes all the hard work worth it. Imagine coming home to that lovely freestanding bath or your stylish new loft-conversion bedroom… The only downside is a level of disruption is inevitable. Planning is key – think through all scenarios and you’ll avoid nasty surprises.

    1. Can you tolerate the mess?


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Dust is impossible to control when things are being constantly moved around and tradesmen are walking in and out. The best thing to do when building work is being carried out is adopt a serene attitude. Walking around with a duster every hour will leave you easily frustrated.

    Need to banish the clutter and simplify your life? READ: 11 incredible easy ways to organise your life

    2. Is there enough storage space?


    Image credit: David Giles

    If you’ve ordered new fittings, flooring or appliances, think about where you can store them so that they won’t disrupt everyday living. For example, do you have a garden shed or a spare room? If there’s no obvious free space, consider reorganising furniture so you can still move freely around your home.

    3. Where will you sleep?


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    If you’re redecorating a bedroom, is there another room you can stay in for a few days? Is there space to move your furniture out of the room, or will you have to cover it up with sheets? For larger projects, such as extensions, you may need to move out, so now is a good time to press gang your friends/family into letting you stay.

    Are you thinking about creating a basement? READ: Basement kitchens – how to plan, cost and convert your ideal space

    4. How will you cook?


    Image credit: Richard Gadsby

    Will all appliances be useable? A makeshift kitchen with a microwave and kettle is an ideal temporary solution, but think about how long you are able to cope without a cooker/washing machine and all your usual creature comforts.

    5. Will you be able to wash?


    Image credit: Tim Young

    Is the water going to be cut off? If you’re redoing your bathroom, perhaps you could shower at the gym or pool – and the bonus is you’ll get fit at the same time.

    6. Who will be in charge of project management?

    Project planning building work

    Image credit: David Merewether

    If you’re organised and level headed, then you’re the best person for the job. If your partner better fits this description, choose them.

    Find out which rules it is ok to break when it comes to decorating? READ: 6 decorating commandments that were made to be broken

    7. If things are going wrong…

    Building work not progressing as you’d hoped? It could be time to sack the builder. And we’ll leave it to you to decide who gets that unenviable task…

    Feeling inspired but don’t have the time to do it yourself? Find a trusted tradesperson to help.


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