Home Improvement

Guide to Removing Old Features in the Home

The following guide to removing old features in the house might come in handy for most of you. Often when we buy a property, especially an old one, we may look at the features and layout of the place and decide we want to make some modifications to make it more our place. Any structural work will be an extensive project and must be taken seriously. Careful and attentive planning is a must in such an endeavor. Here we will take a closer look at what to expect and things to be aware of.

What Needs Removing

What requires removal is the pivotal question, as all features are not of the same level of complexity. It is also essential to ask ourselves if we are removing a feature to replace it with a similar thing or dramatically altering the property’s layout. For example, if we remove the windows and replace them with other windows, similar or otherwise, this will be a relatively simple job. If we compare the window replacement to knocking down a wall to merge two rooms into one, then there are many more factors. Is the wall load-bearing? Are we required to apply for planning permission? Is the property subject to conservation restrictions? All of these considerations must be entirely given attention before proceeding.

Removing Old Features Do You Need Planning Permission?

As previously discussed, many works require planning permission. What planning permission involves will vary depending on your local or city council, but there are some standard requirements. You will be able to find information on what is required on the relevant website. Every planning application will require detailed plans to be submitted, and it is essential to pay close attention to the format of these plans. The official documentation will detail the following information: what scale to use, what format and legend features to identify, etc. If you are at all unsure, you should hire a professional architect to ensure the plans are all to the correct specification. Hiring an architect can be an intimidating prospect for the first time. Ask what their qualifications are and their pricing structure, and see examples of previous work to see if they have tackled any similar projects.

Consider Your Own Skills & Resources When Removing Old Features

What are your background and experiences? Both professional and hobbies can be relevant here. An enthusiastic DIY hobbyist can collect an impressive number of skills over the years. It is essential to consider our talents and limitations as attempting work we are not suitable for can cost us more than it saves in the long term. Even when we have the skills, it is vital that we use the correct tools, such as a dedicated metal cutting saw, where appropriate.

Hiring Contractors

It may be best to hire contractors where we do not have the required skills, experience, or equipment. When we hire a contractor, we must know as much about them as we can before committing to any contract. Check out if the contractor is suitably qualified for the work at hand. Beyond being qualified, ask if they have undertaken similar work in the past and request examples of such work.

Budgeting

Once we have evaluated all of the specifics outlined above, we must determine if the project is financially viable within our means? Evaluate the financials in terms of costs and expenses, and don’t assume anything, have firm costs confirmed and quoted. You should also be sure to allow for unexpected delays and issues should they arise. A contingency budget is essential, as otherwise, the whole project could be terminally affected.

Conservation

We should be mindful of conservation in two ways; the conservation rules surrounding our property if it is in an area that is of historical significance; and if we wish to use reclaimed materials in our project. The prior concern will be addressed at the planning stage. The latter one should be an aesthetic and moral choice on our part. Using reclaimed timber has several benefits, including preventing unnecessary forestry and not putting excess preservatives and toxins into the environment.

Will the Work Increase the Property Value?

Any renovative work will alter the value of the property, but the big question is whether or not this will result in an increase or a decrease. Conduct some research by checking the asking price of similar properties on the market with and without the proposed changes. Even if the work will decrease the value of the property, we should still proceed if we feel the change is worth the drop for our own happiness.

Photo by todd kent on Unsplash

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