Any property refurbishment is an exciting and rewarding project, but a flat renovation is very different from a house renovation. Flats come with their own unique challenges that you just don’t get with a house. Unless you are lucky enough to be renovating a ground floor flat, you will have the added struggle of completing a property refurbishment many floors up. Flats also have more neighbours to consider, meaning more people are likely to be disrupted by your project and the constant stream of contractors going in and out of the building.

With a house renovation, you have the freedom to alter both the interior and exterior of the property, however with a flat you are limited to just what’s inside.

Even with all these challenges, renovating a flat is a worthwhile project, whether it is to increase your investment or enhance your home. Before you get starting on appointing your construction company in the North East and planning your new space, read this guide to find out everything you need to know about renovating a flat.

Get Permission

Before you can begin planning your dreamy new flat, you need to make sure you get any relevant permission. Flats often require approval from a property manager before any work can be carried out. It is also courteous to let your neighbours know that you are renovating, so they are aware before the works begin.

If you are renting your flat, then you will need to speak to your landlord before any work is done. Many landlords will be happy for a tenant to carry out renovations as long as the tenant is paying the bill.

Set A Budget

When you are renovating a property, the costs soon add up, and it is important that you have predetermined a budget before you begin. This can help you make decisions along the way and stop you from overspending. The cost of your flat renovation will ultimately depend on what it is that you want.

Do some research on what you are after for your end result and set yourself some ballpark figures for each aspect of the project. Remember to take into account all the little details, including electrics, lighting, floors, tradespeople, appliances and décor.

Plan Your Project

Apartment block

To ensure a smooth flat renovation journey, you need to have a solid roadmap for the project. Having a well thought out plan will ensure your project is both time and cost-effective and gives you something to refer to so that you can make sure everything is on track.

To make a plan for a flat renovation, think about what it is that you want to achieve and then break it down into how you’re going to get there. Keep folders of suppliers’ details, ideas, magazines and swatches of your preferred colours and materials. There is a natural process for all renovation projects that you should follow to ensure a smooth progression:

  1. Start with internal stud walls, fixing floorboards, windows, door linings and also make any necessary fixes to electrics and plumbing.
  2. Once you complete the basics, apply plasterboard or drylining to your walls and ceiling if necessary. Repair damaged plaster and any other fixes required to the walls and structures.
  3. Now you can begin laying flooring, hanging doors and fixing skirting boards etc. Install appliances in the bathroom and kitchen and fit your radiators. Finish off with decorating such as painting, tiling and staining.

Find Contractors And Materials

Once you have a plan, the next stage in your flat renovation journey is to find your contractors and materials. You might be planning on taking on some of the renovations yourself. However, it is likely that you will require some professionals as well. If you are completing any work that involves gas, plumbing or electricity, then relevant contractors will be necessary, and it is also worth enlisting the help of other tradespeople if you are not confident doing the work yourself.

It is worthwhile thinking about your time as a cost per hour. You are likely to take longer to perfect a job than a professional, so if they can do it cheaper and in less time, then you are making a saving. Your time is valuable!

Get a few quotes from different contractors and use recommendations and reviews to find the right people for the job. Don’t automatically go for the cheapest quote you receive, as this isn’t always going to be the best value. The same goes for your materials. It is often worth investing in quality materials and doing your research to find the best products for your flat renovation.

Get recommendations on products and materials from professionals such as builders, plumbers, electricians and painters as they will have experience and knowledge. Depending on the size of your project and location of your flat, you may also require some specialist equipment to complete the work, such as a cherry picker to get large and heavy items in and out.