Whether you’re a new homebuyer or looking for a profitable renovation project, it’s easy to think we’re all the next Kevin McCloud, interior design enthusiast, and that nothing will go wrong. Often this isn’t the case, as any sizeable project comes with problems that need to be solved – going into a project with optimism is definitely not a bad thing.

With this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of common problems and shared experiences to keep an eye out for when planning your next home improvement.

Home extension with bifold doors and glass balustrades



1) Firstly, consider the location – this one is absolutely pivotal. You need to assess the area for issues that might deter potential buyers with issues such as: high crime rates, student housing, rubbish in streets or lack of parking. These niggles can affect the optimum price you have in mind when attempting to sell. It’s worth researching all the positives selling points too like access to green spaces, transport links, and schools.

Building Survey

Prevent unwanted future costs further down the line by getting a building survey. Taken from the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, ‘if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’, so there is no better time to apply this than right now. A comprehensive building survey will highlight key problems like: structural movement, damp, presence of hazardous materials, rot and damage to timber, and much more.


2) Capital – Having completed your building survey, you should now have a rough idea of what’s structurally sound and what isn’t. Now you can create a rough budget for the rest of the house.

Creating and working to a budget is crucial because the last thing anyone wants is to get halfway through and be left with an incomplete house that is inhabitable. Once you’ve created a budget, try and leave yourself a contingency budget as we all know nothing ever goes to plan and life throws you a curveball every now and again. A good rule of thumb would be to have 10% over your budget to be prepared for the unexpected!

How To Guide

Forward Planning

3) The early bird catches the worm. There is no exception to the rule here either. It pays to be aware of any planning permission that has been granted on your property. It could be the case that plans have been put through to allow for an extension or to demolish the garage. This would allow you to begin right away, instead of waiting around for permits to go through – saving you precious time and hassle!

On the flip side of this, if you’re aware of this before purchasing the property and let’s say you had big plans for your project; this can save you being lumbered with a run-down house with little to no potential. Equally, it would be worthwhile checking if the property is listed in a conservation area or restricted by an Article 4 Direction as both of these would inhibit your ability to renovate the property. When it eventually comes to selling up this would be a glaring problem against the property. Try thinking ahead to avoid unwanted stress. Your local council will have lots of accessible information about the properties in your area.


4) Older properties will tend to be quite dated in comparison to the modern era. It’s vital that these are up to building regulation standard; it could even be worth bringing a plumber or electrician along during a viewing of a property you plan on renovating.

For example, using more and more gadgets in our day-to-day lives you will need to ensure there is an ample amount of power outlets, particularly in the kitchen where most appliances are found. Rewiring can be manageable but more often than not, is not contained to a singular area and can end up wasting a lot of time and money.

Similarly, this can be said of plumbing as well; the last thing you want to do is tear up floors to access water pipes due to poor water pressure. Even worse if there’s any leaks affecting the structural integrity of the building.

Interior of home extension with roof lights


5) This can’t be stressed enough. You may have acquired a fantastic property at a price that leaves you with a healthy budget to renovate with, however, one glaring flaw remains – renovating the property. Ensure there is suitable parking availability and space for larger vehicles if you’re in an urban area, whilst also considering the fact in rural settings there may not be any tradesmen within a 50-mile radius. This will only lead to higher labour rates/turnaround times, so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.


Assess Renovation

6) Another good piece of advice is to think long term! For instance, some areas of your house, like your windows and doors, will need replacing in time due to air escaping through gaps or they could even be single glazed and losing valuable heat.

Replacing them with double or triple glazing will not only increase property value but energy ratings too! Ranging from A* – E (A* being the most efficient) these ratings are a good indication as to how much energy you’re wasting however more importantly current building regulations state that any replacement windows must adhere to being grade C or above so keep that in mind. So installing triple glazing will earn you an A** energy efficient rating saving you the maximum amount. If possible, replace these sooner rather than later to conserve your spending capital.

Triple Glazed Window Profile


7) The last piece of advice we will leave you with, and one thing a customer often wished they had done is to plan the order of works, for example, don’t get bifolds after you have installed your new floor. Avoid this happening to you and make your property renovations as smooth as possible.

Home renovation experts across Lancashire

If you’re looking to renovate your property this winter then look no further than our range of options, from: stylish doors, spacious conservatories to, conservatory roof replacements we’ve got you covered at GHW Windows. For more information or enquiries on any of our products don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01254 690009 or email our team and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

wreath on front door


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Based in the heart of Lancashire

Situated in the very heart of Blackburn, we are readily capable of providing the people of East Lancashire and surrounding areas with a range of UPVC, composite and aluminium products. Whether for personal or trade purposes, realising your aspirations are only one step away with Great Harwood Windows team.