There are lots of amazing new homes to be purchased in the UK at the moment. New homes come with lots of benefits, such as long guarantees for the homeowner that any issues will be fixed free of charge within a certain timeframe. The Help To Buy ISA offered by the government is also solely based on the purchase of a new home. There are also lots of shared ownership offers on new builds too.

However, those new to owning a home can also get incredible deals on homes that require some level of renovation. You can get a home that would be many more thousands if it was pristine, but with your willingness to do it up, you can grab it for much less in its current state. Even better, with savvy savings and a skilful approach to renovation, you can up the value of the home to what you have spent overall (renovation costs plus house costs) and more.

Are you a beginner when it comes to renovation? Considering purchasing a ‘doer upper’?

Take a look at these tips to ensure your project doesn’t fall foul of common beginners renovation mistakes:

Get Everything Right In The Buying Process

It is all well and good saying you will be left with a house that is perfect for renovation but buying a home is more complex than that. The work you put in before the sale pays off after the house purchase goes through. From choosing the right property for your needs to ensuring that the legal costs don’t spiral out of control, the more work you put in to ensure there are no nasty surprises when the sale goes through, the better.

Weigh Up Time Over Money

OK so you can save a ton with work in the house that you do yourself, but how long is that going to take you? If you are working on the house, living in it and doing it up in your own time, then there is no real issue.

However, if you are looking to turn the house around to rent out, or want to sell it on or have it done up for a certain date, then it might be worth weighing up time over money. For example, with your tools and expertise, painting the house and glossing all the wood might take a couple of weeks including several coats. If you pay a decorator to do it, they could have it done quicker, do a better job and you could be spending that time doing another job in the meantime, ensuring the house is much more likely to be finished on time.


You will need to prioritise your money and which jobs get done first. You likely know which are the biggest jobs you have to get done such as rewiring or having a boiler put in. Both of those things will also impact the usage of the house so they really need doing first, along with the fact that they may take out some of the walls so you need that done before you can plaster over the holes and then paint. Plus, statistics have shown that the cost of adding a boiler at around £2,000 is offset by the £8,000 in value it adds to your home, giving you a £6,000 profit before you’ve done much renovation at all. Doing those jobs first means you are ensuring your home has all the necessary basics first and foremost.

With everything else that is less urgent, you will need to think carefully about the order you get things done. For example, you will be living in the house, the kitchen is fine as it is for now, but the bathroom is really dated. Could you refresh the bathroom without completely changing it? New tiles and grout and fresh floor lino can make all the difference for not much money. Is the kitchen the main area you will make a profit? If you only bought the house to renovate it and sell on, then the kitchen needs the money and the time before anything else. To help, you can find some great organisation app suggestions here.  

Get Tough

Hiring the right people from sites like Trusted Trader or Check A Trade goes a long way to ensuring any jobs you pay people to do get done well. However, that doesn’t automatically guarantee you people who will do everything right. This is especially true if you aren’t living at the property as you can’t monitor progress.

Don’t be afraid to check that people are at the property when they say they are. Don’t be afraid to check their work before paying them. It is really important you don’t keep quiet if you aren’t happy with the work. You must be firm and speak up, otherwise, you’ll have to put the time and money in the fix the work you paid to have done properly. The average age of a person buying their first home in the UK is 30, and at 30, you can definitely do this!

Save Money In The Right Places

Saving money is a big part of renovation for most of us, but especially if it is your first project. Do save money and shop around for materials like those gorgeous grey tiles you have had your eye on, that beautiful small bathtub that is going to be perfect in your new bathroom, the brass fixtures that will take your kitchen from great to perfect. Don’t skimp on safety costs like gas safety checks, hiring a proper electrician to do your rewiring, or ensuring the structure is sound.

Your First Renovation Is Going To Be Great

Renovating for the first time is a learning curve and it is hard work. However, with the right approach, attitude and tools, you can do a fantastic job. By taking your time, budgeting, prioritising and being assertive with those you hire, you can enhance the home you have purchased, for a wonderful place to live, sell or rent out in future.


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