Res­cue

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

but if you don’t have any­where else to stay, it’s amaz­ing what you can put up with if you have to! That said, liv­ing on site is of­ten dif­fi­cult, dirty and stress­ful, so it’s not for ev­ery­one and if you haven’t done it be­fore, you may find that you can’t cope.

Do­ing the work as and when you can of­ten makes life eas­ier. How­ever, some jobs – of­ten the dirt­i­est and most dis­rup­tive, such as rewiring, reroof­ing, repip­ing and damp treat­ment – shouldn’t be de­layed, be­cause you need to get the ba­sics right be­fore im­prov­ing the prop­erty in more cos­metic ways. It’s no good re­plas­ter­ing and then rewiring later, for ex­am­ple, be­cause rewiring in­volves mak­ing chan­nels in the plas­ter for the ca­bles.

If you’re not sure about the or­der of works, a good builder will be able to ad­vise you. How­ever, your builder and other con­trac­tors may not thank you for liv­ing on site, as they’ll have to work around you and your stuff. Hir­ing a stor­age unit or garage for un­nec­es­sary fur­ni­ture and pos­ses­sions can be money very well spent.

Liv­ing in the prop­erty can also make it hard to de­cide ob­jec­tively on the or­der of do­ing things. You might de­lay rip­ping out the bath­room and kitchen for as long as pos­si­ble, as this will make liv­ing con­di­tions worse, but it also causes un­nec­es­sary de­lays.

It’s hard to man­age with­out a shower and loo, but per­haps you can shower at work or the gym and hire a por­ta­ble loo. Life with­out a kitchen is also bear­able – for a while. You can rus­tle up all sorts of meals with a mi­crowave and George Fore­man Fat Re­duc­ing Grill (www.george­fore­man.co.uk – the new range is ex­cel­lent), or if you don’t mind buy­ing an ap­pli­ance you prob­a­bly won’t use after the ren­o­va­tion, a mini multi-func­tion oven with hot­plates – Rus­sell Hobbs (uk.rus­sell­hobbs.com) does one.

It of­ten makes sense to get the new bath­room and kitchen in early on, although they’re not the cheap­est rooms to fit out, or you may want to con­cen­trate on fin­ish­ing one room or storey so you can live there. Start at the top and work down, with both the prop­erty in gen­eral and each room in par­tic­u­lar, to avoid ru­in­ing things you’ve al­ready done.

Get­ting the or­der of work right is key – get it wrong and you’ll waste time, ef­fort and, most im­por­tantly, money.

That said, how­ever well you plan your project, ren­o­va­tions tend to cost a lot more money – and take a lot longer – than you ex­pect, so if you’re on a bud­get, you’ll need to pri­ori­tise your spend­ing, es­pe­cially if un­fore­seen prob­lems arise.

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