Homes come in all shapes and sizes, and on this occasion, Refresh Renovations were approached to take on a challenging renovation to see a Nottinghamshire flat transformed from dereliction to ready for rental.
The property owner needed to make money from the flat; and fast. This meant that we were set the challenge of turning around the renovation in a very short timeframe – just 8 weeks! The flat needed to be decorated neutrally and in a safe and acceptable condition to be placed straight onto the rental market after that period in order to start generating income.
An initial budget was set but some issues identified along the way did mean an increase in this was required; however, the homeowner was happy to progress on the basis that the project was still completed within the agreed SLA.
This was certainly a challenge from the Refresh Renovations team – starting not just from scratch, but with obstacles already in the way.
This flat was essentially in a derelict state. Rodent infestation alongside previous maltreatment had caused widespread damage to the structure of the flooring throughout, with the ceiling’s condition suffering as a result of damp and woodworm. Electricity, gas and water supplies to the flat had long been removed and so these needed reinstatement.
Situated in an in-demand city centre, this property was chock-a-block of unfulfilled potential but was not in an acceptable state to legally or ethically rent. In the UK, properties for rent must “in a state of good structural repair” and free from hazards to tenants; which it would not be because of the woodworm, flooring damage and damp. Without the standard utilities fitted, the flat would not be considered habitable and so it was key that the ‘basics’, as it were, were all achieved before any further renovation could take place.
Fixtures and fittings were already included throughout in many rooms, which proved potential for upgrade rather than a full refit in some areas. This helped keep costs down – a particular focus given that the budget was already stretched due to some safety concerns – and helped minimise the environmental impact of the overall renovation.
The bathroom already had an unbroken and fairly good condition suite installed and so it was agreed that in order to save on costs and minimise the environmental impact of the renovation, this would be retained. It was deep cleaned to a bright white finish and newer, more modern fittings including a mirror, showerhead and taps were installed.
In order to allow for the future tenants of the flat to decorate it to their taste, the room was kept to neutral décor and finished in an easy-to-clean style without any unnecessary items or additions.
The alley kitchen in this flat also had several cabinets that were able to be retained rather than thrown out. These, again, were deep cleaned and any that were unable to be salvaged replaced and new handles added to all. The chunky worktops and black-and-white checked tiles scrubbed to a glistening finish and a new oven and cooker hood installed.
With both overhead and lower level cabinet space throughout the kitchen, the space in the room was well utilised with plenty of storage for keen cooks; ideal for tenants looking to cook for themselves and their families without having to rent a large and expensive property.
As with any project of this size and stature, it was unsurprising to see some issues crop up that had been unidentified by the homeowner.
The reinstatement of electricity, gas and water supplies proved challenging within the timeframe set for the project; with providers often difficult to get hold of and booked up several months in advance prioritising new development installations. However, the Refresh Project Manager kept communications open and was able to stick to the two-month plan with everything up and running again in time for potential tenant viewings – including a full inspection by an accredited Gas Safe engineer to provide all relevant legal documentation to prove safety standards had been met.
The woodworm infestation and damp throughout the property proved too widespread and upon discussion with the homeowner, it was agreed that a low-cost fix would only prove a short-term investment before further intervention was required. As a result, more budget was added to treat (and eliminate) the woodworm infestation and to replace a flat roof in part to prevent further water ingress and damage.
While it may seem common sense that landlords invest into long-term solutions to property issues, this is surprisingly uncommon. At Refresh Renovations we are happy to advise our clients on the best course of action for their specific circumstances - and cheaper short term solutions can be a false economy if you are looking to hold a rental property for some time.
“Refresh renovations were refreshingly honest, professional and very innovative in turning a derelict flat into a lovely flat that was able to let less than a week after works were completed - very highly recommended!” – homeowner
After years of having felt stressed because of the state the property was falling into, the homeowner was delighted at the finished article. After the 8 weeks the flat was ready for viewings from potential tenants – and a rental agreement was made just 1 week after the project completion; and for 30% more rental income than expected!
As with all renovation projects, Refresh Renovations took this on with an entirely individual approach and worked toward the homeowner’s budget, goals and timescale. Putting together a team bespoke to the job at hand and ensuring full oversight from a dedicated Project Manager, we were again able to surprise and delight with the quality and efficiency of finish.
Bryony Edwards is Renovation Consultant of NSBV Project Ltd., a franchisee of Renovation Franchise UK Ltd, doing business in North Nottinghamshire.
Costs are accurate at the time of publication. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.
If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.