A large refurbishment isn’t just getting an extension built on to the side of your property, or carrying out your own roof conversion. It could, instead involve converting a former primary school into a block of apartments, or transforming a former guest house into a care home. In other words, it’s a project which can be complicated, expensive and time-consuming.
Before you carry out such an endeavour, it’s crucial to make a detailed plan of what you intend to do and when, including timescales and deadlines. This is because some aspects of the project will certainly need to be completed before others are begun i.e. cables and pipes placed and ready to attach before the walls are plastered. Another reason to plan ahead is to keep costs in check. Thirdly, it helps you maintain control over what could be a challenging, exciting and frustrating project, particularly in the event that some deadlines aren’t met and other problems arise (as they often will).
A crucial reason for having a detailed plan in place is to ensure that the renovation is legally binding i.e. that all official permissions have been granted prior to the build beginning. You will also have to check with the local authority building control department to ensure that their building regulations are adhered to. Failure to do either could result in the renovation project being stalled, or in the worst case scenario, being pulled down completely!
What skills and traits you’ll need
So what sort of personal, qualities and skills do you need to project manage a large-scale renovation? Well, if you’re going to do it yourself (and not hire a professional project manager to oversee activities), then you must be:
● A good communicator. You’re going to be dealing with a number of different workmen, so the ability to get your vision across clearly and effectively is essential. Always aim to build positive, long lasting relationships - these could come in handy for future projects.
● Can problem-solve. This involves being calm and decisive about potential difficulties, and identifying realistic solutions. Which brings us on to our next point…
● Able to prioritise. Poor weather, supplies being delayed, illness – there are often a number of unforeseen hindrances on any large-scale renovation project. This can throw your schedule up in the air, so you have to be prepared to sit down and work out what can be done next to cause the least disruption to your time scale.
● Can delegate. You need to trust others to be able to do their role without intense scrutiny. That means allowing others to take the reins at times – especially if it involves their specialism.
The importance of an exit strategy
Having an exit strategy in a large-scale property renovation project is crucial – even though (you hope) it never has to be used. An exit strategy is the route you go down when you’ve exhausted all the other avenues for your project and admitted to yourself that it’s time to move on.
Your exit strategy should allow you to do just that, without losing the heap of money you’re sure to do if you continue with activities that won’t bring you any profit (that’s if you haven’t already run out of cash). It’ll also allow you to sleep far easier at night.
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