The renovation of an old house, whether it is in good or bad condition, is not a question of improvisation: insulation, renewal of the electrical installation, interior design … The work will take an enormous amount of time and a large budget. We give you a number of tips here that will ensure that your renovation work runs smoothly.
1. Perform an energy audit
Have an expert visit beforehand to perform an energy audit. He will evaluate the energy performance of your heating system and the production of domestic hot water. To better estimate energy losses, he will also look at the quality of the thermal insulation (wall, roof, roof frame, attic …). He will also advise you on whether or not to install solar panels . In this way you will be able to decide which works must be carried out first.
2. Perform the works in the correct order
“With a renovation, you always start with the basic works, such as the repair of the roof or the insulation work,” explains Paul, our energy expert . Then the interior and exterior design is discussed (new kitchen, bathroom, facelift of the facade …) and then the finish (including paintwork).
3. Consider your budget
For this you need to know exactly what work you want to perform, what materials you want to use it (insulation, wall coverings, carpeting …), or you will appeal to a renovation company, etc. “Always get at least three quotes to” our energy advice -expert Paul, “ and check whether you are entitled to energy premiums (also read our articles on premiums in Flanders , Brussels and Wallonia ). They can alleviate your budget or give you the chance to do some extra work. ” Good to know: the bonus for total renovations in Flanders also applies. The more work you combine over a 5-year period, the higher the isolation premium you receive.
Do you have a small or no budget at all? Then certainly ask about the conditions for obtaining an eco-loan, especially in the context of an energy renovation. Finally, always keep 10 to 15% extra budget behind you, because during renovation work you often face surprises !
4. Do you need a permit?
Before starting the entire procedure, you better check whether you need a building permit for the various works that you want to perform.
To replace your old boiler with a different model or type of heater may require a permit, but not always and not everywhere!
If your renovation project includes an expansion or transformation of your interior volumes, then a building permit is required. A violation of the urban development regulations can cost a lot of money. Make sure you first ask the Spatial Planning department of your municipality or region.
5. Get help from professionals
You are not an architect yourself . To avoid blunders, it is better to call on a contractor or a renovation consultant when it comes to major renovation work. These qualified professionals help you analyze the tenders of the different contractors, submit license applications, follow-up of the works and comply with the deadlines. The costs of such a construction professional will be lower than what bad work you could cost.
You can also opt for a key-on-the-door renovation . Nowadays there are general companies that specialize in renovation work. They take on everything from the beginning to the end of the yard . They take care of the planning, implementation and coordination.
6. Do not pay the full invoice amount before the end of the work
“Always pay for less than the company has already done,” advises Paul. “That way you keep pressure on when problems arise during the works. You can even ask to pay the advance on the first working day instead of when signing the contract. “
7. Take photos in every phase
Take photos of all important elements in every phase of the works! This way you keep an overview and photos are very useful if there are any problems in the future. As a bonus, you also have some great memories and a nice before / after album .
8. Is it better to relocate for a while?
“Everything depends on the size of the works,” says Paul. “If you remove the roof or demolish walls, it is better to move. Even if you perform all work at the same time and not in phases. “
And what if you decide to stay? “Make sure you always have running water and a toilet that works. You only need a microwave and a stove to cook. If you have an outbuilding installed, ask to put an insulating wall between the old and the new part of the house for the duration of the works. That way you avoid dust and cold in the habitable area. “