Nine Checks to Make Before Your Property Renovation Devon

June 13, 2019     News Refurbishments & Renovations

Whether you are considering a renovation in Exeter directly after acquisition, or on a house that you’ve lived in for some time, our resourceful Exeter builders are here to make the process efficient and methodical.

There’s a particular checklist that we encourage clients to consider before undergoing an office, kitchen or bathroom renovation Exeter, as we understand that the success of any building project relies heavily on the planning. The types of renovations that we carry out at Cowley’s aren’t limited to the three listed above, we have the experience and expertise to undertake any refurbishment and renovation project.

Home Renovation & Decorations

However, we do have dedicated bathrooms, kitchen fitting and office refit specialists at our disposal, should you choose to refurbish or renovate these specific room types. Of course, our Devon builders are always on hand to provide a professional assessment of your property and to advise on the necessary steps in the build-up to a renovation or refurbishment. Here are the nine points to consider before renovating a commercial or residential property.


Be Up on Subsidence

You should know the signs relating to subsidence – an issue involving the sinking of the ground a property is founded on – and be prepared to act before the issue worsens. There’s cause for concern if you notice big cracks emerging from previous smaller ones, especially when they become wider and exist in the corners of door openings and windows.

Cracks that exceed approximately 3mm in width on a building’s exterior is also an indicator to ensure structural preservation and safety. A third indicator that it’s time to talk to our team of builders in Devon, is if your doors and windows begin to stick.


Work with Existing Elements

It’s all well and good completely ripping out original fixtures and contents before delivering on a pre-set vision, but have you considered the legitimacy of the current features and the possibility of building around or rejuvenating them to their former glory?

Existing features could provide the inspiration for how your space appears after the refurbishment. Even if you decide that everything must be cleared out, consider recycling or even selling the contents/materials to a good home.


Keep the Windows

Home Windows

If the room or area of the house that you plan to renovate still has windows in place, you should consider rescuing them before the project gets underway. Even if there’s a fair bit of damage to the windows, they can always be repaired and reinstalled. Conservationists recommend that you should think about repairing a window, as opposed to replacing it altogether, if at least half of it still in tact. This could reduce expenditure in this area of a renovation.


Beware of Dampness

Dampness is easy to spot, with water marks and condensation often appearing on floors or walls. Other signs of dampness are:

  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Pools of water on window sills
  • Mould on window sills
  • Mould on walls and ceilings
  • A musty smell
  • Cracks in mortar joints, renders and masonry surfaces


Causes range from leaking gutters and blocked drains, for which you may require the assistance of our 24/7 reactive maintenance team, to modern interventions such as injected damp-proof courses, cement renders and concrete floors.

Excess moisture in the air, caused by everyday activities such as cooking, washing, showering and drying clothes, is a common contributor to dampness. Bad ventilation and poorly heated homes can also lead to dampness.


Look out for Rot

Especially important in properties that use timber as a prevalent material as rot, or fungus, can soon become a pressing problem. Typically, rot emerges in properties with poor ventilation and is often situated under floorboards or in the roof space. When checking under carpet, be on the lookout for cotton-wool type masses and a pungent, musty aroma.


Understand The Severity of Cracks

Wall Cracks

Cracks are not always a sign of subsidence however, as established in the point above, sizeable cracks that follow a pattern – through numerous bricks or over a large area of plaster for example – suggest the need to address the issue as a matter of urgency. In comparison, cracks in a single brick or a small section of plaster are not normally signs of a structural problem, although you should be vigilant in monitoring further developments.


Always Check the Roof

When renovating either a commercial or residential property, you should always check the roof to ensure longevity in the results of the renovation. A completely new roof may be appropriate depending on the issues detected. Look out for the following problems:

  • Broken or missing roof tiles
  • Damaged flashings or underfelt
  • Worn pointing


Factor in Living Arrangements

We understand that it’s not always viable or preferred to live elsewhere during your renovation, therefore we’ll work around your agenda to make sure living arrangements are not compromised.


Keep a Strict Schedule

Having a tight schedule is intrinsic to the renovation being completed in a timely manner, especially if there are jobs to be completed in multiple rooms. With specialists in a number of trades, there are no aspects of renovation that our Exeter builders aren’t able to complete. With this in mind, and encompassing the general building tasks our diligent professionals also complete throughout, we work closely with all clients to set a realistic timeline for completion.


Devon Renovations and Refurbishments from Cowley’s

At Cowley’s Building & Maintenance Ltd, we take pride in each renovation and refurbishment project so that clients can enjoy their reinvigorated space for years to come. Contact our Devon builders on 01392 460 783 or, alternatively, enquire via email or online form to see how our renovation specialists can lead your transformation.

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     107 Summerway, Pinhoe, Exeter, EX4 8DP
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