Make sure you work out a proper budget before you start refurbishing an empty home. The Empty Homes Agency suggests budgeting for a contingency sum of at least 10%, and if the property is very dilapidated, nearer 25%.
Contact your own insurance company to discuss the planned work and timescales to ensure you have the correct cover.
It's good to have imaginative plans for redeveloping an empty home, but if they won't get planning approval or building-control consent, you need to think again. You may also need to consider whether the property is a Listed building or in a conservation area.
Choosing your builder
Building work can be expensive and stressful so it is important you choose the right builder to work for you. It is not only the dishonest ‘cowboys’ you want to avoid, some very honest and genuine tradesman are just not up to the job.
You can speak to family or friends for recommendations and there are a number of websites that you can visit for advice on choosing your builder: