Upgrading high-end properties


As a property developer, you know the drill – find and purchase a property on the market, renovate it as you like and then sell it for a desirable profit. There are several things that may be crossing your mind right now; especially the question of whether or not you’ll be able to sell the property as intended.

There are grand old mansions which are magnificent on the outside, and you therefore might assume will sell easily due to their association with the aristocracy. But when reality strikes and they remain unsold, then what? The truth is, no matter how flashy the exterior of the property is, people will ultimately be sold on the interior. An old property lacking in modern amenities is not what most people are looking for!

This quick guide contains some great reminders of the most important factors to keep in mind for developers who are focused on upgrading older properties to their modern potential.

Be meticulous when examining the building’s interior

You may have already done a thorough inspection of the entire property before deciding to buy it. For the older properties, you generally have to do some extra work in order for you to be able to carry out the well-deserved modern renovation. Here are some essentials for your check-list:

  • First of all, get the the entire lighting system checked. Will the wiring inside the house be able to support the modern improvements?
  • Get the the heating system checked. Make sure the old pipes are strong and capable enough to withstand new or additional installations.
  • Get the plumbing system checked as appropriate. The plumbing of old houses can be a very delicate issue, and loud and rusty pipes signal the need for upgrades.
  • The insulation system — is it up to the modern standard? English Heritage has guidance on energy efficiency of historic buildings, including thatched roofs!
  • Is the power supply good enough to support cool and powerful gadgets used in modern homes?
  • Most importantly, are the foundations strong enough to support the project and house for years to come?
  • Not least of all, also get the drain system checked. Blockages are not a fun issue to deal with.

Time for transformation

Now comes the real fun. Arguably, the most important part of the project will be the internal utilities. So let’s take a look:

  • With the aid of modern technology, there are many cost and energy-efficient heating systems available. Options include solar (active and passive), biodiesel and biomass heating systems.
  • Modern lighting has quite literally left older systems in the dark. For example, you could change the entire setup to an LED solution. These are more luminous and don’t guzzle electricity, and therefore the bills will be much lower. Also, they last for many, many years!
  • For the kitchen: is the space suitable to be fitted with all up-to-date facilities such as electric ovens, gas burners, ventilation systems, high quality kitchen cabinets and counter tops?

These ideas are just a starting point for upgrading properties from ancient and ghastly to modern and sleek (just don’t do what the winner of this year’s Carbuncle Cup, Woolwich Central did). Along with a whole raft of benefits which include increasing the life-span of the buildings, at the end of the day, you may find it a lot easier to sell on the properties!

If you’re looking for inspiration, you may want to see our blog post on unusual renovations.

(Photo by hotblack)

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