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Blog | Harwood Holmes Interiors

New Year, New Project Planning Posted by Sarah Camm, 06/02/2020

New Year, New Project Planning

A new year often means a desire to make better life choices. This year, why don’t you make your resolution one that’ll make an impact on your long term living in 2020 by redesigning, refreshing and renovating your existing space.

As February arrives, we often see a rise in enquiries for renovation and design work. Despite the thought of working outside in the cold winter months, this is actually a good time to start as frozen ground and dry air are better for digging foundations and pouring concrete footers. In addition, the winter months tend to be less busy for builders.

Here, is why you should consider Harwood Homes Interiors, Hertford, for your renovation project. 

Preparation and brief

At Harwood Homes, we begin the process with a complementary consultation at your property or if you have architectural plans, this first meeting can take place in our design studio in Hertford. To really understand what you want to achieve, we always ask our clients to write a list of what they want to improve. We recommended that you involve everyone you live with and perhaps consider how long you intend to stay in your home. This can help you set out a realistic budget. Pinterest is excellent as a visual aid, which can really help translate what you are aspiring to achieve, which helps the team at Harwood Homes form a brief.


Design

After this initial meeting, a fee of £250 (ex VAT) will be made payable on your instruction, to proceed to the design stage. A thorough site survey of the area will then be carried out by the design and installation team, to include dimensions and photographs (additional charges may apply). We develop ideas, layouts and finishes before presenting hand drawn plans, at our Hertford Design Studio. We will advise you on the level of service you will require, whether you are looking for design advice during the project or full project management.

 



Planning permissions

If your project involves adding square footage, knocking down some walls to change the internal flow of your property or changing your building’s exterior, it is important to know if you need approval; especially if your property is a listed building. Planning permission is the formal go-ahead for the erection or alteration of buildings and you will require scaled drawings for approvals and an accurate idea of what you can spend. However, some projects fall under permitted development (PD). It’s worth investigating, as you can achieve quite a lot within it. While no application is needed for PD, we recommend that a lawful development certificate is obtained from your planning authority. Whatever the scale of your project, if you’re altering the structure, plumbing or electrics, you will need consent. Designed to protect people’s safety in their homes, building regulations set standards for construction and design and improves fuel and power conservation to protect and enhance the environment and promote sustainable development. We believe that it is important to inform your direct neighbours of any planned works and get them on your side early.

Having established a valuable relationship with the local planning authority, the team at Harwood Homes will process your planning application and deal with building regulations.


(For further information on planning applications, Harwood Homes are featured in the ‘Hertfordshire Planning Handbook’ distributed to all planning applicants in Hertfordshire).

 



Installation

The most common complaints against trade workers include poor-quality work, a lack of professionalism and walking away from an unfinished job. Harwood Homes have a team of reputable and highly skilled workers, which have worked alongside the team for several years. We completed our own comprehensive vetting process and references are available on request. They are all accredited with trade associations such as the Federation of Master Builders, Gas Safe Register and NICEIC.


The finished product

When properly planned (and executed), a new renovation project can be exciting, profitable (hopefully) but most importantly, the positive impact that it will have on you and your family’s life. It may not always be easy, but it will be worth it when you are enjoying the result, you will quickly forget the dust and mess it took to get there.


If you're thinking of starting home improvements and would like further information on the services Harwood Homes Interiors can offer, please visit www.harwoodhomesinteriors.com or email the team on: office@harwoodhomesinteriors.com

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