Planning the renovation project

In this section I have assumed that you willproject manage the renovation yourself. Many people prefer to hand the entire renovation process to someone else. (See Project Managers section for a few thoughts on this).

Part of the process of obtaining your planning permission will probably have involved discussing the project plans with your architect (or architectural designer), and you will now have obtained approval for your project.


First, get lots of copies of the plans from your architect / photocopying shop. Everyone from the electrician to the maçon will want a copy of the plans, and despite faithful promises to return the plans promptly, many of them will never be seen again. Never let the original, ‘town-hall’ approved documents out of your possession, either to be photocopied -“I’ll bring them back in half an hour” – or for any other reason.

So what next?

You will want to get things started way as soon as possible, and hopefully you have got devis / quotes for much of the work while you were waiting for the planning permission to arrive. If not, take a look at the ‘quotes’ pages of this site for information.

If you are living in a caravan on your building site, or staying in local rented accommodation, as many people do, while the project takes place you will feel a bit of pressure, as you want things to happen immediately, and they don’t.

This is important to realise, because it can lead you to make decisions that you might later regret. Unfortunately choosing workers on the grounds that they are available more quickly is not often a good decision. Why are they available so soon? Have they been recommended to you?

If you are using several different teams of workers for the job, you will need to coordinate them carefully. Your detailed project plan, that shows ‘electrician, two weeks starting 1st June, floor tiling, three weeks starting 30 June,’ and so on will change continuously and you will need to keep those involved up to date with changes. If the tiler turns up to start laying floor tiles and there is no floor in place to be tiled he will not be particularly happy, and you will go to the back of his queue.
You should prepare a realistic plan that lists all the main tasks involved, with their planned start and end dates, and with the jobs listed in the correct sequence. I have listed most of the major tasks in chronological order on the ‘order of works’ page. You could use thatlist as a starting point for your own project, remembering to factor in the elements specific to your own project as required.

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