In order for you and your contractors to stay organised during your HMO refurbishment project you are going to want to draw up 4 documents or checklists. The first is a schedule of works. The second is a complete furniture checklist. The third is a full project schedule or diary and finally, you’ll need a room plan.
Today we’re going to look at 4 documents that we use to make sure our HMO (house in multiple occupation) refurbishments go smoothly.
So, when it comes to HMO property refurbishment projects (actually this is true of all refurbishment or renovation projects), the more planning you do right at the start the easier it’s going to be throughout.
At Property Investments UK, we’ve just recently come to the end of a project and this video is being shot on site so you can see what the finished product looks like.
When it comes to refurbishments, every project is different. Certainly, in our case, we’ve found that you never stop learning. Obviously, we try and have the right systems in place, we try and make sure that we have the team in place, but there is always something that crops up, something that will inevitably teach you something new on-site.
The 4 Must Have Checklists
So, things always crop up that we’ve failed to anticipate but we try to keep those things to a minimum by spending a lot of time in the initial planning stages. For a lot of this planning, we use 4 key documents.
These documents will help you make your life a heck of a lot easier when it comes to managing the refurbishment process so they’re good things to have in place. The first is a schedule of works.
1. Schedule of Works
The first document you should have is a full schedule of works for the refurbishment as a whole. This should contain everything. Room by room every aspect of the works required should be written down. This is everything from joinery to plumbing to electrics, everything that needs to be done in every room in the property.
The temptation is to treat the whole property in a more general way, saying to yourself,
“Ok, we need fire alarms and a new central heating system.”
What we have found is that drilling into the specifics initially has helped us to avoid problems down the line. Where is the boiler going to go? Which room? What colour scheme is the boiler room going to be? Is it going to be different to the other rooms?
This is where your schedule of works comes in to play. Drawing this document up at the beginning sets down everything that you want to do in the refurbishment process. It will help you get the right quotes at the start. It will help you manage the project. It will give your contractors clarity. It will help you cut out a lot of the problems that would otherwise face as a property developer.
2. Furniture Checklist
When it comes to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), we always put them on the market fully furnished.
As you can see behind me there are pictures up. There are also shelves in the corner. There are beds and plenty of other furniture items in the property, besides.
Now, you want to make sure that the furniture is right, that it’s been furnished correctly. If you are going to out and source the items and materials you need yourself you’ll want to save time and money by being organised about it. To achieve all this you’re going to want to have a detailed list.
You will need to go through the property room by room… How many beds are you going to need? How many wardrobes? How many pictures? How many shelves? You’ll need to write down absolutely everything that is going to go into the property.
So, you’ll have one document for a schedule of works and another for a complete list of furniture, items and materials.
3. Diary (Full Project Schedule)
The third document you will need will look almost like a diary.
This is where you will set out how the project should run and how long it should take. Is it a twelve-week project? Is it a four-week project? Is it a ten-week project?
Whoever long the project should take you want to have it all written down. Not only how many weeks it should last but also what is supposed to happen in each week.
Maybe in the first week, there is going to be a rip out. Maybe week three is going to involve plumbing or electrical work.
Whatever it might be it’s important to have events staged in your diary. That will help not only you but also your main contractor get to grips with what is happening when. After all, it’s important that you both know which elements are coming together when. Which tradesmen are going to be on site on a given day. What needs to be ordered and by what date.
So, whether you are going to be a hands-on project manager for your HMO refurbishment, or whether you use a contractor to project manage the developments, it is important to have a calendar, schedule, diary of works so that anyone who needs to know can see what is happening with the project on a week by week basis.
4. Floor Plan
The fourth document that you are going to need is the floor plan.
It doesn’t need to be to scale and you don’t need to be a trained architect to create one. What a floor plan should do is allow you to set down what the property is going to look like from a bird’s eye view.
You will want to include details such as the position of the beds, the drawers, the wardrobes. You will want the position of the fire alarms, the light switches, the plug sockets, the radiators.
Your floor plan needs to include the positioning of all the key items.
If it can be hard to visualise all the key elements going into a property if you don’t have a floor plan to refer to, it is much harder to explain them to a tradesman.
You might have an idea in your mind as to where the furniture for a particular room is going to go but if you don’t explain yourself properly to your electrician then you are going to run into difficulty when all the power points are in the wrong places for your design. A floor plan is something that can be discussed and shared with the people who are going to bring your ideas into the real world.
Putting it all together
Before you start your HMO refurbishment project. Before you pick up tools and go down to the site. You need these four documents in place and then your refurb will go much smoother.
To recap, we’ve got the schedule of works for the refurbishment, we’ve got the schedule of works for the furnishings, we’ve got the project diary and finally the floor plans for the property.
Hopefully, this will give you a bit of an insight in terms of how we currently manage our refurbishments.
Having these documents in place is going to help.
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