News from Stephen Hodge

Home extension or renovation



So you’ve got planning permission for your home extension or renovation and you’re raring to get started. Are you going to project manage the work yourself or engage a professional?



While doing it all yourself may seem the simplest and most cost-effective option, there are home-owners galore who will tell you with the benefit of hindsight that this is more of a juggling act involved than you might think – overlooked details can turn into big headaches and mounting costs if you’re not careful.

Have you got a realistic budget for your project? How does what you are planning to spend compare with the value it will add to your property? Are you sure the layout you have in mind is the best option? What do your neighbours think? Who will draw up a detailed design that your builder can work from without misunderstandings? In what order will the work need to be done? Who will order the materials and manage the trades involved? Who needs to be paid what and when?

All these questions and many more need to be thought through in detail before your project should begin. As an expert with years of experience in supervising other building projects we can provide a valuable and objective ‘reality check’ on your building dreams and help bring them to fruition on time and on budget.

Stephen is currently the only Chartered Surveyor to have regular meetings and discussion with West Oxfordshire District Council on the latest Building Regulations and Planning issues, SHA is happy to assist with all aspects of project management from initial planning to budgets and contracts.

Ensure You're Properly Insured


2013 has already brought us high winds, torrential rain, and a big freeze with heavy snow and ice.

That has meant flooding misery for more householders, but whether our increasingly weird and wild weather has affected your home or not, it makes good sense to be prepared and check exactly what your house insurance policy will cover if the worst happens.

Ensure You're Properly Insured

For example, does your policy cover the cost of engaging a property professional to oversee repairs or rebuilding if your home suffers structural or flood damage?

Stephen Hodge says: “Sometimes people wait months for their insurance company to pay out or organise repairs, but you don’t have to sit back and hope for the best while your claim may be sitting at the bottom a pile of other claims on someone’s desk."

“There are policies available which cover the cost of appointing a Surveyor or Architect, who will fight your corner and ensure that repairs to your property are carried out as quickly as possible and to a good standard." .. Read More

“Contrary to what a lot of people think, these fees are then covered by the insurance policy and DO NOT have to be paid out of the claim.”

You may not be able to control the weather but you can make an informed choice on exactly what you’re paying for with your home insurance. When was the last time you checked your policy small print? Read More

Property Market News


There’s mixed news in the headlines from three recent reports from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

  • RICS latest housing survey expects house sales to increase across the UK in the first quarter of 2013. House prices held steady in December and are forecast to rise by 2% this year. Demand from would-be buyers saw a continued increase with 12% more Surveyors reporting an increase in new buyer enquiries.
  • The UK construction market is expected to pick up slightly as Surveyors predict output to increase in 2013 after a small increase in workloads in the final three months of last year.
  • The outlook in the UK retail picture looks more gloomy with a RICS survey revealing a 13% drop in businesses looking at retail premises to rent between October and December, on top of an 18% fall in the previous three months. After HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops went into administration last month, RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “Sadly, this downbeat picture doesn't look like changing any time soon with demand for retail space continuing to drop and more empty premises set to blight the country's town centres.”

Snap Up the Latest on Twitter


Ensure You're Properly Insured

This photo taken on SHA’s property inspection travels highlights the hazards of inexpert project management on a building project. Here negligent drilling of holes for heating pipes had weakened the floor joists.

Strengthening work needed to be undertaken – adding an unexpected bill to the project costs which could have been avoided…

Follow us on Twitter for more photos, projects, and problems sorted by SHA’s property professionals @oxonpropertyadv


Latest News

News Categories


Contact us for a free consultation Sign up to our newsletter View our case studies Download our brochure Why use a Surveyor?