Finding the right house is no mean feat. There are countless properties on the market, ranging from new ones to period properties.

Some people want a house they can move straight into and not have to do any work on, whereas others might find that their desired property may need to be created rather than moved straight into.

This means taking on a project house. There are various levels of project houses, including those that simply need cosmetic changes, but some are complete shells that need to be worked on from the bare bones.

If your house is the latter and you’ve never done anything like it before, it’s natural that you’ll be wondering what the best way to go about it is.

To help you prepare for the challenges that lay ahead, we’ve put together this list of things to prioritize when you take on a project house.




First of all, you need to secure your property. Thieves, burglars, and antisocial criminals don’t just target homes where people and possessions are – vacant properties are a hotspot for criminals. This is especially true if there is equipment or materials onsite as these can easily be sold for a tidy profit.

With this in mind, you need to make sure you prioritize securing your house. This means installing an alarm and ensuring there are secure windows and doors.

If possible, installing a construction fence or a barrier of some sort around the perimeter of the property is also a good idea as it will make it harder for people to get in and out.


Once your property is secure, you need to look at how to waterproof your house.

This might not seem like a priority, but if water gets in and the house becomes damp, it will make it very difficult to work inside. In addition, you won’t be able to work on electrics and wiring if there is water coming in because the property will be unsafe.

Look to fix the roof and sort out any groundwater issues. You may find that by securing doors and windows you sort out water issues, but if dampness or leaks persist, tackle them as a first port of call.

Electrics and plumbing

Speaking of electrics, sorting them out should be your next priority. Getting power to your house will allow you to start planning room placements and what your utility room, kitchen, and bathroom might look like.

Not many people know that houses need to be re-wired every 20-30 years to stay up to date and safe. If you’re buying a project house, it’s likely old which means it could need re-wiring.

You might also choose to move the placement of things like the bathroom which means the plumbing will need to be updated to reflect this.

It’s not glamorous, but sorting out your home’s wiring is an essential facet of the project and needs to be done before you can move on to the fun decorating stuff.

Priority fittings

Priority fittings

After your plumbing and wiring is fixed and safety approved, you should look to install priority fittings.

This means doing the kitchen and bathroom first. You might want to get your living room or bedroom sorted as a first port of call, but prioritize the functional rooms that are necessary for you to live in your house first.


After these bits have been done, you can move on to the better bits of the renovation process like installing paneling, choosing flooring, doing paint swabs, and picking out soft furnishings and décor!

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