Renovate a Vacant Property with Grants: Your 7-Step Guide
Kelly Ohlmus
/ Categories: Project Advice & Ideas

Renovate a Vacant Property with Grants: Your 7-Step Guide

Learn how to access government grants for renovating vacant or derelict properties. Our guide covers eligibility, costs, and the step-by-step process.

The Irish Government's Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is a valuable resource for breathing new life into neglected properties. Here's how to navigate the process and understand the financial side:


Step 1: Research & Planning

Market Knowledge: Gather information on the local housing market, building regulations, and zoning requirements. This impacts your budget and project feasibility.
Expert Help: Engage qualified engineers and building contractors for an in-depth assessment of the property's condition.
Goal Setting: Define your renovation vision and establish a realistic budget.


Step 2: Property Assessment

Structural Integrity: Hire a structural engineer for a crucial evaluation of the foundation, walls, roof, floors, plumbing, and electrical systems. This helps identify essential repairs.
Detailed Report: The engineer's report outlines the scope of work, estimated project costs, and potential hurdles.




Step 3: Secure Funding

Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant: If eligible (vacant for 2+ years, built pre-1993), you could access:

- Up to €50,000 for standard renovations.
- An additional €20,000 if the property is derelict.
- Up to €84,000 for derelict properties on offshore islands.
- Explore your local authority's website for details on eligibility, the application process, and repayment terms.


Help to Buy Scheme: First-time buyers might benefit from this additional support. Check how to apply here

Additional Options

Research other grants or loans that could complement your financing:

SEAI Grants: The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offers various grants for energy efficiency improvements during your renovation. Explore their offerings for vacant or derelict buildings here.

Important Note: The SEAI grant scheme emphasises energy-efficient upgrades. Pairing it with the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant can lead to a more sustainable and cost-effective renovation.


Step 4: Hire Trade Professionals

Qualified Team: Assemble a team of skilled architects, electricians, plumbers, etc.
Due Diligence: Verify licenses, insurance, and references.
Reliable Resources: Onlinetradesmen can connect you with qualified tradespeople. Post a Job Today.



Step 5: Demolition and Clearing

Safe Removal: Have professionals remove hazardous materials (asbestos, lead paint), debris, and damaged structures.

Step 6: Renovation

Structural Reinforcement: Follow your engineer's guidance for structural work.
System Upgrades: Install new plumbing, electrical, and heating systems.
Energy Efficiency: Insulate walls, upgrade windows and doors to lower long-term energy bills.
Interior Finishes: Add drywall, paint, and flooring to create your personalised living space.
Budget & Timeline: Monitor progress closely to stay on track in terms of finances and completion deadlines.


Step 7: Finishing Touches

Personalise: Paint, add lighting, landscape, and finalise details, bringing your vision to life.


Additional Tips:

Unexpected Costs: Allocate a contingency buffer (e.g., 10-15%) in your budget for surprises that may arise.
Permits: Secure necessary permits before any major work begins.
Patience: Renovation takes time; manage your expectations and be adaptable.

With careful planning, smart funding choices, and the right team, you'll transform a vacant property into a beautiful home!

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