The Do’s and Don’ts of home renovation
Renovating a home can be quite a task! While it’s often on many home buyers’ lists of must-dos, there's a lot to bear in mind before making the commitment. Change requires thought and planning, it’s not something to rush into. Whether you’re looking to update your home, start from scratch, or create a house tailor-made to suit your family's specific needs there are a few things to consider before and during your project.
A home renovation can be a lot of work. Whilst it can be a daunting task, depending on the level of change you want, it can also be significantly enjoyable and rewarding! There’s nothing better than seeing all of your hard work pay off.
The main areas that tend to be part of the process include the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, garage/storage, and updating security systems.
Before getting started
Get clear on what you want to achieve when it comes to a home renovation. If you’re wanting to change more than one room, take them all into account. You want a seamless feel in your home, instead of multiple rooms with totally different designs. Are you wanting to change the look and feel of a room entirely? Or, just make some smaller more subtle changes?
If you’re committing to a full home renovation, make sure you know exactly what is required.
Spend time researching what you want, find imagery that depicts your design style, and create a mood board that ties it all together. Don’t just copy what someone else has done, ensure your design style suits your property and requirements.
Do not rush the pre-renovation planning process. Ensure you give yourself enough time to plan everything, hire the right people, and make sure you have room for any delays. Things don’t always run according to plan! If you are having some big changes within your home it may require you to move out of the property for a portion of time, ensure this is confirmed and you have suitable accommodation in place.
Tip: Don’t forget to purchase suitable renovation insurance to cover your property throughout the process.
If you’re planning some large-scale property changes, such as an extension or conservatory, chances are you will need to apply for a permit. Performing construction work without the necessary permits will result in termination of your project and you may have to undo any changes made. So make sure you have proper planning permission - your contractor should be able to help you with this.
If you are purchasing new furniture do make sure you measure it. Ensure it fits in your home and you also have space to bring it into your property. Too many doorframes have been damaged from forceful furniture moves!
Tip: Always take an audit of belongings. Make sure you have an idea of your assets for insurance purposes. This will also help you to decide what items are a priority and what items can be thrown out.
Lastly, make sure you have a storage space to hand. Where will you put your possessions during your renovation? Do you need a storage unit, or can you simply pop them in a spare room? The organization is crucial before your remodel begins.
Set your budget
This might seem obvious, but it's an important step. Ensure you have the finances for the changes you are desiring. Do you need to set up a savings plan? Or are you good to go?
Hire a general contractor for the bigger jobs, and don’t just go with the least expensive. Get multiple quotes, see if your interior designer (if you have one) has any contacts, and make sure you hire someone you trust. Make sure you know what you want so that they can give you a specific quote from the get-go.
Tip: Keep all receipts. You will need them for any potential returns and, most importantly, for tax purposes.
During your project
Prioritize what you want to do and in what order. Make sure everyone involved is clear on what is happening, most importantly any tradesmen you are employing.
Are you renovating room by room or all in one go? Don’t change your mind halfway through where possible. Try to stick to your plan from the get-go. Think about your family's lifestyle. If you plan to renovate your entire house, and you have the budget to move out whilst the builders are in, take it slow. Doing everything at once can be expensive, and inconvenient when your home becomes a construction site. If you are planning on living in the property during the renovations, take it a couple of rooms at a time so that you and your family have somewhere to live comfortably.
Tip: Don’t try to do too much in one go, especially for the bigger projects!
Whilst a lot of renovations focus mainly on design, it may be time to update some of your household appliances too. Invest in quality appliances as they really do help to improve the quality of your day-to-day life.
Patience is key
Set a rough timeline but give yourself some room for change. Not everything runs exactly as planned and you may want to make last-minute changes. Patience is important from start to finish. Most projects take longer than anticipated because generally, everyone tends to change their minds at some point.