Home renovating seems to be as common these days as buying a new home. The world if full of DIY enthusiasts, something that has been inspired, in part, by all the renovation shows on TV. It sounds great in theory, doing up a home, but it needs to be done right to save both stress and money, so in this post we’ll be looking at some top home renovation tips.
This article isn’t about how to renovate, but focused on some key things to be mindful of before and during the renovation so the process runs more smoothly and seamlessly, enabling you to get the job done without major stress headaches or going over your project budget.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to renovate just one or two rooms, or the entire house. You’ll find some helpful tips and advice here.
What Design Style Are You?
I think it’s important to start out with this one, as it’ll help you have more of an idea of the kind of look and feel you’re going for. The easiest way to determine this is to take an online quiz, but let’s quickly look at some common design styles so you have an idea of what you might be.
Classic – This style definitely has a European flavour and influence. The classic style originates from the age of Art Deco and the Victorian era and is a combination of the two. If you are a classic, you’ll appreciate beautifully crafted and designed furniture pieces with attention to detail. Arty people tend to be attracted to the classic style of home decorating.
Modern Minimalist – As a modern minimalist you’ll enjoy a more executive look. This kind of style is very common in offices or home studies. You’ll find that most shapes are rectangular, square or round. Things look symmetrical. Colours will either be vivid or virtually non-existent. There’s not much in between regarding the colour spectrum. A lack of detail is another distinct feature of this style, with surfaces basically being flat and featureless.
Retro Style – Retro has made a comeback lately. You see it in appliance designs and other decor. When talking retro, it usually refers to styles that were common in the 50s, 60s and 70s, but you could add the 80s into that mix as well now. Geometric shapes, Pop Art designs, plaid and garish colour schemes are the norm when it comes to the retro look.
The Modern Contemporary – This one is very similar to modern minimalistic, with straight, clean lines and not a lot of detail. This design style doesn’t date as easily as some others and is considered somewhat timeless. Neutral and earthy colours dominate this design group.
Rustic – You are at one with nature if you consider yourself to be the rustic design style. You’re not into defined geometric shapes and lines. Instead, you prefer the more natural look of unrefined timbers, bricks and stone of an earthy colour, even dark colours, like black granite. You love features, but natural features.
Work Out Your Budget First!
In order for your renovation project to be a success you need a budget, and a budget you plan to stick to as best you can. To ensure you have enough money for project completion, once you’ve worked out what the likely overall cost will be, add another 10% to your budget to cover those unexpected expenses…and there will be some. There always is.
This is a process that should be ongoing for a while and not something you should rush. In fact, you shouldn’t even commence work without having a firm budget in place.
Having your budget worked out means you have all of your project worked out as well, including hiring tradies, buying building materials, fittings. Everything.
Creating a budget is a lot like making a to do list, except prices are attached to each task.
Don’t decide halfway through your remodelling that you suddenly want super expensive bathroom fittings when they weren’t in your original budget. This is the fastest way to add stress to the job as well as make the entire project take longer to complete if you run out of funds.
Have Designs and Don’t Change Your Mind
Again, this needs to be finalised before a tool has even been lifted.
You can see a common thread here, with the key word being preparation. A lot of time and work needs to go into renovating before you even start renovating, as it’ll lead to a far smoother process with minimal problems, unforeseen circumstances or headaches.
While you’ll certainly be coming up with design ideas of your own, you’ll also want to enlist the help of both an interior designer and an architect as well. That is, if you’re serious about the project and care about the quality of the results.
Once you have made a decision on the plans and designs, don’t change your mind part way through. You’ll blow your budget out of the water and very likely cause a whole host of problems.
Research Materials and Fittings Beforehand
Renovating is like doing anything. The more you prepare and plan beforehand, the faster and easier the actual task will be when you get started, as you can rip in with complete confidence that you have a game plan and know exactly what you are doing.
Once more, when it comes to tools, building materials, fittings, finishes and decor, the more you research all this first and make decisions on what you want, the quicker the actual renovation will go.
It’ll also help you form visuals in your mind of how it’s all meant to look too, which is very helpful as well.
Make Use of Recycled Materials To Save Cash
If you want to help the environment in a small way and save yourself some cash in the process, try and use some recycled building materials for your renovation.
Even some of the stuff you strip from your own home might be able to be put to good use again in the renovation.
Even things like bathroom and kitchen taps and fittings you can often find second hand, but in pristine condition.
Recycling used materials is definitely worth looking into as it could save you bundles. You might even find something you really want that you couldn’t afford new. That way, you can scale up in quality without increasing your original budget.
Go Online for Renovating Ideas and Styles
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to find ideas for renovations, designs, decor, furnishings and the like is to go online and search websites focused on interior design, renovation, even prize homes.
These days a wealth of information is available right at your fingertips 24/7/365. The internet has a glut of ideas and concepts, maybe even to the point of being confusing if you look at too many, but the point is, you can’t think of everything, so it’s always a positive experience searching for inspiration from others.
Likewise you could also look for real estate agents holding open homes in your area. It’s the perfect opportunity to wander around a house and scope for design concepts. Also, walking around furniture and decor stores will inspire you as well.
Give Yourself a Reasonable Deadline for Completion
While you never want to rush your remodelling project and do a half-hearted and dodgy job of it, you also don’t want it dragging on forever either.
It’s important to set yourself some reasonable deadlines.
Having an overall deadline for project completion is a must I believe, if you really want to get the task finished. Under the umbrella of the overall deadline, you could break the project up into its distinct parts and set deadlines for completion of each room and so on.
If you make your deadlines really tight and unrealistic, this will just create unnecessary stress, but having some form of deadline to follow will create just enough motivation to keep the project moving forward.
Deadlines exist in the world for a reason. They get results sooner rather than later.
Where Will You Stay While Renovations Take Place?
If you’re only renovating a room or two, then needing to work out alternate accommodation may not even be an issue, but if the entire house (or most of it) is being stripped bare and redone, you’ll need to consider other living arrangements. At least for a while.
You might find you’re okay living there while getting the renovations done, but decide it might be more comfortable if the kids or family pet spent a few weeks or so staying with a relative or friend. Or rented accommodation might be the best option for everybody whilst remodelling goes on.
It can be difficult having everybody stay in a home that’s being stripped back and rebuilt. You might not be able to use the kitchen or the bathrooms for a while, and that can prove really inconvenient.
Working out possible alternative accommodation options before you start is definitely something you’ll want to do.
Seek Expert Advice
Even if your are very adept with tools and building, unless you’re a qualified builder, likely you’re not going to know everything about everything when it comes to home remodelling.
Don’t be shy to talk to some experts. You might even be surprised just how knowledgeable some of the people who work in your local hardware store are about some facets of building and construction.
And, of course, the internet again delivers up an endless supply of information. The only real problem with the online world is whether you can trust the information you’re reading or seeing in a video.
If you have to you might even factor in calling up a builder and have them come and take a look if you encounter an unforeseen problem. This could form a part of that extra 10% you included in your budgeting.
Call In Experts When Required
Unless you’re licensed to do so, you can’t do any of the plumbing or electrical work when you renovate. You need to hire the services of both a licensed electrician and a licensed plumber for these tasks.
You can help them out where needed, which may save you a few dollars on labour costs, but there’s no getting around hiring some tradies to complete your remodelling project.
If you skimp on this area and anything goes wrong down the track, you’ll forfeit any assistance from your insurance company and risk incurring a pretty hefty fine in the process.
You don’t want any of that. You want to know the job has been done legally, done safely and done right. It’s all about safety and peace of mind.
And don’t just hire any old tradesperson either. Do your research. Get personal recommendations if you can. You want people who are honest, don’t over-charge and do really good work.
Find Ways To Save Money As You Go
I don’t mean build up your savings account, and I certainly don’t mean to skimp on the quality of your project.
You could wait for a sale to commence on some kitchen or bathroom fittings, curtains, flooring and furniture. Anything really. Start your budget at the regular price, but if you keep your eyes open as you go about the rebuild, you just might discover a few of those items selling a lot cheaper.
Also, along with buying recycled materials or reusing some of the gear you strip from your house, you might be able to sell some of the stuff from your house that you don’t want. The old bathtub, for example, or the kitchen sink.
There are always options out there to save a few bucks, or make a few dollars along the journey. It’s simply a matter of remaining diligent.
There is a lot to be done when renovating a home. It’s a big job. The more planning you do beforehand and the more organised you are, the more confidence you’ll have in successfully completing the project, and the better chance you’ll have of finishing on time and on budget.
Don’t skimp on the planning phase simply because you’re keen to get started. You’ll be grateful you took your time in the beginning, because the actual renovation is so much more likely to just all fall into place because of it.