I have been visualising the transformation of interior and exterior spaces at my home for a few years now, and finally, in 2017, I get to turn these ideas into reality! Kitchen, bathrooms, living spaces (both interior and exterior), children’s bedrooms, the list goes on. What to include and what to leave out? What colour and where? What to change and what not to change? The questions keep rolling in and all of them need answers! Thankfully, I enjoy the process and the challenges that come with it.
So, where do you start? Well it may seem obvious but first of all you need to know if every room in and outside your house, and how they connect to each other, is exactly what you want in your living space. Does it have a layout that is easy to navigate? Does the style of the kitchen suit you? and fulfil the way in which you like to use the space? Is the house warm and dry? Does it provide you with enough privacy? Is it secure? Does it provide you with enough light, both natural and artificial? These are just some of the questions that will come up. It really is worth spending the time thinking about all of these. They will help you to determine what, if anything, you would like to change. Usually though, problem areas will make themselves known as a consequence of living in a house anyway!
Live in your home for awhile before you embark on a renovation. It is often through the act of living that ‘problem’ areas will make themselves known to you.
‘Problem’ areas are not defined solely by lack of function. Aesthetically a space may not be to your taste. Believe it or not, but if a space does not make you feel good when you are in it, you are less likely to use it! The tasks performed in these areas, such as cooking within the kitchen, may become a chore and not a pleasure.
A home should not only function seamlessly, but it should also be aesthetically pleasing to those who live in it. It is your haven and should reflect what you love!
If your home renovation is to be a success, you need to be prepared. For me, I have spent the last 6 years preparing! Visualising, planning, sourcing, re-working, researching, designing and talking to the experts. All of these have helped to form the basis of the scope of works that will take place during my renovation project. I know what my finished spaces will look like, but there is a lot of work and planning that needs to take place if I am to get exactly what I want.
Being prepared also means taking the time to determine how much the project will cost and having the means to finance it. Having a budget at the outset helps you to determine what you can afford. Have quotes prepared by your tradespeople for the works you have planned. This will give you a firm idea of how much things will cost. If the budget does not cover every item on your wish list, then prioritising what comes first, second, third and so on will provide the framework with which to work within. Of course a budget will become redundant and cause major headaches during the renovation process if you don’t stick to it! Having to go the bank to ask for more money or having a home that is unfinished because you’ve run out of funds will be a nightmare you’ll want to avoid. You should also have a buffer or contingency for unforeseen issues that may come up along the way. It is always better to be over prepared.
Prepare a budget and stick to it!
Be smart with your money.
There are always ways to save a few extra dollars. When purchasing products, look out for sales. If it’s possible to get 10-15% off the retail price of a product then make the most of the opportunity. In any situation, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. This will save you money in the long run.
Being smart with your money also means hiring tradespeople who are experts at what they provide. Referrals and recommendations are usually a good way to find tradespeople who are right for you, and will provide you with a great service and finished product. Delivering a product as specified, on time and on budget will always save you money, and prevent delays in your renovation project.
Hire great tradespeople whose products are exactly as specified, delivered on time and within budget.
You’ve all heard this before, but yes it is a good idea to shop around. Source two or three quotes from reputable tradespeople, you may be surprised at the variance between quotes.
I could go on but I’m sure you are all in a hurry to see the good stuff, and so am I!
Next time in ‘My Home Renovation’…