Begin your renovation project the right way.
Leafing through the pages of a glossy interiors magazine, or browsing endless Pinterest boards about interior design trends, the idea of ripping out your outdated fixtures and fittings and starting afresh sounds appealing.
But the truth is, home renovation can be a long, exhausting process that demands a lot of time, money, attention to detail and thought. The trouble is, it’s not all paint swatches and cushion covers – the messy, unglamourous reality is plumbing works, asbestos removal and replastering, and generally most houses have undiscovered issues lurking that aren’t uncovered until work begins. And if you’ve already blown the budget on wing chairs and scented candles, that spells trouble.
The answer is to focus your efforts on the planning stages. There will still likely be things that crop up which you can’t foresee, so build a contingency budget into your plans. Thoughtful planning can help steer you clear of some of the more common pitfalls in a renovation project – it’s just as important to understand what not to do in a lot of cases. Here are some to be aware of before you start knocking holes in the walls…
Spending Budget On The Wrong Things
This has to be the number one mistake a lot of enthusiastic but inexperienced home renovators make. It’s so easy to fall in love with that ‘must have’ piece and end up overspending on the wrong things, leaving too little budget for vital works. Many a project has ground to a halt as a result of this kind of well-meaning poor planning. That’s not to say that there aren’t things worth pushing the boat out for, but they tend to be functional items which will stand the test of time and add value to your home – such as kitchen appliances or premium fixtures in the bathroom. You can balance the spend here by economising on other features, such as tiling. But anything which needs to stand up to a lot of use, it’s worth investing in the best you can afford and spending less on throws and lamps, where trend-led pieces can be picked up relatively inexpensively.
Focusing On The Wrong Rooms
When it comes to which spaces in your home to renovate first, especially if the majority or all of them need doing, then prioritise the most used rooms. The kitchen and living areas get the most use compared to a bedroom, and keeping these rooms up to date is much more important in terms of the value of your home. Should you need to sell, a modern, well-designed kitchen and bathroom definitely add saleability and value to a property, whereas dated fixtures are hugely off-putting to potential buyers. However, most will overlook a tired scheme in the bedroom. Even if you aren’t thinking of selling, you yourself use these spaces more, and visitors see them, meaning they are ideal candidates for a makeover. Only once these spaces are refurbished to a high standard should you move onto other areas in the home.
Overlooking The House Style
Every home has an inherent style derived from the design and age of the building – from an ultra-modern, steel and glass construction to a bay-windowed period property or an industrial-style converted warehouse. Mistakes happen when these features are ignored in the design process. Respecting the origin of the dwelling doesn’t mean you can’t mix in other pieces or influences- that is the fun of design – but don’t go overboard decorating against the grain of the house. If you’re in doubt of how to redesign while respecting the bones of the house, search interiors websites for homes of the same style and period, or invest in professional support from a skilled interior designer– it will definitely be worth the spend to create a space with the wow factor.
Choosing Builders Based On Price
Understandably, most home renovations are done on a budget, and it can feel tempting to try and cut corners on the cost of skilled labour rather than compromising on those must-have furnishing flourishes. However, this is the very definition of a false economy. Choosing a contractor on the basis of price alone is very misguided – if they are slapdash or inexperienced and make mistakes, you’re in for a nightmarish spiral of delays and costs. Some may also put in a low quote to win the job,then find ways to ramp up the cost further down the line. It’s much better to opt for experienced builders with previous clients who are happy to recommend them – that speaks volumes. It’s worth waiting on those expensive furnishing until you can afford it later than compromising on the quality of the build.
*This is a Collaborative Post*