There’s nothing quite as exciting as embarking on a renovating project or planning your dream home from scratch. And the best thing, you don’t have to be an expert or interior designer to realise your home’s new look. We have 7 renovation tips for you to help your design vision become reality.
1. Don’t rush the process
The first and most important tip towards a good home renovation is forward planning. Planning your own project may take some time but not planning ahead can result in things needing to be redone. This causes you headaches and can strain your budget quickly. It is worth taking your time to get it right.
First you need to define your needs and style. A mood board combined with a floor plan can help to find your design preferences. It can contain a portfolio of designs, products and materials that you like with photos, brochures, samples, etc. so you can get an idea of what you want and how it all matches together.
2. Keep the future in mind
It’s easy to get hooked on the latest trends and want to include them all in your design. Please consider that your taste and the current trends will change over the years as will your personal circumstances. With this in mind and understanding renovations don’t come cheap, it is best to keep the future in mind and incorporate considered design elements and value added changes that will last for years to come.
Stick to a classic base with neutral colours. By adding some on-trend interior elements – such as pendant lights, decor, or a flashy wallpaper you can create contemporary highlights to keep things fresh. If you keep this rule in mind, these design elements can be relatively inexpensive to change as trends, and your personal tastes, evolve.
3. Design a floor plan
You might think that power plugs and light switch positions don’t matter that much, but when they are installed in the wrong spot, you’ll realise that they are the key to functionality. A detailed floor plan should always be considered before moving to actual renovations. Keep things in mind like lighting, ventilation and room-to-room flow.
Walk through rooms to become conscious of how you live in your home. Or set some time aside to look around the space and try living in it for a few hours. This will allow you to see how the space is used, where you enter and exit and where you spend most of the time. You should also take into consideration your furniture scale and style. In case you’re changing elements like windows, doors and walls, ensure you have enough space for furniture and a clear path through the space.
Photo: Julie Soefer Photography/Courtesy of Marie Flanigan Interiors
4. Build a budget
Once you decide on the style you want and which rooms you want to update, start establishing your renovating budget. You must put in place a limit on what you want to spend on your renovation.
A budget sheet outlining every detail of your renovation such as labour, structure changes, furniture, fittings and finishing touches is a crucial part of any design project. Working with what you’re willing to spend will give you a realistic idea of what is possible. It is as well practical for your upfront research of costs and sources.
If budget planning is not one of your talents, or you’re planning a big renovation with many moving parts, it’s always better to consult an expert. A third party such as an architect, builder or interior designer can help with your budget. These experts know exactly how big of a price to expect per square meter of your renovation and will include everything from the demolition to the finishing details.
Importantly, once you’ve worked out your costs, add a 10% buffer for unexpected and/or emergencies that could arise.
5. Hire the experts
By now you’ve should have a pretty good idea of the scope of the work involved. Whether refreshing, refurbishing or doing a full-scale renovation, there will be tasks you can do yourself or engage a local handyman. For more specialised tasks you might need to outsource to professionals.
To find the right expert ask friends, family or trusted social media forums for recommendations in your area, as nothing beats word of mouth.
Finally, ensure your builders, plumbers, electricians, etc. are licensed so you can get their official certificates when the work is complete to confirm it was done to Australian standards.
6. Be specific with your expectations
No matter how experienced your builder or workers are, you just can’t assume they will automatically know exactly what you want unless you specify it explicitly. Even the smallest details are worth writing down. The more detail you include, the easier time your experts will have with your renovation. There will be fewer mistakes with more detailed specs and fewer disputes over what is and what isn’t included in the quote.
7. Start renovating
Finally, you’re ready to start renovating! Work out what order you want everything to be done in. Some people prefer to work room by room, others prefer a big-picture approach. In any case a renovation should start with any big parts as demolition and structural work. Followed by plumbing and wiring, then moving on to plastering, painting, flooring, fixtures and finishes.
Don’t forget the final deep clean and the fun part – furnishing and decorating – then you’re all set to enjoy your stylish new spaces for years to come.
Photo by Three Birds Renovations
We hope our renovation tips will help you avoid any unnecessary problems, costs, and headaches that can sometimes come along with a renovation. And once you’re finished your new design, we have everything you need for beautiful living.