We’ve been umm-ing and ahh-ing at the thought of moving houses recently. It started with flirting with Rightmove, then we went to some viewings, next thing we knew our house was going on the market. In short, we decided not to sell because the jump we’d be making didn’t seem worth it when we hope in a few years time we’ll be able to afford much more with how things are going with the business *touch-wood*.
Instead, we’ve decided to splash out on making our home exactly how we want it. Earlier this year we converted our downstairs bathroom into a utility room (picture here), and it’s been a God-sent! We’re now slowly redecorating each room in the house and we’ve just got the office left to do which is half-finished. So, whether you’re moving house or making the most of your existing property, here are some tips for renovating that might help.
1. Going with Trends
Going with the trends is not wrong, but going overboard is one mistake you need to avoid. For instance, a trendier kitchen will go out of fashion, and this can affect the resale value of your house. When we got new sofas a couple of weeks ago I opted for grey because I knew it wouldn’t quickly go out of fashion.
If you want a classic, country, or modern look, don’t go to the extremes. Have it in a way that is modest so that even with time changes, it will not look out of place. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to chop and change things and it’s easier when you don’t need to completely redecorate.
If in doubt, choose functionality over style.
2. Choosing Appliances Last
Instead of choosing appliances after the renovations are over, do it at the beginning. Get product experts to consult with the designer or architect to determine the best way appliances will fit in the finished house. It’s not necessarily essential to buy at first but about planning where to store them.
You may want to upgrade to a new fridge that is big enough, ensure available space accommodates it. The doors have to allow for larger appliances to enter, and space has to be sufficient. The choice of appliances will also affect the styles as they have to integrate with the overall look.
This is our sparkly new Smeg FAB30 fridge freezer – and I’m in LOVE ✨😍
3. Not Consulting Experts
You may want to have DIY renovations, but unless you have the skills, the advice of professionals is important. Not consulting with a contractor can land you in trouble with the county government. A contractor will help you get the necessary permits for building.
Get to consult the architects, decorators, and speciality designers before commencing renovations to avoid mistakes. Let them work together to minimise unnecessary costs and eliminate arising risks. We had the input of an interior designer when redecorating our lounge and it was so helpful having her knowledge and expertise.
4. Wrong Paints
You are more likely to change the colour of your home when renovating. For the walls to reflect light, choose a satin finish. For paint finishes, choose a matte finish for ceilings to make them seem as they are receding.
When repainting the cabinets, choose the right paint that will blend with the wall colour. The material of cabinets will be a factor to consider when selecting paints. The ideal paint should be easy to apply, dry fast, and wash off without peeling.
5. Doing All at Once
Trying to do all the renovations at once can be overwhelming. Rushing to finish your renovation project can frustrate you, so take time to finish one at a time. Plan properly and be ready for any unexpected drawbacks.
Revise your plan two or three times before starting on it to cater for events that may arise later. Then start on one project and move to the next after finishing.
You’ll also find you’ll change things slightly along the way as you use the space. For example, we’ve now brought our Eames leather ottoman downstairs as it works nicely in the lounge and provides additional seating.
6. Poor Planning on a Budget
Renovations may cost more than the budget you have planned. Set an extra 20% of the budget to account for any unforeseen expenses during the renovation. Get quotes from different contractors to have an estimate of how your budget should look.
During renovations, you may discover places with moulds, loose wires, or leaks. Don’t be overly frugal when budgeting as it can restrict the builders or stall the project. You can cut your costs on materials by getting some from eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.
Speaking of which, I picked up this stunning G-Plan desk for free from Facebook Marketplace. It’s our fourth piece of G-Plan to add to the collection and I love it. When in good condition, this desk could sell for £1,500 online, so it was a real steal. It didn’t look quite this beautiful when I picked it up though and needed a bit of TLC – before and after pictures below! 👇
G-Plan Fresco Desk from Facebook, desk lamp and Eames crow available at Heals
7. Settling with the First Contractor
Taking time bidding different contractors is crucial before remodelling your home. Contact the references of potential contractors and with the local business bureau, to know if they are ethical. The contractor you choose should have a business liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance for the subcontractors.
Don’t settle on the first contractor that comes your way and offers a cheap quote. Choose a contractor who is open to communication and with whom you resonate well. Look for a contractor who will break down the cost of labour and materials then sign a contract.
8. Not making up your Mind
Changing your plans in the middle of a project is one mistake that can ruin everything. Take all the time to change the plan, but when the work begins, stick to the original one. Indecision can cause the contractors and other professionals to give up, leaving your home incomplete.
Check for designs from magazines, online, or any other source, choose one and stick to it. Trying to alter after construction can cause a lot of damage and add extra costs. Don’t be in a rush to start decorations, consult designers for better judgment.
9. Ignoring Local Codes
Before renovating your home, get a building permit from your local government to ensure your project complies with the zoning and safety laws. You may need the help of a contractor to make the application for you.
Projects that require room addition at the back or attic need a permit regardless of where you stay. Depending on the area you live, small renovations such as putting up a fence, replacing windows, or furnace may need permissions. Even some projects you do by yourself can require the license.
Overlooking the need of a permit can lead to hefty fines. Selling your home in the future can be a problem, or the whole project comes to an end due to demolition.
Renovations are costly, and there is no need for unavoidable additional expenses. Assuming that you have everything in place is a mistake that can cost you heavily. The above errors can be your undoing. Take care not to commit them in your renovations.