A home renovation can either be extremely exciting, or (more probably) the biggest headache you are about to face. But you always have to focus on the end result, which is hopefully going to be a nicer living space or a much needed refresh. Right, let’s jump into my own experience of renovation and the most valuable tips I can offer:
- Plan and organise. There is nothing worse than not knowing what you’re doing. Get an architect on board if you can – it’s worth the money, as you save so much in the long run. Not only can they help with building an extension to your home, they can also re-arrange your existing layout and give you design ideas you would have never thought of (I have a great guy if you need help!) Take pictures from the beginning – it’s always good to stay on top of what’s going on daily. Using Pixoomer as your reminder and chronicle app is a great way to manage your day.
- Know the details. It’s important to plan and understand what you’re building, even down to the details of where sockets on the walls are going to be placed. Please do not let the builder run wild on your project! The picture in their mind probably doesn’t match your vision. Ask questions and have daily meetings so you both understand the plan for the day. Mistakes cost money… your money!
- Zone your home. Create zones in your home – don’t let the builders wonder around the whole house. Start off in one room and work your way through. If you are renovating kitchens or bathrooms, have an alternative in place. Maybe this is the time to install that second shower and toilet?
- Source your material well in advance. What kind of kitchen and bathroom do you want? What colour do you want the walls? What flooring have you chosen? This all takes time to decide, and you don’t want the builder waiting around doing nothing while you choose your paint. Again, an architect can help plan and assist with this, but Pinterest is also a great option.
- My final and most important piece of advice: make sure your finishing touches are done by professionals. Most builders will claim they are electricians, builders, carpenters, plumbers, painters and can cover everything A-Z! But usually one person can’t do it all. Your finishing touches are the bits that will be most visible, so hire a professional.
It’s important to understand when you start a renovation project that you’re the person paying for the work, so it should be done your way. Always keep on top of your builders. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to do a little project management to achieve the end result that you expect. Thankfully there’s apps for that!
Use technology to help you manage your renovation. Pixoomer is a digital photo diary allowing you to upload multiple images, add notes, and plan ahead, so there is no confusion when it comes to a meeting with the builder… Good luck!