Preparing for a house renovation project can be like setting off on a new adventure. There is excitement and trepidation, some fear of the unknown, and incredible anticipation of what new wonders await you.
There is also hard work and sleepless nights and dust all over everything, but there is much to be thankful for when it is all done.
There are a few important ways to prepare for a house renovation project…
Figure out your budget and your schedule
The first questions you need to work out the answers are when and how much?
Work out how much money you have access to spend on this project and get these figures straight in your head before speaking to a single architect or interior designer. Build around 10% padding around your budget to allow for little blow-outs and unforeseen expenses.
Look at the calendar and work out a schedule for your renovations. Work around big events that you don’t want the house to be a mess for, and fit in around seasons. If you are going to be without a bathroom for a time (or walls or a roof), you may want to avoid a winter renovation.
If you will be without a bathroom or a kitchen for a period of time, figure out what your back up plan will be to get you through. Some people stay in their homes during the renovation process, whereas others might stay with family, or rent somewhere else.
You may also need to put furniture or belongings into storage.
Don’t forget to add in these extra expenses to your budget, and shop around for solutions if you need to.
Check your house plans and regulations
Make sure that you have all of the safety and legal information that you need before setting out on your renovation. Check if you need any council permits, insurance changes, or requirements to inform your neighbours of works.
Make sure you know where retaining walls, plumbing, data, and electrics are located in your home before knocking anything down.
Make a list of wants and needs
Make a list with two columns and put everything on it that you would like to have done to your house. One column is Wants and the other is Needs. This will help you to plan, budget and most importantly, prioritise your renovation project.
Once you have filled in the columns, put the items in each column in order of importance or necessity. Now you have your plan of attack.
Talk to friends for recommendations
Look for reviews and recommendations for contractors to use. Talk to friends who have built or renovated and get stories from them about good professionals to hire, or horror stories about who to avoid. Learn from your friends’ mistakes.
Alternatively contract to an interior designer such as Interior Flow who handle all of the budget, trades and contractors, design and project management for you. This way you can just enjoy the finished project at the end.
Create a sanctuary in your home
If you are staying in your house during the renovation, try to only renovate part of it at a time, if possible. Allow yourself at least one room that is your sanctuary and remains sawdust, tools and cement scattering free.
Pop in there a few items that will help keep you sane through the coming months, such as a kettle, microwave, the capacity to play music or watch TV, earplugs, somewhere to have a nap, a yoga mat, air diffuser, etc.
Think of things that you cannot do without, and make sure you can find them here.
Plan your meals
If you are going to be without a kitchen, or water or power for any period of time, then plan how you are going to eat. Work out where you will prepare food and sit down (or stand up) to eat it.
If you won’t have any oven or stove top, consider how you are going to make meals entirely from a microwave or electric hotplate.
It can seem like overkill, but covering items in your house will protect them from dust and reduce your clean-up time once the renovation is complete.
Look into zip-lock or magnet close doors instead of just hanging sheets of plastic, and even cover items and shelves in rooms a bit further away from the action. Pack away things in adjoining rooms that will be a hassle to dust, such as books, lamps, remote controls and any knick-knacks.
Dust gets everywhere, and the only way to fight it properly is to be one step ahead of it!
Get ready to chill out
Now, this step doesn’t sound like anyone who has ever set out on a home renovation project but getting ready in advance for stress and hassle might be a good idea.
When preparing for a house renovation, prepare yourself for:
- things to not go 100% according to plan,
- budget and time-frame blow outs, and
- potentially difficult negotiations with trades (or your partner!).
Counsel and encourage yourself to:
- go with the flow,
- be of calm mind when faced with decisions,
- get a contract with trades so there are no hidden surprises,
- keep track of your budget,
- plan your time religiously,
- enjoy the process and final product!
- spend time with your partner or friends off the building site, not talking construction!