5 Tips For Home Renovation
“A house is made with bricks and beams; a home is made with love and dreams.”
So you’ve got the keys to your new house and you’re imagining what your dream home will look like when the furniture and décor are in place.
However, you’d probably need some fine tuning before you can call it perfect. At the very least, you’ll need to install lights, air-conditioners and cabinets, and probably a new colour for your walls; one that expresses your personality.
If you’re considering renovating, bear in mind it can be one of the most stressful things you’ll face. Some even say it causes more friction in marriages than extra-marital affairs!
Fear not, that’s what we’re here for. Here are 5 tips to help you in your renovation journey!
TIP #1 – BUDGET
You can go full-blown, basic or in-between with your renovation; it really depends on your budget, so start an excel sheet and calculate how much you can and are willing to spend. Setting your budget will also help you lay out your “must-dos, can-dos and can-waits” of work and upgrades to be done, in which you’ll know what your priorities are.
Remember to keep your budget overestimated too. To be safe, allow for at least 10-20% of contingency because who knows- your “can-do” items might just as well be a “must-do”!
Once you’ve set a budget, stick to it like a leech. Remember that you’ve already factored in the 10-20% contingency for the extras so as tempting as it may seem, fight the temptation to do more if you don’t have the money.
TIP #2 – EFFECTIVE PLANNING
Roll out a blueprint of your house to plan the actual works. With the blueprint, take a tour around your empty house to feel the place and identify where lights and air conditioners (especially the power sockets) should be placed.
Mark the spots on your blueprint. If possible, put your air-conditioners close to one another so that they are more directly connected to the trunking.
Next are the cabinets (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.) and other permanent fittings such as grills. From the location of the cupboards and fittings, you can then decide which areas you’d like to be brighter- this will guide you into deciding where to then install any additional lighting points.
Photo by Sven Mieke
TIP #3 – COLOURS
The colours of a space set the tone and mood, while allowing you to express your personality. Bright and breezy, bold and dramatic, or calm and cool. The colours you choose for your cabinets, walls and curtains or blinds are an extension of yourself as a person.
Colours affect moods and visual perspective. Light colours give the illusion of space while darker shades tend to shrink it. It all depends on the effect that you want to achieve.
If you’re unsure, just stick to the basics that are easy on the eyes. Go for neutral colours like off white, cream, and light pastel colours like blue and green.
Photo by Ionut Vlad
TIP #4 – CURTAINS/BLINDS
Let’s dress up your windows. Will it be curtains or blinds?
Curtains give a soft, cosy appeal but will require washing on a regular basis so it may not be ideal for busybees. However, they’re more flexible than blinds in that they can be installed on arc-shaped or polygonal bay windows. There are myriads of choices for curtains – from the fabric to the styles, prints and even types of hooks and pleats.
If a room gets lots of sunlight, it’s better to go with light-coloured fabric since sunlight tends to fade fabrics over time. For bedrooms, choose the colours and patterns that aren’t too jarring. You definitely don’t want to be awake all night staring at your curtains.
Photo by Eduard Militaru
If you want a clean, sleek look that is easy to maintain, blinds are for you. Throughout the years, they’ve come a long way from the stiff office-like look. Today, there are many beautiful options to choose from, to suit your mood and fit into your overall home design.
TIP #5 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Now that you’ve made the above major decision, it’s time to call in the contractor. Getting a trustworthy contractor is important if you want to avoid the headaches and stress. Your safest bet is to get recommendations from trusted friends. Remember that good professional help is worth the money.
Be firm when dealing with the contractor’s workers. Give clear instructions and express clearly your plans right from the get go. It’s also important to have a clear understanding of your expectations for the work so the back-and-forths are kept to a minimum. One thing’s for sure, you don’t want to piss off the people responsible for your home.
Generally, the renovation should begin with installing the lightings and air conditioners, followed by cabinets and permanent fittings installation.
Next is painting the walls and finally installing the curtains or blinds.
If your time is a luxury and your budget allows, why not consider hiring an interior designer who can also recommend experienced contractors? Take your time to choose a trusted interior designer with a good track record.
Whatever it is, have fun and we wish you happy staying in your dream home!