Moving into a new home can be a simultaneously exciting and intimidating experience. You’ve fallen in love with the area around your home and the potential it has to be a comfortable space in which to live, but it’s not quite there yet. It’s going to require renovation in order to meet your standards. That’s completely normal; research has suggested that during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost two-thirds of homeowners have been inspired to renovate their properties to some extent. If you’re ready to start renovating, you might be wondering how you’re going to get started. We’re here to help. Here’s our beginner’s guide to renovating your home and transforming it into your dream property!
Start with the kitchen
The kitchen is arguably the most important room in the house. Not only is this room where you’ll prepare the sustenance that will get you through the day, but if you’re lucky enough to have a big kitchen with room for dining space, it’s also where your family will come together to enjoy their meals. As such, it’s important to get the kitchen right before anything else. It could be a small renovation, like hunting down some high-quality replacement kitchen doors. Alternatively, you could be looking at a large-scale top-to-bottom reinvention of your kitchen. Only you will know what the appropriate scale is, so make sure that you approach your kitchen before any other room!
Create an extensive plan first
Your renovation is far, far less likely to succeed if you don’t plan it ahead of time. Without knowing exactly what you want to do with your property and how you’re going to achieve it, you may find yourself stuck at some point along the way. Worse, you could find yourself over- or under-estimating budgetary requirements and workloads. Make sure that before you begin, you have a detailed plan in mind of what you want your home to look like when you’re finished. You don’t have to prepare for every single eventuality; nobody can accurately predict all of the things that might go wrong (or right!) along the way. Just make sure you have an outline in place.
Research planning permission
If you’re just renovating your home’s interiors, then you likely won’t need to seek planning permission. However, there’s a chance your renovations may spill over to the exterior of your property. If this happens, you’ll need to know your rights and what you can and can’t do. There’s nothing worse than embarking on a renovation project, only to realise that you aren’t within your rights to complete it. This goes double if you’re in a rented or shared-ownership property; some of the things you can do will be different in these cases. Make sure that you’ve extensively researched exactly what you’re allowed to do when renovating your property.
Repair and restore before starting again
In most cases, you’ll want to preserve the aesthetic and appeal of the original property rather than simply gutting it and starting again. With that in mind, try to ensure that the work you’re undertaking has the goal of maintaining the aesthetic rather than destroying it. Of course, in some cases, the property’s original look just won’t do it for you, and in these cases, it’s best to rip it up and start again. However, even in this case, try to identify an aspect or element of the home’s original aesthetic that you like, and make this the centrepiece of your new style. This has the added benefit of helping you to come up with fresh ideas!
Hire professionals for the tough stuff
Everyone who embarks on a renovation project likes to dream of doing everything themselves, but the fact is that this just isn’t a practical way to approach the project. It’s important to hire the right contractors to deal with problems you can’t address yourself. This could be anything from issues with the original property (such as damp, woodworm, or mould) to aesthetic and decoration concerns. By hiring professionals, you significantly minimise the chance that something could go wrong with the property, thus necessitating a costly and time-consuming retread to find out how to rectify the mistake.
Don’t neglect energy and plumbing
One of the biggest areas in which many older properties are faltering by modern standards is energy efficiency. With this in mind, you may want to consider updating the energy standard of your home in order to bring it up to speed. This will help you immensely if you decide to sell the property after renovation; a property with better energy efficiency is much more appealing to prospective buyers. You could also consider updating things like plumbing, electrical wiring, and gas mains. Again, be sure to hire the right contractors to accomplish these tasks, because they really shouldn’t be attempted by amateurs under any circumstances.
You’re not done when you’re done
When you complete your renovation, you’ll likely be feeling an enormous sense of accomplishment. Rightly so – it’s not an easy project to finish! However, you’re not out of the woods yet. There might be a list of other issues that need to be rectified before the property can be put on the market. These issues may not have arisen during the initial renovation stages, but instead as the project progressed, meaning that you may not have gotten around to fixing them. Hire contractors you trust or fix the problem yourself if you feel able, but just be sure that these issues are addressed in some capacity, because they may come back to haunt you otherwise.