Reminders Before You Start a Renovation Project
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Published by TOP4 Team
Renovation might be a stressful task, but there are certain steps you can take to ensure you minimise mess and mistakes and hopefully get it right the first time.
Start a file of cuttings. Collect anything that takes your fancy from glossy magazines and newspapers. Include pictures, new products, plans, fabrics, colours and anything that will help to make up the mood and look you want to create. Go to all the home shows and exhibitions, take everything that’s being handed out and file that away too. When you start renovating, you can pull out your favourite bits from your file and present to your architect, builder or draftsman a clear picture of the look you like.
Determine what you want.
A professional’s time is usually money. Don’t spend half an expensive consultation driving a piece of paper covered in scratchy sketches around the table. If you and your partner have differing ideas about how your renovated home should look, have serious talks before you call an expert. When you’ve reached some agreement, put your ideas together and sketch them out roughly but cleanly so they can be used as a starting point.
Know what sells best.
If you’re a first-time renovator, ask your local real estate agent what sells well and the features that particularly attract buyers in the area. You’ll probably find they’re those old evergreens – space, light and neutral colours. Keep them in mind when you’re planning.
There’s no one better qualified to answer your questions than a renovator who has done it before you. Talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. If you don’t know renovating neighbours, it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself.
Find out how they made contact with a designer, builder, tradesmen and, most important, would they use them again. Ask why they’re using particular materials and brands and where they bought them.
Live in a house before renovating.
Unless you’re in the tropics where winters are less severe, live in the house for a summer and winter so you can see which rooms are sunny and gloomy. This will give you an idea of where a skylight might be needed, and any windows you might like to expand or remove if you have large areas of glass facing west and catching hot, late afternoon sun. It will also enable you to see what’s happening in the garden. If a much-loved pretty plant is in the way of a new extension, you can plan its relocation.
The more you know about what you’re doing, the better equipped you will be to cope with problems. Some large timber and hardware companies run do-it-yourself courses which are worth attending. Contact building and timber promotion bodies in your state and find out what they’ve got to offer. Send away for any free literature advertised by renovation companies or manufacturers in magazines and newspapers.