Renovating is your chance to show the world how clever
you are at taking what was once tired and ordinary and making it new
and fabulous. Its also recognised as one of the most stressful
processes known to humankind. Here are some things you should consider
before you embark on what could be a very fulfilling undertaking
if you get it right.
Whats the best use of the space?
The first law of renovating states that no matter how much space you
have, you will always want more. That aside, the first step is to prioritise
your requirements. A bigger living room, or a separate TV room? A fourth
bedroom or an office? A third bathroom or a walk-in wardrobe Cant
decide? Better think about how to make the spaces more flexible, for
example, sliding or pivoting doors that open spaces up or shut them
down. And remember, spaciousness is not about actual space, but creating
the illusion of space. Remember that less is definitely more.
Getting rid of clutter, sticking to simple lines and integrating surface
finishes will create visual flow and a sense of space.
Am I over capitalising?
Investing enough money to get a quality renovation is a smart move,
but if youre renovating purely to make a profit, make sure you
dont over capitalise. Think twice before investing a large, sum
that youre unlikely to recoup when you sell the property. Its
easy to get carried away in some areas, especially bathrooms and kitchens.
You might think the exclusive Italian tapware is worth every penny.
But will prospective buyers know the difference? Perhaps a less expensive
version would do the job just as well youll still have
a new bathroom to attract a buyer, but wont be out of pocket.
What sort of style should I choose?
This question comes down to personal preference, but its worth
considering whether eclectic choices are going to have mass appeal to
buyers. Bright pink kitchen cupboards will certainly make a statement
about you, but its not necessarily a statement that others would
want to make. Visit display homes, look though home magazines and work
out what is popular. Choose colours and materials that are fairly neutral,
so that buyers can imagine adding their own style statements.
How important is street appeal?
In a word, very. First impressions count, so even if youve
completely transformed the interior,, the exterior is going to make
a big statement about what sort of home this is. If your exterior is
tired, a simple coat of paint will make a big difference. If your exterior
is dated, consider transforming it with a new state-of-the-art material.
With good design and attention to detail, investing in a full exterior
face-lift will certainly be re-paid.
How can I control the costs?
Take your time and do your homework. Make sure you understand the building
process even if you are using a builder on a full contract:
- Get competitive quotes and find out what things are worth.
- Break costs down and down and down. Dont just look at the
cost of the bathroom, look at the cost of the taps. This process will
give you some idea of where the money is being spent and if its
the best place to spend it.
- Remember that your time is money too. By all means run around on
the weekend and choose the kitchen appliances that you like, but ask
yourself if your time is best spent putting hours into jobs that might
be best handled by an expert.
Which are the best rooms to renovate?
As a general rule, improving the look and function of kitchens, bathrooms,
the master bedroom and the living area is always money well spent. Costs
will vary depending on size, the amount of structural work thats
required and the quality of the fittings you choose.