There is nothing more daunting and delightful than renovating a home.
Whether it's your first fixer upper or the latest home you plan to flip, renovating a home can bring out the inner design critic, architect and builder in you that you never thought you had.
Television mainstays such as the 'The Block' and 'Fixer Upper' show that renovating houses can be a lot of fun and a lot of stress.
Recently, my partner and I bought a house and renovated it completely. From the tearing down walls, to pulling apart the bathroom and kitchen to furnishing the house, here's a few things I've learnt during the process.
- Stick to a budget and plan accordingly. Sure you might want to rip out the whole kitchen, the bathroom, the carpet, the walls and everything in between, but make sure you can afford to do it first. Factor in the cost of the materials, appliances, labour and anything else before you reach for a sledgehammer or buy the most expensive item.
- Shop around for a good deal. Whether it's for tiles, kitchen cupboards or lights, try to save where you can. You'd be surprised at the prices you find at an outlet store and cheap doesn't always mean nasty. Just be quick - good prices don't last forever. You don't want to re-choose your tiles because they sold out.
- Compromise. Now I'm not exactly the queen of compromise - the exact opposite actually - but sometimes you need to let your partner have a say. You might be surprised with their input. Even if you don't like their idea, listen to them and make them feel like they're part of the design process. They have to live in that house too.
- Pick a theme and stick to it. It could be a colour scheme, period in time or a particular design. Don't over-complicate a room or overwhelm your senses by adding too many ideas. Keep it simple.
- Hire trades people you trust and ask for recommendations from other people who have recently renovated. Inspect their workmanship and be 100 percent happy with it before you commit to hiring them. If you know someone who can do it for you, ask them.
On the flip side, be careful when hiring friends and family. Don't let personal relationships dictate your working relationship. At the end of the day, if you don't think that they are listening to what you want or doing a good job, you're best to hire a professional.
- Lastly, have fun. If you decide to renovate, enjoy the creative process, listen to each other and be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.
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