February 2019 marks five years since we moved into our forever home. HALF A DECADE. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and it still feels like there’s so much to do. We’ll be starting the year though with a huge change in life circumstances as I’m soon to leave my full-time job after nearly 16 years to try freelancing for a while. What this means for our future home renovation plans is anyone’s guess but we don’t want to abandon them completely.
With a need to be more careful than ever economically it’s important to make sure we’re planning effectively for future changes we may want to make whilst still adding value to our home. With this in mind I’ve been on working on a little strategy to make sure our dreams can still be achieved, albeit a little more slowly (if that’s even possible).
- Taking Stock
If you’re planning a full home renovation, it’s a good idea to take some time in each room to determine what needs to be removed and what can remain. Period features such as wood floors and fireplaces are often considered desirable so may be worth retaining. What about the quality of the walls? The first room we tackled was our little box room 4th bedroom that we turned into a home office. It was covered in woodchip wall and when we steamed it off it brought away half the plaster so we ended up replastering the room. Again, it’s a good investment and means your walls are future-proofed.
Lighting is another major factor to consider. If you are planning significant changes it’s far easier to rewire at the time if needed than come to it later. We had to move all the light switches when we moved in which were still in their original 1930s locations, but the doors had subsequently been rehung. So every time we went into a room, the light switch was behind the door. You don’t think it will matter but it really does.
Last but by no means least, furniture and appliances. Since we’ve started to renovate our living room, our Dwell sofas now look old and tired (before they were perfectly in keeping with the rest of the jaded space 😉 so come the January sales I’ll be on the hunt for new ones.
- The Budget
Ah, the all-important budget. We’ve been speaking to our financial adviser now for a little while to see how much we can borrow. Thankfully since we bought our home the value has gone up considerably which puts us in a good position. It won’t be enough to cover everything though and we’ll need contingency funds.
According to housetipster.com, It’s wise to always keep a buffer because there may be instances where something unexpected happens or a certain project doesn’t go as well as you had hoped. Knowing our luck this will definitely happen but using a financial adviser and working closely with them means we should be able to manage our finances appropriately.
- Using Professionals
The real secret to pulling off a successful renovation without a doubt is using experienced resources. A contractor can be the secret weapon, helping me stick to budget and ensuring everything meets my standards. As you know I’m a little retentive when it comes to the finer details… Also, if a problem arises during the renovation they’ll know how to quickly remediate the issue and make sure I’m still happy with the build.
So hiring a contractor is a must but the jury is still out as to whether I’ll hire an interior designer or not. What would you do? I think these days with Instagram and Pinterest at our fingertips, I probably know enough of my own mind to figure out the look I’m going for and it can mean a significant increase in costs. So we’ll see – when we do eventually get round to building our ground floor extension I may well change my mind and need all the advice I can get!
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