Making the decision to renovate can be a difficult one but once you have made the decision that you love your house…but it just needs a face lift there is a lot to consider and many decision to be made. I see hundreds of houses every year so you can imagine I see some stunning renovations, but I also see some absolute disasters. Below I have listed my top three tips to consider before you start creating that dream home.
1. Layout, Layout, Layout!
When most people make the decision to renovate they think they will love their finished home and they will never move again. However life changes and the one factor that will determine how liveable, enjoyable and potentially even saleable your property will be is the floorplan of your home. It is crucial to consider not just how you and your family will use the home not as your life is now but also if the layout will be practical in the years to come as your family grows and changes. Physically walk through as many homes as you can to get a feel for different layouts, head to display homes, open homes and even friends homes. A floorplan on paper is not always easy to imagine in real life so get a feel for a sense of space a different properties. Ask people you know that have built or renovated what they would do differently (everybody has something they regret not doing/changing/eliminating). Ask a local professional. Local builders, architects and real estate agents will be able to give invaluable advice on what other local home owners are doing as you need to make sure you don’t overcapitalise or overpersonalise.
2. Time vs Budget
Always allow more time than a builder tells you and always allow a higher budget than an architect tells you. These are clearly sweeping generalisations. In my experience most home renovators get caught out in either one or both of these areas. Once they have their dream plans in hand and they head to get a ‘firm’ price from a few builders and 9 out of 10 times, the build price is more than what the architect has estimated. Builders are also notorious for running over time. Clearly there are often curve balls that come in any renovation so best to over estimate the money you will need and allow more time than envisioned.
3. Smart Energy Design
With rising costs in all areas of life, considering the future running costs of your renovated home, could pay back dividends further down the track. There are new innovations entering the market all the time however it may be as simple as using good design principles to save energy and water that will inevitably save money. Effective insulation is not only the renovated, but the original area of your home will increase comfort in all seasons and decrease your energy cost. These outcomes can also be achieved with considered thought to the orientation and aspect of the different rooms in your renovation.