Renovating your home is one of the most rewarding challenges you can task yourself with, but it is not the work of a moment. If you are attempting a major restoration, you will have to consider the financial implications of the project and whether you can afford to see it through to the end.
Financing is probably the toughest hurdle you will need to jump over because when money is tight, you will need to make sure that you keep costs down wherever possible.
This includes comparing the prices of materials (striking the right balance between value for money and quality), deciding whether you want to buy all new furniture or try and repurpose second-hand items, and finding the right tradespeople at the right price.
Furthermore, you may want to consider how much disruption the project will cause your professional and personal lives.
If you are hoping to do most of the work yourself, then you may have to work at weekends or in the evenings if you work full time. This may prove more difficult if you have a family and you need to make sure there is someone looking after your children at all times.
Of course, this is not meant to put a negative spin on what can be an incredibly enjoyable project – and one that can bring you a lot of satisfaction, not to mention pride. In fact, it is the very fact that restoring your house brings constant challenges that makes it so rewarding.
Deciding how to decorate each room, change the existing layout or landscape of the garden is exciting, not to mention the potential for adding resale value.
This is the ultimate guide to renovating your Essex home:
Establish a particular style or theme
The first stage you need to tackle when renovating your home is deciding what style or theme you want your house to have. House design is built around coherence, so before you start hunting for materials, it is best to work out what you want the overall space to look like.
You could opt for a minimalist aesthetic, for instance, or, if your house is older (such as a Tudor cottage), you could aim more towards a traditional look. The decision is entirely down to your own tastes, but it is sensible to continue the same theme throughout every room and the garden, to prevent any colours or furniture clashing badly.
If you are unsure of what style or theme to opt for, it is best to stay in keeping with the existing building. Alternatively, you could buy a number of materials, such as different types of plaster finishes, and see which ones look best.
Start with the basics
Once you have decided upon a particular style, it is time to move on to the work itself. Starting any major renovation project is daunting, so make it simple for yourself by starting with the basics.
Remove any furniture or items you need out of the house (being sure to recycle or dispose of anything you don’t want to put back in the house). Next, it will be time to carry out any structural alterations if you have any. This is when you would knock through any internal walls, build an extension or conservatory, or change room layouts.
This is usually the longest and most expensive stage of a renovation project, but it can also be the most rewarding. If you are carrying out major structural work, be sure to use a qualified professional rather than attempting it yourself.
Work with the features of your existing structure
If you are trying to improve the look of your home, it can be tempting to completely get rid of everything that went before. With certain properties, this could be a good idea – especially if it was aesthetically unremarkable.
However, it might be the case that the existing property had some interesting design features that just need cleaning up or repurposing. This could include an old Victorian fireplace, an elegant staircase, or exposed stonework. Incorporating the house’s previous identity will keep a sense of uniqueness to the property and make the work look more in-keeping.
Details can make all the difference
It is often the small details that make the difference when it comes to houses. You may have spent a lot of time and money extending the house or knocking through a wall, but if the basics look tired or cheap, it will bring the whole property’s aesthetic down.
These details include window frames, doors and door handles, kitchen cabinets, and toilets.
Making sure these regular touch points look and feel pleasant will transform the overall appearance of your home.