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Things that you should consider when taking on your first home renovation...
I've been renovating for the last four years, my first home reno was mostly painting, decorating and installing the odd new bathroom and kitchen parts - and my second home reno, that we are currently still in the process of, involves a few bigger things like knocking a wall or two down and making much bigger changes. It's all fun and games when you're turning a house into a home that you love, and I've learned many things along the way.
Hindsight can be incredibly frustrating, and I wanted to share some of the things that I wish I'd known when I first started renovating my home. If you're currently in the process of renovating your own home, or going to be in the future, then this post may contain a useful tip or two.
Plan the layout of your rooms
I'd say one of the most important steps to taking on a home renovation, is to get a really good idea of what you want your rooms to look like when they're finished. If you have a solid plan in place, you can start measuring up and taping out where your furniture and things are going on the floor. This can help to prevent you making mistakes with even the simplest of things like paint choices, to avoid any dark areas and so that you can make sure you have light, bright walls where you need them. It can also help with the much bigger things like where you're putting doors and windows if you're going as far as knocking any walls down or building new ones. It'll just really help make the renovation much more straight forward, and you'll find it much less stressful!
Have everything ready ahead of time
One of the things that my partner and I have wasted the most time on, is lots and lots of trips to builders merchants and DIY stores. It makes your life a whole lot easier to plan and prepare before you begin any kind of work. The above tip to plan the layout of your rooms will help with this, as you'll be able to measure up more accurately for how much you'll need of a certain material you're working with. If you make a plan of exactly what you're going to do and how you're going to do it, you can figure out what tools you will need too, and purchase or borrow any that you don't already have. If you're hiring anyone to do things for you, you can get organised by booking them all well in advance.
Choose your flooring carefully
I think I've mentioned this in previous posts, but my biggest regret when taking on my first home renovation, was rushing the flooring choices. When it comes to walls and ceilings, you can easily repaint them or add/take away things - with flooring, it's a completely different story. Not only does flooring cost a billion times more than a tin of paint, but it's not a simple process to remove everything from a room, remove the flooring and install a new one. It's so important to choose your flooring choice carefully and think about what's going to last and go with your current and future decor. I personally love all wood flooring downstairs because it's timeless and is built to last. If you're opting for hard floors and are struggling with the overwhelming amount of choices, Builder Depot have a great solid wood flooring guide that might help you out.
Don't splurge where you should save
It's so, so easy to throw money at things when you're really excited about what your new home is going to look like. Trust me - I know! However, as reno is so expensive, it really is important to choose wisely what you spend your money on. You really won't know what your renovation is going to cost until you're in the depths of it, as there are so many unexpected expenses. I really wanted to treat myself to a big Sage coffee machine, that I know would look gorgeous in my open plan kitchen, but we could really use that £500 on so many other things... for example it paid for the carpets for the children's bedrooms. The reality is, it's not something that we need right now and the fancy things can wait whilst we pay for the things that we actually do need!
Invest in the rooms you'll use the most
I've definitely made the mistake of spending lots of money on rooms that don't need it, rather than the rooms that do. I hated my old kitchen for the longest time before I finally got together the funds to do something about it, as I'd wasted so much money on things in other rooms that didn't need doing and could easily have waited. My kitchen is my most used space, as we're making three meals a day in there and I feel like I'm forever feeding my kids! We spend so much time in there as a family, and I really should have prioritised it first. In our new home, the kitchen is actually fine as it is - so we've opted to spending the most money on our living area which is the second most used space. I'd recommend carefully considering what your most used and most important space is and making sure you prioritise your spends for it.
Have you ever taken on a home renovation? What was your biggest regret?
Disclaimer: This post is a paid partnership with Builder Depot.