Updated: Apr 26, 2019
Practical guidelines on how to renovate your home successfully
I once conducted a poll in which the overwhelming majority voted renovation out of building new, or moving. Which lead to the question: What are the main reasons people prefer to renovate ? - Sentimental, practical or financial? It will be interesting to conduct this poll one day, nevertheless let's discuss in this article some practical guidelines to help turn your renovation project into an amazing transformation!
Achieve an Amazing Transformation
What is the general objective of a renovation? Whatever the type or scale of a renovation project, the objective is always to achieve an amazing transformation!
Many of us are intoxicated with the prospect of transforming spaces! We are focused on the end result and on showing off those before and after images. No wonder, home renovation shows are so popular!
On the other side of the camp, are those who avoid renovations like the 'plague' mainly because the process overwhelms them and to them the fear everything going wrong is a real possibility if not a certainty.
Realistically, renovations do go wrong all too often and in most cases the root of the problem is inadequate planning and preparation.
So whether you are into the thrill of renovating or in dread of it, it is always a good practice to plan plan plan and prepare adequately.
The secret for a successful renovation is planning.
The more time is invested in the planning and preparation stages the less time and money it will cost in implementing any project. Home renovation TV shows may give a different impression but the amount of behind the scenes planning and preparation takes months if not years to complete.
Don't wake up one morning and say....
A Renovation will go wrong in the absence of a good plan. Don't wake up one morning and say - today is the day! - Maybe you feel psyched-up from the renovation show on TV the night before.- Home improvement TV shows make it look too easy some times. What we don't see is the behind the scenes action, months before the project is televised. - Architects, Designers, Builders, Estimators, Project Managers and a host of other professionals, spend days weeks even months designing planning and resourcing before the project starts.
It is very important to keep in mind is, the more time you invest in the planning and preparation stage of a project the less time and money you will be wasting on implementing it. But what does planning and preparation involve?
What is involved in planning and preparation?
PREPARE A CONCEPT
Have a clear concept in mind. If you are of two minds, then you are not ready to start. If you have difficulty determining which way to go, ask a professional. Depending on the type of project, book a consultation with a good interior designer or an architect who can discern your needs and taste and help you crystallize an opinion . A good interior designer will explain what is the reasoning for their recommendations and why it will be beneficial. Their expertise and talent together with their experience and knowledge as professionals, is your best recourse in helping you set a definite direction.
Hiring a professional to do the job means you are hiring their skills equipment and knowledge. Not just their time.
PREPARE A BUDGET
Once a concept is in place, it is time to look at your budget. Does your budget allow for design and working drawings? Budgeting for a renovation includes more than the cost of the job materials and finishes. There are architect or designer fees, and drafting fees to take into consideration and depending on the type of your project council permit fees as well, not to mention project management fees..
Your budget will indicate how much of what you want, you can actually afford. Whilst the budget is the determining factor of the extend of a project, it should never determine the quality of workmanship and materials. Prioritise if you must, by tackling one area at the time and never compromise on quality.
Going for the lower price point does not equate good value. "Cutting corners", will devalue your property and will not achieve the amazing transformation you want!
PREPARE A DESIGN
In order to get realistic estimations from builders or any trade, you need detailed working drawings. So the first step for any renovation project is to approach a professional who will guide you through the design process. Experienced interior designers, have the ability to foresee and predict how the proposed changes will affect the new dynamics of the space and set a course of action, to overcome any challenges before they occur, rather than dealing with them as they arise. Involving an interior designer at the planning stages will prove an invaluable asset for your project as it will prevent double handling and additional expenses in the implementation stages, not to mention the heartache of being told by your contractor that he had to deviate from your instructions as they were not viable....
PREPARE AN ACTION PLAN
Now you have a design and a budget is time to put in place an action plan. - Who does what and when, is what you need to clearly establish prior to commencing implementing your project. An action plan helps you monitor the progress and enables you to flawlessly move through the different stages of the renovation. It is a good communication tool which should be available to all parties involved so all are on the "same page". An action plan should be adhered to by all although reasonable flexibility will allow for unforeseen delays should they occur. If you feel apprehensive about the whole process why not ask your interior designer about their project management services. They do all that for you!
PREPARE YOUR MIND
Preparing your mind is crucial in remaining focused on what it is you want to achieve. Don't allow the opinion of third parties destruct you from your well prepared plan. If you allow well meaning friends or trades persons make you second guess your plans, you'll lose your way. You already have a concept a budget and a design, your selections are made and have an action plan. Have confidence in your professional, your preparation and planning and be in control. This will inspire the people who work in your project and you will get the best result out of them. Now you are prepared and ready to embark into your amazing home transformation, let's talk about implementation.
Because a design is only as good as its implementation, hiring professional
& reputable contractors is vital!
For those who have good project management skills, time and energy, overseeing the implementation would be an option. Although hiring a project manager makes the process stress free. Project managers have long-time relationships in the industry, experience, good organisational skills, and a good understanding of the building trade. The project manager will place the orders for you, will follow up to ensure deadlines are met, people turn up when they ought to and orders are delivered on time. They supervise the work, ensuring a smooth and successful renovation process for their client. This is the ideal way of implementing a renovation project, as it is totally stress free with spectacular results.
Depending on the nature of the project your Interior Designer will often act as your project manager. In fact, being involved in the conceptual and the design stages, makes your Interior designer protective about their own designs and will on your behalf ensure the best result possible. They will also arrange for the styling and presentation of the finished product.
Details are not minor! Don't leave behind any "tell tale" signs of what used to be. The renovated space should appear brand new!
Don't overlook the details! In a transformation details are not minor. On the contrary what is considered small in the scheme of things, can often jeopardise a transformation, making it less "convincing". The success of a transformation lies in the observer having difficulty in recognising what was there before. Be thorough and don't economise by not changing "that old door" or the door hardware. Unless you are doing a historic renovation, you don't want to leave behind any "tell tail " signs of what used to be. The renovated space should appear brand new! Finish each area thoroughly, before you start up something else.
Proper planning and budgeting with the help of a professional would take into account all these so called details, avoiding an afterthought result .
Depending on the type of project, an Architect or an Interior Designer are the best people to approach when considering a renovation.
Architects specialise in the structural and aesthetic aspects of the entire structure.
Interior Designers specialise in all aspects of the interior of buildings and are good space planners. They will often project manage as well, or collaborate with your building contractor.