How to Renovate a House Like a Pro – 9 Essential Decisions to Make at the Start of Your Renovation Project!
So you’ve just got your keys, and you’re about to start planning your new home, but what things do you need to think about pronto? Renovating a house with a little less stress? Let’s take a little look…
You’re probably still in the chill zone if you’re reading this. The chill zone is the bit right at the beginning of your renovation project that lulls you into a false sense of security.
It’s slow work. It’s all quiet and calm, you’re waiting around for everyone (meetings, calls, visits), and you think it’s going to take foreeeeeeever!
And then bam…… a million questions, a million decisions, a million miles an hour = Stress + rush + panic…..+ a whole lotta rushed decisions and compromises, and not being able to do what’s on your vision board because the decisions are well a little #lastminute
I’ve created a how to renovate a house checklist of things for you to start thinking about whilst you’re in the chill zone, so that you can get things moving along quickly in the direction you want when things start to move, but at a time when you actually have the headspace to think clearly.
SpoilerAlert: Don’t assume you know everything when renovating a house. Innovation is around every corner, and the best thing you could do for yourself is to get curious, ask questions and research…
From experience, some trades (not all, obviously) like to do things according to the laws of least resistance and aren’t always open to innovation or making life a little harder for themselves #EasyLife. Educating yourself is a great way to ensure your home designs are an ideal mix of innovation, style, vision and as many of life’s little comforts as you’d like. It will also avoid trade tantrums further down the line when you want to achieve the impossible. Everything is possible with a little planning, you can have it all when renovating a house.
HOW TO RENOVATE A HOUSE? LEARN THE LINGO
All the work needed to take a building from foundation to putting plaster on the internal walls. This includes constructing walls, floors and ceilings and inserting cables for electrical and water supply pipes.
Comprises all the work after the plastering of a finished house. Electrical fixtures are connected to the cables, sinks and baths connected to the pipes, and doors fitted into door frames. Second fix work requires a neater finish than first fix.
Be a good girl guide and #BePrepared so that you don’t make the renovating a house rookie mistakes that end up hitting you where it hurts….. In your dream home vision. (You thought I was going to say wallet, didn’t you? I’d never be that shallow 😉)
Here are some of the things you need to decide early in your house renovation project, and once you’ve taken a look at these home renovation hacks, make sure you get on over to this posts for ways to save money on your home renovation.
This is often one of the last things to go down but one of the first things you must decide early in your house renovation. You need to know the thickness of your tile, planks, carpet etc so that you make sure the floor levels are constructed with this in mind. How annoying are those 2mm gaps or doors that catch the carpet. #StubbedToes
Deciding on your lighting design early on is crucial. But to decide on your lighting, you need to understand how you will use the space, so think about where you’ll need light fittings. I assure you, OCD kicks in from wonky pendant placement.
And please do not leave this decision to your electrician. They’re not always as motivated as you are about the finished location #FunctionOverForm. If it’s a room with more than one entrance, you need to plan to be able to turn lights on or off in more than one place. You will never forgive yourself for having to do the walk of darkness because you can’t switch at the stairs.
As with lighting, if it needs a wire, it needs a decision upfront. Things like TV points, data cables, router locations, CCTV, alarm etc. Make sure these are thought about before first fix so that you’re not chopping out channels in your walls after plasterboard and insulation have been fitted.
Tiles come in all shapes, thicknesses and sizes. If you don’t look into your option early on, you’ll end up being restricted in your decisions down the line.
Not knowing your tile choices will mean:
- You’re not sure how thick you need your floor screed to be.
- You’re not sure how high to build things up to allow for shower falls etc. (drainage)
- You’re not sure if they’re going to arrive in time. Decorative tiles can have long lead times.
- You won’t know the costs. Small format tiles can take much longer to lay than large format.
BATHROOM FITTINGS AND TAPS
Knowing the fitting in your bathroom will help you prepare all your pipework, waste, tap locations etc. and help your plumber position all this correctly. There is nothing worse than having your heart set on a particular fitting to find you don’t have the needed recess #BeenThere or you have to change the location of a loo because you don’t have enough waste fall to the drains etc.
THE SHOWER NICHE
The smallest but often overlooked little hole in your shower where you hide all your bits, the niche. If you don’t plan for your niche early on, they’re often impossible, as a niche needs a recess. Talking from experience here.
Who else here is obsessed with noise? Or, more importantly, the quiet and calm? A zen-like home is the dream! I once lived in an apartment, and I’d have given my left arm for the above apartment to have had acoustic flooring/insulation #Heels. Regardless of your property type, if you want to think about making your home an oasis of calm (you totally can), it needs a little advance planning.
You don’t have to soundproof your entire home, perhaps just areas to make life quieter. That busy road, the children’s bedrooms (so you get extra zzz’s), utility/laundry rooms…. It’s not just insulation either. You can get special soundproofing glass, plasterboard and coatings, so have that quiet chat early on. Your ears will thank you.
Even though alphabetically second to last, think about windows first because they will have one of the longest lead times. Without your windows in place, you can’t insulate or plaster and get to second fix. Leaving these until the last minute could hold the whole project up #DownToolsDisaster
Really? Blinds at the beginning? I haven’t even got windows! Don’t waste an opportunity to explore all your options my friend.
You may want to go manual with soft or hard blinds, but if you want to go with anything with a motor, you’ll need wiring. Blinds have come a long way, and many wired/motorised mechanisms are on the market. You’ll wonder how you lived without them. Check out Luxaflax for some inspo! These can be retrofitted, but avoid unsightly motors and get them all connected up. #FirstWorldButSoNice.
The truth is the more Girl Guide you are with your home renovation, the more likely you will get things exactly as you’d like. Plan as much as you can in advance, and you’ll thank yourself down the line.
Do you want to learn how to renovate a house the smart way? Click here to grab the Renovation Roadmap to get on budget, on time and on track home renovation.