If you’ve just purchased a new abode to give it a complete renovation or design overhaul, you might be itching to get in there with the sanders and paint-strippers. However, if this is your first big project, you may be wondering where to start. In your mind’s eye, you might have an idea of how you want the finished property to look, but in reality, each room and feature can provide its own challenges. Here a few steps to consider with any large renovation project, and how to manage your expectations throughout the process.
Set a budget
Before you do absolutely anything, set yourself a renovation budget. Even if the property is in good condition, you will need to stagger out the cost of the project and factor in one-off or regular fees that will incur as a result of carrying out the work. Working out how much money you can realistically spend on furniture, for example, will prevent you from blowing some vital budget money, which you could spend on paint instead. You will also need to come back to this budget throughout your project and reassess how well you are managing to stick to it and whether you need to amend it.
Check you have consent
For many people who are planning to renovate a property, this can be the biggest barrier, or sometimes just the longest delay in being able to carry out work. You may need statutory consent or building permissions to carry out the work you need on your chosen property. Anything from a party wall agreement or a listed building could cause you problems in both the long and short term, so always consult the local authorities and your estate agent to get a real sense of what you need to overcome to complete your project.
Be brutal with the garden
There can be nothing more soul-destroying for someone viewing your property than to realise that the garden is completely unmanageable. It could be a result of overgrown bushes, endless gravel that’s full of weeds or an old lawn that hasn’t seen a lawnmower in centuries. Sometimes, the garden might be the unsuspecting source of a major overhaul. However, unlike a dining room that just needs a lick of paint or some old wallpaper to be chipped off, a garden can need some significant work.
In order to make your life easier in the future, you may wish to order some green waste bags and get to work on the worst culprits. Tearing out ugly, overgrown shrubs and taking our gravel that is strewn with weeds will give your garden an instant facelift. When you finally do replace old, unruly plants, be sure to use a mixture of shrubs with different leaves to create plenty of different eye-catching textures.
Keep timeless features
Sometimes, the former vendor of a property will leave behind some genuine treasures, which you should not ignore. A vintage fireplace or some old wooden furniture which can be renovated might be worth keeping, rather than replacing them with a similar lookalike feature. Keeping accents that signal the property’s history or give it unique character shouldn’t be stripped away for the sake of modernity. Original mouldings and wooden beams might be worth preserving, even if they do eat into a considerable portion of your budget.
Gut dated features
While we all hope that we’ve seen the last of an avocado bath suite, or maybe even an electric fire, sometimes dated features can sneak their way into the design of modern houses. Stripping out dark red carpets and kitchen units that have seen better days can instantly give a property a modern and airy feel. When replacing these features, be sure to pick out furniture and units that are relatively timeless. You don’t want to create a job for future owners, or a look that will date badly in just a few years.
Be choosey with furniture
After weeks of sanding, painting, gutting and re-designing, it would be a shame to pick furniture as a completely random afterthought. When you pictured renovating the property, you will have imagined how you wanted the new interior to feel, and furniture will inevitably play an integral part in this. If you’re completely exhausted from weeks of decorating and refurbishing, then ordering your furniture online from online specialists such as Luluna will provide you with plenty of furniture designs to choose from. Whether you play neutral and contemporary furniture off against old vintage features or pick out something that suits the age of the building is entirely down to you.
Paint according to the light you have
One of the first things that people notice when purchasing a property is how much natural light each room is getting. Dark and dank rooms can make houses hugely unappealing, and so you will want to factor in how much light each room is getting from its current window frames. It’s with this in mind that you should paint each room, and painting jobs should always take into account how bright or dark the room feels. If you had big plans for a deep-coloured feature wall in the living room, but in reality the light quality is poor, you may wish to take the difficult decision to change your decoration plans.
You may get a bit trigger happy with tearing out old units and cupboards that are visually dating your property, but you might also want to ensure that they are adequately replaced. Having bright and breezy rooms can feel aesthetically pleasing, but in order to keep them uncluttered, you will want plenty of storage options. If you’re reluctant to fill rooms with cupboards and wardrobes again, then there are plenty of strategic storage options to browse through, which can be seamlessly integrated into your property design.
Your first renovation project can be hugely exciting, or intimidating, depending on how you look at it. One of the worst things you can do is rush into the project, particularly if you have a family in tow. Taking time to work out living arrangements while the work is being carried out and how to stick to your budget are both wise precautions to take with such a big endeavour.