Renovating your home is one of the best ways to breathe life into your abode. A vital part of the transformation of a house into a home is making it your own, catered for your personality. Renovations can vary from a small redecorating project, to larger tasks like extensions or loft and basement conversions, but they always require precise planning.
Like us, you’ve probably heard house horror stories that could fill piles upon piles of books. From builders leaving early, to picking the wrong contractors, all the way through to bad budgeting. All can take their toll on a dream house project, so it’s vital that if considering a renovation, you get it right.
We’ve put together a short-list of six things that dreamy eyed renovators often forget before embarking on a grand building voyage. Some of these combine sage advice with tasteful practicality, whilst others will just help to keep you emotionally above board. But that’s enough sailing metaphors for one blog, have a read and see what things you might have forgotten when planning a home renovation.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, can make more of an eyesore on a house than choosing the wrong materials. From attempting to cut corners by choosing a cheaper building material or a stylistic misfire, these will certainly give your house more ‘character’, but perhaps a bit more Quasimodo than you had been banking on. Some of the great faux pas that these material contrasts are made with are older properties.
The charm and history of an older property means that the building already has a story to tell when you arrive. Adding your own chapter can make for a gaudy remake, so be sure to research your property before diving head first into an ambitious renovation project. Whatever you’re planning on changing, be it an interior conversion or an exterior rendering, a little bit of time in the history books can speak volumes.
If you’re choosing specialist workmen, ensure you get someone who has a wealth of experience working with your type of property (more later). Whether it’s a solo project or hired help, bringing in the extra knowledge can really help. More than likely the house you’re considering renovating will have been made in either the 19th or 20th century, and fortunately there are plenty of books to help you out.
For a grand adventure through the past century’s key architectural moments, then pick up Architecture of the 20th Century by Gabriele Leuthauser and Peter Gosele. Not only will you learn about the materials and building styles of this time, but also may pick up a few modern twists to add to an older property.
For those interested in a more practical guide, try to track down the RIBA book of British Housing: 1900 – Present Day by Ian Colquhoun. This will give you specific practical information about the structural materials and building styles of houses within the 20th century. This book is a little more expensive, but the extra investment will help you source the best quality materials and building style to your improvements.
From specific building information to specific budgeting, be sure to always have a calculator and your budget close to hand when planning any renovations. Building costs mostly soar up after beginning a project, so make sure you’re keeping an eye on finances like a hawk with an accountancy degree.
One of the major problems that occur when homeowners attempt a renovation is running out of funds or not being able to afford any unplanned costs which may arise. If you’re making a renovation create a budget and stick to it. Not only will this allow planning timescales and ambitions to be much more realistic, but also help give you an emotional anchor during what can be a very stressful time.
The homebuilding website has a whole range of guides and information for budgeting.
If you’ve chosen to carry out the project on your own, or to attain your own particular materials, then renting a van is the best way to transport all the necessary equipment and materials. From moving possessions out of the house and into storage, or buying materials to bring back to the works site, there’s a reason vans are so popular.
The extra space and heavy lifting abilities make the job just that little bit easier, and vans can be rented for very reasonable prices from a number of companies. If it’s for a few days, or a few months, you can rent a top of the range van perfect for your transportation needs for an affordable price.
Cups of Tea
This is the currency of goodwill when it comes to building work. Be it for your building partner or a hired contractor, a cup of tea goes a long way. Making sure that everyone stays happy and relaxed during the renovation project is the key to making a really great looking home improvement. Putting the kettle on every now and then is a sure fire way to ensure this.
As you can see, there’s a lot to remember when renovating your home, and we’ve just made a short list of a few things that some people forget. Taking the time out to plan and decide what you want and what you’ll need is possibly the best advice we can give you.
Most importantly, keep calm and make sure you enjoy the whole process. If you have an incredibly stressful time for something you don’t really want to change in your house, then what’s the point in doing it?
Have you recently undertaken any renovation projects? What are your must haves for home improvements? Let us know in the comments below!
This blog was written by Rachel Jensen on behalf of LeaseVan.co.uk, the UK’s leading independent van leasing and contract hire company.