Renovating Your Own Home
Renovating your own home can be a cost-effective option in certain cases. There are many small touches that you can make to your own home - which can be as simple as a good clean - that can make an enormous difference to the property’s aesthetics.
Before you start, be aware that anything to do with your property’s electricity or gas must be carried out by a certified professional, so unless you happen to be such a professional, you will not be able to carry out absolutely all the work yourself. This is also the case if you are planning on altering your home’s plumbing, although this can be more DIY-friendly than other home utilities. You will also have to be extremely careful if your home was built using asbestos - have your home checked before you start work to see if this is the case, and if any asbestos is present, have it professionally removed. This is often free of charge if carried out by your local government. It is, of course, also important to be honest with yourself about your DIY capabilities, and whether or not you will actually be able to carry out the planned works yourself.
As with any renovation project, the most important thing to do is to plan out what jobs you are going to carry out to the letter, before you start making any actual changes. Even if you are looking to do the job yourself, it can be a very good idea to pay a professional to carry out this stage for you. This way, you can be sure of which jobs you can tackle yourself, and those which you should perhaps consider leaving to a professional. They will also tell you how best to optimise the space in your home and the works that actually need to be done, since it is possible that you may have initially missed something, or conversely there may be an aspect of the property which you thought needed altering that in fact did not.
Like any renovation, it is important to make sure that you have planned out your budget carefully. As a general rule, you should make sure that no matter what budget you have in mind, be aware that you may end up spending up to 20% more than this. While carrying out renovation work, it is common to find there are defects in the property which had not previously been noticed. This rule also holds true for the length of time you expect the works to take: even professional renovations often take longer than was originally intended. If you’re going to carry out work yourself to an essential part of the house, such as the kitchen or bathroom, wait until you have plenty of time to do it before you start. One of the things you want to avoid is having to actually use the kitchen or bathroom during the period in which you are renovating it. This is particularly the case with the bathroom, it is recommended that you only take on the job of renovating your own bathroom if you have more than one - that way you will at least have access to one while the work is being carried out.
Even if you aren’t particularly experienced with DIY, there are some jobs which are relatively simple to carry out and can make a surprising amount of difference to the exterior aesthetics of your home. For example, repainting the front door in a new and vibrant colour can provide a contrast to the exterior walls of your home, immediately drawing the eye. You can also choose to replace the door completely for an even more striking change. Even a change as small as installing a different house number or letterbox can rejuvenate your property’s facade. If you do choose to repaint your home, and potential resale value is something that you’re concerned with, go for a neutral colour. According to a survey carried out by zillow.com, houses with a black or charcoal-coloured front door sell for as much as £1250 extra! The absolute simplest touch you can make to the outside of your home is to simply clean it - being careful of course not to damage the paintwork (so no pressure-washers) and simply using a sponge and soapy water. This straightforward and foolproof tip will take years off your property, and can be done in an afternoon.
Continuing with the theme of changing colours, there are multiple solutions available for giving the interior of your house a breath of fresh air as well. Your interior walls can be repainted without any particular difficulty - you may also decide to apply removable wallpaper. In the kitchen, you could also consider replacing the tiles behind your cooker: despite initially appearing intimidating for the novice home-improver, it is actually quite easy to do this. Another touch you can make is to replace your kitchen cabinets, this is simple and inexpensive and can make the whole room look totally different, as well as giving you a chance to use handsome, glass-fronted cabinets to show off your crockery. Make sure not to miss this opportunity to maximise your storage space (this may have been one of the goals of your renovation in the first place). It is, of course, best to leave replacing your cooker to a qualified professional. An electrical cooker could be replaced by an experienced DIY enthusiast, however a gas cooker must always be replaced by a qualified professional.
In a similar vein, the bathroom can be one of the rooms of the home where you can renovate many aspects of the space yourself. This can in particular be the case with the flooring, which is straightforward to remove and replace, and in the event that you get it wrong, it is unlikely to cause any long-lasting or expensive damage. As with the kitchen, you would also be able to replace the cabinets and cupboards yourself without any particular difficulty. This is even more so than would be the case with the kitchen, as bathrooms tend to have far fewer cabinets and cupboards than a kitchen. You will also likely have ordered these from a supplier in order to fit your own particular bathroom, and therefore they should install with no significant issues. The plumbing is probably best left to a professional contractor, however. When choosing a colour for your DIY bathroom renovation, go for something light and pastel - this will make the room seem larger.
There are a large number of changes you can make to your own home, without necessarily having to get the assistance of a professional. These little changes will gradually begin to add up and can make a significant difference once they can all be taken together. You really can give your home a new lease of life, without breaking the bank.
If you have a home renovation project that you would like advice on, or if you would like the renovation process to be dealt with for you, get in touch with one of our architects on find-my-architect.com, to start bringing your vision to life!