Like everything in life, if you take the time to make a plan, whether it is for education, finances, work, a vacation or for a lime with friends, then more than likely it will be a success. This remains true for any renovation, new construction or remodel done to your home.
Kitchens and bathrooms are without doubt the hardest working rooms in any home. If they don’t function well, then you don’t function well, and therefore more than any other rooms in the home, needs serious professional planning.
To begin any renovation process, the two key factors are planning and budget – in that order. When you follow the guiding principles of design, scale and proportion, colour, pattern and lighting – you see the importance of planning for each.
Renovations can be incredibly challenging, but incredibly rewarding. There are no shortcuts in this process. If you try to work around them, you are asking for trouble.
Things people should know to remember when renovating:
1. Be involved in managing your project. Go to the site every day. It’s best you catch problems or decide on changes, as early as possible.
2. Never expect everything to go as planned – it won’t. So mentally prepare for challenges.
3. Technical drawings for structural, electrical and plumbing are critical, so don’t skim – hire a professional. Think of it as a cost savings against choices constructed without the proper experience.
4. Make sure you plan for contingencies in your budget – at least 15-25% depending on the size of your project.
When hiring a professional – do research. Look to friends, check online references, websites or facebook. Since renovation is really all about the finishes, look at as many visuals of completed projects as possible by the designers you have on your shortlist.
- Ask questions on fee structure
- The design process
- If plan drawings and 3D elevations are included
- If furniture schedules are included
- Budget development
- Sourcing finishes
- If there are relationships with builders and trades crews
- Planning approvals with regulators and legal requirements
If possible, plan to do your renovation all at one time. It is better to wait longer if necessary, as I promise you that once you go through the process – you will not want to do it again in a hurry.
Managing costs and materials:
- Agree with your design team and builders that nothing can be changed without discussion and cost review.
- Don’t cut quality or cost on foundations, sub and super structure.
- Allow your contingency cost to apply only when it is for something you’re not willing to do without – but don’t spend it on your finishes until your infrastructure is complete.
- If you’re doing the project DIY, then shop around as even local prices vary greatly. Or, relax and know that your designer is well experienced to know where everything will come from - within budget.
My advice, once you plan, budget and research as priorities for any renovation and you know to expect plenty stress – then go with the flow, enjoy the experience and envision the satisfaction of the years to come in your beautiful new home.
Next Great Read: Interior Designer Randall Waddell shares some great tips on Kitchen Design- Putting It All Together!