As the weather is starting to perk up and the days are getting longer, many homeowners start to think about those pressing home improvement projects they’ve been putting off since last winter. Perhaps your kitchen is well overdue a facelift, or your flooring could do with a refresh. Whatever the size of your project, follow our top five tips for making the home improvements process a breeze:
- Establish a realistic timescale
Plans and timelines are often made with the assumption that the world is perfect and everything will happen when it should. This simply isn’t the case, as any episode of Grand Designs will confirm. Make space in your plans for things to go wrong, and you won’t be left cursing your builder, the supplier, or your spouse.
- Have a buffer in the budget
As with the timescale, you should also leave some wiggle in your budget. A small pitfall can very quickly become a large money pit, so set aside some contingency funds in case your walls are dodgier than expected, or your wiring needs some work.
- Prepare for dust
Regardless of the project, you should anticipate living with a thin layer of dust for the duration of the renovations. Isolate the area of the house that is being worked on with a temporary wall and run an air purifier on the other side to catch any stray dust and pollutants. This is particularly important if you have young children or anyone with breathing problems such as asthma in the house.
- Move bulky items to a self storage unit
Unless you’re blessed with an enormous double garage – and even then, it’s likely already full of accumulated junk – you’ll probably be in need of some extra storage space to remove some of the stress associated with renovations. Renting a self storage facility can take some of the stress out of renovations by allowing you to properly clear spaces. The storage facility can also be used to store building materials before the renovations begin. You’ll probably wonder how you ever lived without the extra storage space!
- Keep your sense of humour handy
Week five of cooking over a camp stove and washing pots in the garden will test anyone’s patience – especially if the project was only supposed to take two weeks. Keeping your sense of humour handy in those darker moments will help you stay sane throughout the renovation. Planning a party to show off your new home will help to keep you distracted, but with your eyes on the prize!
- Plan to be out of the house as much as possible
Unless you’re planning to be hands on with the work, you’ll probably want to plan to be out of the house as much as possible. Your house will be a loud, dusty, unpleasant environment until the work is done, so it’s best to make yourself scarce and save yourself the added stress.
What advice would you give to someone planning a renovation project? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.