So you’ve bought your first fixer-upper and you’re desperate to go in all guns blazing, knocking down walls and ripping up old carpet. Stop! Take a breath. As excited as you might be, it’s more important in the long run to be measured and methodical as you approach the process. There’s usually a very specific order you should follow during early remodeling and for the absolute best results from a renovation.
Of course, each property is unique and will come with its own obstacles and challenges which may affect the way you go about the renovation. For example, if you’ll be living in the property during the process, it might be better to renovate one room at a time. However if you have a different living situation (renting or staying with family) you could tackle the house very differently. Then there’s factoring in things like flooring that might run through room-to-room. You have to find a balance between what makes logical sense and what is best for your unique household.
Avoid common mistakes and complications by following these steps:
1. Planning: People are often shocked at the depth of planning that’s involved in a renovation. First things first – finalize a budget. Be realistic as you’ll almost always go over budget anyway. Then, find an architect and consult the experts. If you take heed to experts’ advice along the way, you won’t go far wrong with your project.
2. Demolition and structural repair: Everything needs to be stripped back and gutted to give you your blank canvas. You may find a few hidden surprises along your way – damp or rotting joists. This is an opportunity to rectify any issues such as these and is why we always advise to assume you’ll go over budget.
3. Create a layout: If you plan on changing the layout of the property, now’s the time to do it. This means building an extension or adding or removing walls. This is also the time to create your door and wall openings.
4. Electric and plumbing: Now is time for the ‘rough in’ process to begin, which is where plumbers and electricians will complete any work that means getting under floor boards and rewiring – for central heating, for example. You’ll also need to map out where everything is going to go – where will your fridge go? Lighting? Outlets?
5. Windows: Replacing or adding in windows will make the house start to have some soul and will instantly bring it to life. If you want to stay within budget there are some cheap windows available just be sure to shop around for special offers.
6. Plastering: Now that the windows have been installed you can go ahead and skim away so it’s all prepared for painting.
7. Redecorate: And finally, the fun part! Many people like to begin with the rooms furthest away from the entrance so you don’t have to continuously walk through freshly decorated rooms. Remember to paint the walls and ceilings before starting woodwork. Once the painting is complete you can hang your doors and fit your flooring last to avoid paint smudges on new tiles, wood or carpet – heaven forbid!
Take on board these tips to avoid common renovation mishaps and you’ll be one step closer to your grand design.