Inspired by The Block? Think and renovate your home like a professional. Here are a few things to consider…
In season one of The Block, Adam and Fiona, Paul and Kylie, Warren and Gavin, and Phil and Amity only have 14-weeks to complete their home renovations. While most of us home renovators don’t have such a tight deadline (or the $100,000 prize at the end!) the contestants face the same DIY dilemmas as the rest of us.
But with a bit of research and preparing yourself for the little hurdles that may appear along the way, it’s easy enough to renovate like a pro. Consider the following when tackling your home, and of course, speak to the experts!
SET A BUDGET
The mere mention of the word ‘budget’ can dampen the excitement of any home renovation. But sadly, sticking to a set amount is something that you need to face. Speak to experts in the business or friends to get an idea of the average cost of renovating each room. Remember, while most people will tell you renovating a kitchen will most probably set you back $15,000-$20,000, only you can set the price by knowing just how much you can afford to spend!
CALL IN THE EXPERTS
Especially when it comes to problems with termites or a water leakage like Fiona and Adam were faced with in episode 1 – or when Paul was almost electrocuted in episode 4! If you’re unsure how to tackle a job correctly, it’s worth dipping into the budget and getting a professional tradie in to do it for you. Other common problems that may require a pro to pop around include; removing asbestos, fixing foundation cracks, and poor drainage on the property.
STAY TRUE TO THE ORIGINAL STYLE
Avoid the fads and don’t be overly trendy with the design of your home – inside and out. Trends change, and in a few years time the uber-cool, gimmicky things you’ve introduced will just seem dated and daggy. Keep the design simple and decorate the room with the trendier pieces instead, that way it’s easy enough to change the overall feel as trends move on. Also keep in mind that period homes or older style blocks, which are usually riddled with hidden problems, can tend to leave you more out of pocket than a newly built building, so it might be an idea to get an expert in to give you a quote as a guideline.
A GOOD PAINT JOB GOES A LONG WAY
A good coat of paint can really do wonders to your home. But while it can work as an instant re-vamp to your home, the colours you choose can also work against you. Do it right! Collect paint samples and have a play around with combinations. If the room is small, remember neutral, light colours will make the room appear bigger. Speak to the paint consultants at your local hardware store, or companies like Wattyl (www.wattyl.com.au) and Dulux (www.dulux.com.au) also offer expert advice.
DON’T CUT CORNERS
Keeping within a budget is always a tricky process, particularly when you’ve got your heart set on completing everything at once! As a result, a lot of home renovators take the cheap way out in fixtures and fittings to cut costs… big mistake! While going for the cheaper options will no doubt help your finances, poor quality finish or products will always let you down over time. This will essentially cost you more money in the long run or it will affect the re-sale of your property later on. If your budget won’t stretch, it’s best to stick to mid-range items or tackle one room at a time.
LONG-TERM MONEY-SAVING IDEAS
When designing your home, consider long-term money saving ideas. Speak to your architect or builder about cross ventilation and great air flow in your home. This will help keep your home cool in the summer months, and save you money on the nasty aircon bills in the long run, too. Open living spaces are also usually cooler than small, boxy rooms, so also explore ways on how you can open up your main living spaces.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE LITTLE THINGS
Knowing what will add value to your home will ultimately help you prioritise what needs to get done. The rooms most people take notice of when looking at a new home are typically the kitchen and bathroom. So if you’ve only got a few rooms you can renovate competely, it’s a good idea to start there. The living and bedrooms can be done up with a simple job of paint and fresh decorating until you’re financially ready to start on the heavy duty stuff. A new garden can also add considerable value, and you don’t have to spend much to make a noticeable difference. Basic landscaping and a few new plants are usually enough to do the trick.
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