Despite what all the renovation television series would have you believe, renovating your home can be incredibly stressful. While shows like Better Homes and Gardens, The Block, House Rules and even the much-loved Grand Designs condense the entire journey of renovation into just 45 minutes of television with the magic of montages, jump cuts and time lapses that make the whole thing look easy, that doesn’t quite reflect the reality of home renovations.
As anyone who has actually renovated their home will tell you, these shows can be painfully inaccurate. Not once during the sweeping classical music moments of Grand Designs did they cut to a painfully long trip around a flat pack furniture store, a montage of a puzzled couple on their fifth trip to the hardware store wondering how - how? - they could have bought the wrong screwdriver 4 times in a row, someone begging their partner while they’re up a ladder with a live wire in each hand to ‘just call an electrician before you accidentally kill yourself!’ The truth of the matter is that these scenes are much more accurate representations of the reality of home renovations than you’ll see in any quote, unquote ‘reality’ home renovation television program.
If you’re about to embark on the journey towards home renovation then check out these four tips to make sure you’re prepared before you start the renovation in earnest!
Know What You Can (And Can’t!) Do Yourself!
We’re all for doing it yourself but up to a certain point but you have to know your limits. You can paint a feature wall, put a door on its hinges no problem but when it comes to plumbing a toilet, rewiring an electrical system, knocking down a possibly load-bearing wall - then you might need to call in an expert.
So, let’s think about it: when should and when shouldn’t you attempt a project on your own? On the bright side, doing it yourself often does safe money but, on the other hand, sometimes you’ll find that the cost of the materials and equipment that you’d need to do a job costs more than buying pre-made not to mention the cost of your precious time. It’s an adage often used but, time is money, and if re-tiling your kitchen is going to cost you a whole weekend that you could be spending with your kids, then it might be worth paying a pro to get the job done in a few hours. If the project is something sentimental and will be relatively easy and enjoyable to do then it’s probably worth doing yourself.
For example, do you want to build a tree house with your kids, help your teen make their room more mature, teach your son how to install a television? Then you should do it! To read more about which specific home renovation projects you shouldn’t be attempting, check out this Architectural Digest article.
Our homes are sanctuaries. They are where we spend time with our loved ones, filled with memories and precious belongings which we would want to be protected. How do you go about protecting your homes and belongings? Simple, insurance. Many home and contents insurance providers such as NRMA have generous policies that will protect your belongings and property against damage, loss or theft. Every policy is different but some policies will even cover you in the event that you accidentally damage your home performing a DIY project. So check in with your insurance policy to make sure that you’ve got the cover that you’ll need to safely work through your renovation. Your not going to do anything too risky, but you should probably make sure your life insurance includes trauma cover too.
Prepare for setbacks
If there’s one thing that those renovation shows do get right is that sometimes you’re faced with setbacks when attempting a major renovation. A contractor might underestimate the length of a project, a vital part might take four to six weeks to ship or inclement weather can throw you for a loop and delay work that needs to be done in dry weather. So, as disappointing as it may be, make sure you mentally prepare for the possibility that things might be delayed.
Always keep the end goal in mind
No one goes through the pain of a renovation for no good reason. Perhaps your family has expanded and you’re expanding your space accordingly. It’s always exciting to plan for the future you’ll get to have in a space as a growing family. Perhaps the way you use your home has changed? What was once just a place to hang your hat is now a home office, a classroom, a nursery and your favourite bar all in one. So, when you’re waking up to the sound of a crew drilling or living with toddlers in a one-bedroom rental while you wait for your dream home to be transformed - remember your end goal. Picture what your life will be like when you’re waking up each day in your dream home! When you’re feeling absolutely overwhelmed and questioning whether the pain is worth it, you can always check out these stories from people who have been through it and have come out the other side with homes they love and value added to their property-value!