A government census carried out a few years ago found that over half of homeowners in Australia will look to renovate their property at some stage.
It can’t be disputed that renovations offer an excellent opportunity to refresh the home as well repair the old broken down and tired parts of the house.
Some of the most popular areas that are usually renovated are the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. And this is hardly a surprise as these rooms are usually the ones that see the heaviest traffic and use in the household.
While most renovations are done purely for self-use purposes, many are also carried out by homeowners with an eye on adding more value to the house when it’s time to sell the property.
Nevertheless, whatever what the reasons are for renovating, there are some basic things to keep in mind before you embark on your project.
General Renovation Tips
- Identify what you want to do – Once you have clearly identified the area or room you want to renovate and have an idea of what you want, stick to the plan and set a budget. Otherwise, you might find yourself being pushed to spend more money and fix more things than you originally intended.
- Plan for cost overruns – While sticking to a budget is highly important, the reality is that cost overruns can happen for a variety of reasons and you should prepare for it.
- Do your research on renovation builders – Try to speak to as many contractors as you can and be sure to use only HIA members as they adhere to a strict professional code of conduct. Also don’t hesitate to call any references that are given. You should feel totally comfortable with your choice as you will be allowing this person access into your home.
- Research materials and designs – It may be bewildering but you should take the time and effort to find out about the correct type of materials and design options for your renovation. This is to ensure that you know what is out there and what you will be getting. The Internet is an excellent place to start.
Bathroom Renovation Tips
- Choose off white and neutral colours – The bathroom is usually one of the smallest rooms in a house so you should avoid choosing dark coloured tiles and sanitary ware. Instead opt for white, off-white or neutral colours to make the space seem bigger than it actually is.
- Use frameless shower screens – If you have an older style bathroom, chances are you have one of those frosted glass shower screens, which are bulky and make the area look cramped. If possible, choose a frameless glass shower screen, which will make the bathroom look brighter and more spacious. Their lack of unnecessary joinery also makes them easier to maintain and clean.
- Make use of all available space – Bathroom space is usually a premium and this why you should make the most out of all available nook and crannies such as under the sink so that you can neatly store your items. Ensure that you choose cabinets and drawers that are deep enough to hold items such hair dryers and tall bottles of toiletries. Also, mirror-fronted cabinets are an excellent choice in maximising storage space.
- Install an exhaust fan – Dampness is the number one cause of mould so you should ensure that you have proper ventilation built into your bathroom renovation design to avoid moisture and humidity build-up. One of the best ways is to have an exhaust fan installed to prevent the steam from a hot shower from fogging up the entire bathroom.
Kitchen Renovation Tips
- Gut the kitchen – If you are looking to do a total remodelling job, consider tearing down your entire kitchen so that you can look for potential problems as well as rewire, redo the plumbing and relay the floor according to how you want it to be. Starting with a clean slate can be expensive but the reward is that you will get a kitchen that you are totally happy with.
- Invest in sturdy cabinets – It always pays to opt for good quality cabinets and drawers when renovating your kitchen as they usually take the most abuse in daily use. Wherever possible, you should choose solid wood cabinet faces and sturdy plywood box constructions. Additionally, make sure that the drawers that have good quality joinery and mechanical slides that can last you a long time.
- Never go for the cheapest option – Even if you are on a strict budget, you should not go for the cheapest options in terms of kitchen hardware and materials as they will not only make your kitchen look cheap but may cost more to fix in the long run. At the very least, stick to mid-range options to ensure that your investment will have some value.
- Pick a counter-top wisely – There are many options for kitchen counter-tops and most have their strengths and weaknesses. Formica is very affordable and easy to clean but may not be right for those who want to have an expensive look for their new kitchen. Granite is a popular option as it sturdy, relatively easy to maintain and durable. What you pick at the end of day should correspond to whether you are a heavy user or just do light work in the kitchen.
Laundry Room Renovation Tips
- Add colour – There is no reason why the laundry room should be plain and boring so consider adding a splash of colour by painting the walls in bright and bold colours (but avoid from going overboard) or add a new flooring to cover up the old one. Floating vinyl boards are available in a variety of designs and are very easy to install.
- Add more storage space – Like the bathroom, you should maximise all available space in the laundry room by installing cabinets so that you can square away all your washing detergent, pegs and other laundry items in a neat and tidy fashion. Speak to your renovator for ideas.
- Add a drying rack – If you have the space for it in your laundry room, consider installing an indoor wall drying rack. It will come in very handy when the weather is not cooperative or if you don’t have a clothes dryer machine.
- Ensure proper ventilation – As with the bathroom, you should ensure that you the laundry room has good ventilation to prevent it from getting musty and mouldy. This is especially so if you are going to dry your clothes in the area.