We are doing a renovation but we don't know where to start. When do I need to contact an Interior Designer? Do I need an Architect?
We have all been there at some point in our lives with house, an apartment or flat, or just a room that needed renovation. There may have been times when we knew exactly what we wanted and times when we felt lost.
If you are at that time when you are thinking of having a renovation, e.g. an extension to have an open plan kitchen area, a loft conversion, several rooms that need revamping but also could benefit from some more thought, then we have some steps set out for you to use as guidelines.
1. Define your goals: Start by clarifying your renovation goals. What do you want to achieve with this project? Do you want to update the aesthetics, improve functionality, or increase the value of your property? Understanding your objectives will help you prioritise and make decisions throughout the process.
2. Set a budget: Determine how much you're willing to spend on the renovation. Prioritise the areas that require the most attention and divide your budget for the build thinking about the finishes you want. Allocate a portion of your budget for unexpected costs or contingencies that may arise during the renovation.
3. Make a list of changes: Walk through the space you're renovating and note down all the changes you want to make. This includes both structural changes (e.g., knocking down walls) and cosmetic changes (e.g., painting, flooring, fixtures). Be as detailed as possible to ensure nothing is overlooked.
4. Research and gather inspiration: Browse home decor magazines, websites, social media platforms, and visit showrooms to gather ideas and inspiration for your renovation. Create a vision board or a digital folder where you can save images and concepts that resonate with your desired outcome.
5. Prioritise and plan: Review your list of changes and prioritise them based on your budget and desired outcomes. Consider the practicality, timeline, and potential impact of each renovation task. Create a realistic plan that outlines the sequence of the renovation and the estimated time required for each task.
6. Hire professionals: Determine which tasks you can handle yourself and where you'll need professional assistance. For complex structural changes or tasks requiring specialised skills (e.g., electrical work, plumbing), hire reputable contractors or tradespeople. Obtain multiple quotes and compare their expertise, pricing, and references before making a decision. If you are thinking of having a big renovation that involves structural changes (moving or removing walls, adding staircases, etc.) make sure you contact an architect first to draw the plans that will then be used when the build takes place. But also, this is the right time to get an Interior Design on board (more on When is the right time to hire an Interior Designer)
7. Obtain necessary permissions: Depending on the scale of your renovation, you may need planning permission. Research the requirements and regulations, and ensure you have the necessary approvals in place before starting any work. Failure to obtain these approvals when required can lead to fines or delays.
8. Create a project timeline: Break down your renovation plan into smaller, manageable tasks and create a project timeline. Consider any dependencies between tasks and allocate sufficient time for each stage. Be flexible as unexpected delays may occur during the renovation process.
9. Prepare your space: Before the renovation begins, clear out the area and protect any items that may be damaged during the construction process. Take precautions to cover floors, furniture, and valuables. If necessary, arrange for temporary storage of belongings.