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Home Renovations Guide!

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

So, you’ve taken the plunge (or maybe considering taking the plunge) and are embarking on a renovation project. Your friends and family either think you’re mad or brave and you aren’t quite sure what you have let yourself in for. As an interior designer and a fellow renovation lover myself, I am here with some pointers to help make the process a little less daunting.

1. Get a building survey done before you exchange on the property. Yes it’s an extra cost before you have committed, but it will make you aware of any issues you might not have known about and need to budget for. You can also then sometimes use this to negotiate further on the sale price.

2. If possible, live in it for a minute! It is worth getting to know the house a little better, for example where/when the sun shines and how you move around the spaces.

3. Plan, plan, plan and then plan some more! Buying a reno is going to take up a lot of your time planning, researching and executing so make sure you are willing to dedicate the time to this. Think about how you want to use the space, how you can make the most of the space and what is most important to you. Now is the time to think if you need to extend or reconfigure the current space…2D drawings and planning layouts are your best friend at this stage!

4. Have a contingency fund, because you are likely to go over-budget. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but everything always costs more than you budget for. Materials, labour and then unforeseen issues will all add up. Worst case scenario you don’t use it and then you can spend it elsewhere!

5. Whilst we are talking about money, this is an obvious one but create a budget spreadsheet. I like to have a separate tab per room and then a totals tab at the end. Create a column for the budget and then a column for the actual cost and KEEP TRACK of that spending. Top tip - create an extra column next to each item so that you can paste links to things you like that you come across (like that dreamy bath tub)!

6. Shop around and make sure you get at least 2 and ideally 3 quotes for any work you need carrying out. Quotes can vary drastically so it's always worth getting some comparisons and don’t forget to check their reviews too!

7. Decide what your musts, lusts and loathes are. What must you have that you can’t live without, what have you always lusted after that you would LOVE to have in your home or what do you love about the existing house and what about the house do you loathe or want to avoid?

8. Stick to your guns! Now this is an important one, because you are going to get a lot of opinions from friends/family/trades people. Remember those musts/lusts and the visions you have your house becoming? Well keep those in your mind always and don’t forget this house is YOURS!

9. If you’re going to be living in your reno while doing the work (like me!) then make sure you have a space you can go to relax! For me it's making a cosy lounge area still, even if that involves rolling out a rug on the concrete floor…and then as soon as possible finish a bathroom! Trust me, you won’t regret it.

10. Don’t get overwhelmed and stressed (this is going to happen anyway), but try not to! Remember things will get worse in a reno before they get better, but KEEP THINKING OF THAT FINISHED HOUSE. It will be worth it and you can do it. If it does all become too much or you genuinely don’t know where to start and need a helping hand, send me an e-mail on to see how my interior design services might help. It isn’t all fabric samples and mood boards, I can help with 2D and 3D layouts and those all-important electrical and lighting plans too!

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