It's very easy to be swept up in the excitement of updating your home. What was once an ambitious idea is now becoming reality, and your initial hesitant thoughts about what you could afford have been lost in the optimistic fervour created by all the beautiful products and possibilities.
If this sounds like you, you're at risk of overspending on your project. There are some key areas to pare it back, make savings and subsequently focus your spend on higher priority areas of your renovation.
To stay on track right from the start, you must develop a clear brief. Think about, then define why you are planning to renovate in the first place. Strip it back to core emotions as well as practicalities.
Is it because you want your home to feel modern - you want to be proud of your home again? Is it that you want the family to be more connected, you're seeking the enjoyment of having everyone close? Do you need more light and the happy feeling sunshine brings?
Once you have refined your goals it is helpful to write them down, as you will need to reference this summary during the course of your project when various decisions need to be made.
The next thing to consider is that whatever you structurally touch is going to cost you money. Any walls you move, windows you change and roof lines that are adjusted take money out of the bank potentially unnecessarily. Contemplate if you can achieve your purpose by keeping your existing windows, walls or plumbing points in place. This will give you more money to put into the kitchen.
List priorities according to your brief. Changing the cladding can give your house a completely different look, and extending the existing roof line to accommodate the new rear deck will make it look like the addition was always part of your home.
But sometimes one or more of these decisions can absorb more money from your budget than you had realised, when perhaps simply painting the cladding and adding a simple roof would have kept you happy enough, and then the free-standing bath and dramatic mood lighting you had been ogling can now become yours.
There are other clever ways to update your home for little expense but great impact, such as adding feature architectural elements at the front that act as a focal point to the eye, masking the parts of your home that are unchanged.
Painting bathroom tiles rather than re-tiling can give a fresh look for low cost. Where existing cabinetry is neutral and in good shape replacing only the kitchen benchtops and cupboard handles can transform a kitchen completely. Same with bathroom vanities and tapware.
Gather as much information as possible to make informed and sensible choices. Make your decisions away from product showrooms and take time out from your renovation to maintain a clear perspective. With planning and discipline you can keep your renovation budget on track.
- Paula Harwood, The Design Hub