A renovation project, regardless of scale, can be an exciting prospect. But all too often, when the excitement subsides, renovations can descend into costly chaos. We've got some top tips to help you ace your small renovation, and keep stress levels to a minimum.
Make two budgets
Budgets, much like rules, are seemingly made to be broken so it's a good idea to plan for the worst. Carefully size-up the project and start costing. To avoid shocks and undue upset, make two budgets; best case scenario and worst case scenario. Make sure you're prepared for either eventuality. There's nothing worse than starting a project, only to run out of funds halfway through.
Measure twice. Measure again. Cut
Heed the three P's; plan, plan and plan. After you’ve spent so long deciding what to do, imagining it, dreamily doodling artist impressions of the finished space; it can be tempting to just make a start. Impatience is the enemy. While rushing in with a saw/sledgehammer/crowbar is awfully appealing, it can be counterproductive. Take it one step at a time. A job rushed is a job you'll do twice.
Walk before you run
If you'd ideally like to keep the project small scale and do the work yourself, be brutally honest with yourself. Be sure to choose a project in line with your experience and skills. Don't bite off more than you can chew.
Or get someone to run for you
Hiring a designer or architect might seem like a massive investment, but for larger/more complex projects it could be just the ticket. While it's tempting to do everything yourself and pocket those pennies, it's important to know your limits. That night class you took in drawing probably won't make you a blueprint whizz. Such confidence, while admirable, could get you in some serious trouble down the road a ways.
If you plan on doing some of the work yourself, make sure you have the right tools for the job. Don't dive in half-cocked. Nothing worse than slapping some plaster on the wall only to realise you don’t have a float or hawk fit for the job. A butter knife and dinner plate are not sufficient substitutes.
Flexibility is key
Things change and sometimes plans need to change with them. Of course, don’t compromise your vision if you can help it. Just prepare yourself for things not quite going to script. Vision and reality can occasionally diverge. Renovations are about rolling with the punches, thinking on your feet and being flexible. When a problem crops up, don't pout. Instead, seize the opportunity to do some real-world problem-solving.
Set a realistic timeframe
Lets face it, we’re a 'now' kind of people. Just be sure to set a renovation time frame that is realistic with a touch of optimism. A really long time frame leads to procrastination…too short and you’ve got stress levels out the wazoo.
Finally, just try and enjoy it. Most renovations, regardless of scale, won't be all smooth sailing. But, smooth sea's don't make good sailors.