There are times when you look around your home and realise something has to be done. You may have too much clutter, or just not enough room. Perhaps your family is growing, and you need extra rooms. Or maybe you just want a more open plan feel. For me, the allure of fashion means I forever have to reorganise my wardrobe. But if I could just rearrange my bedroom to fit in some bigger closets, I could keep more of my clothing in there.
It’s definitely not easy living in a home that doesn’t suit your lifestyle. But moving house can be a lot of time, trouble and money. If you can make improvements to the one you’ve got, this is often the best approach. But it’s not without its disruptions. The bigger the job, the bigger the hassle you have to manage.
Before you start to plan anything, make sure you absolutely have to do the works. Check the works you are going to engage in really can make the difference. It will cost time, and it will cost money, so you don’t want it to be wrong. The next stage is planning. Get the designs finalised and you can plan how to tackle the works.
Some builders that you hire are contractors so they can manage the project themselves. They should give you a fixed price and a solid timescale. This allows you to plan then how you are going to manage your life with all the disruptions going on in the house. Any rooms that they will be working in should be cleared. There are a couple of ways to manage this.
The first is to box up everything in the room, hire a van, and take it all to storage facilities nearby. This will increase your project budget. The alternative is to shove it all in another room that they won’t be working on or needing access to. But if you’ve already the lost the use of one room, think carefully about blocking up another one as well. Sometimes it makes more sense just to put it all in storage while your house is being worked on.
The next thing you need to do is identify the dates when you will be without power. If you are having any plumbing works done, you may also be without water for a day or two. If you work from home, you might struggle with all the noise and disruption around you. You can shut yourself in another room, head out for the day, or move out for the duration of the works.
You might choose to go on holiday while your house is being worked on. After all, knocking down walls or building up new ones creates a shocking amount of dust and dirt. You and everything in the house is going to get dirty. You could stay with friends and family, or you could take a week off work and have a lovely holiday.
Not many people can tolerate living on a building site. If you are having major changes done to your home, chances are you’re better off moving out for a while. You could pack up your valuables and most treasured possessions. Storing them in secure storage facilities means you needn’t worry about builders being nosey while you’re out.
Of course, if you are tackling the works yourself, then you may be able to work around your needs at home. Taking on a major change is a big job. You can go online to download a project management template to help you tackle the job. It’s good for determining where the disruptions will be and for managing your budget too.
Sometimes, we’re just after a few changes without the structural headaches. For example, you might want to change the look of your kitchen. This can be done relatively easily by just changing the doors to the cupboards and drawers. If you’re like me, you might be wanting to create a walk-in wardrobe so you can store more clothes. I would have to ‘borrow’ some space from another room, or convert the room altogether.
Some jobs like putting up a stud wall can be done on your own, but there are complications to consider. Your local government office may want to know about it and make a record of it for building regulations. It depends on where you live, but worth checking in with your planning department before you start.
Some people need to make changes to their home in a hurry. A sudden illness or accident can cause mobility problems making stairs difficult to use. One of the most common changes needed is a downstairs bathroom. Extensions and cupboard conversions are the most popular answers for this problem. Again, it’s not something you should tackle alone. Call in the professionals, and get it done right first time, and within the legal guidelines.
Perhaps the best part of any remodel is decorating afterwards. I love shopping for homewares to make my house more attractive. To have the blank canvas of a newly plastered wall is definitely a dream of mine. I can pick the best colours for the walls, and put together the look I want. Light fittings and curtains are high on my list of decor must-haves. Make sure you let your electrician know where you want the lights before he starts!
I hope I can make the changes I want to my home one day. For now, I can plan how I would cope with the disruption at least. If you are looking to make some big changes to your house, how are you going to manage it?