Tuesday, July 21, 2009

DIY renovating tips (part 2)

3. Design and Style

Keep renovations in character

Consider the architectural integrity of your building. If partially renovating, keep the style similar, or in character with the original house (including the car port and garage.)

Don't be excessively trendy or ambitious.

Fads fade, but a simple elegant style in neutral colours (and subtle patterns) is timeless.

Don't be too ambitious unless you are loaded.

Use colour carefully and thoughtfully.

Collect samples and play with combinations. Only use three colours in a room, two if the room is small.

Light colours will not go out of fashion (or fancy) as fast as strong colours. If you want to use a strong colour, use it in small areas, as punctuation, so if necessary it can be easily changed.

Period and older style homes are hard to cost control
Best get a fixed price from a builder.

Think how you can maximize space or the sense of space.

No matter how much space you have, you are likely to want more. Prioritize your space requirements for each room.

The less corners, lines and intersecting surfaces, the greater the visual flow and the more pleasing and less expensive it will be.

Try and keep as much of the floor visible by raising cupboards off it.

Give great consideration to the front exterior.

The exterior presents the first statement about you and your home.

Put your money in the right places

Put your money firstly where the water is (kitchen and bathroom), then living and master bedroom.

Higher ceiling looks better.

Higher ceilings will cost a little more you will recoup that in resale value. Paint them the lightest colour possible so they look even higher.

Consider the resale value of the property after building.

Don't over capitalize ie spend more money that you will get back when you sell. Make sure the total value of your house plus new building is not greater than the value of the smartest house in the street.

Only renovate if the basic structure is sound.

If you have to repair the basic structure it is likely that your project will be too expensive and you will overcapitalize. Either reduce your plans significantly or sell and build a bigger house elsewhere.

Consider your future requirements.

Think how your proposals will fit into your present and future lifestyle . Will everybody be able to negotiate stairs? Will you need more car space later? Will extra rooms be required for children?

Consider ventilation and air flow.
Open living spaces are cooler than boxy rooms. If possible try and design the floor plan so that you can see right through the house, from one end to the other.

Try to stick with first choices
Any changes you make during the building process will cost you more money.

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