Choosing The Right Home Renovation

Renovation Vs. Building New

When it comes to choosing between renovating your current home or building a new one, there are many things to consider. If you’re looking to downsize and your current home is too big, chances are that renovating won’t solve your problem and you’ll have to look at other options.

If you have a growing family and need more space, you might be able to renovate your current home to make better use of the space you have, or to add an addition. Of course, you also might just want to move on and build something new that’s perfect for you and your family.

One trend we are seeing regularly is that big houses are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. More and more people are instead looking for smaller houses that are easy to look after and don’t cost an arm and a leg to run. Even people with growing families are looking for spaces that use space efficiently, so they don’t have to build the gigantic houses of the past.

However, the choice isn’t always so simple. Maybe you don’t want to move, or perhaps you’re in love with your current neighbourhood. These things and many more are what you should be considering before making any decisions.

When you should consider renovating:

Location, Location, Location- You love your current neighbourhood and would hate to leave. Popular neighbourhoods can be hard to get into. If you don’t want to think about leaving, then renovating might be more suited for you. However, check to make sure there are no available lots in your preferred area for sale first.

Emotionally Attached-You have an emotional attachment to your current home and the thought of moving makes you cringe. If you don’t want to move from your current home and have the money to make changes then renovating is a good option. Just be sure to check with your local municipality to approve your blueprints as you may not be able to change as much as you would’ve hoped for.

Property Value is Rising- The property value in your neighbourhood is rising and depending on how much money you spent initially you could make a bigger return on your investment. Check with a realtor and ask them what the market is like in your area and whether it’s wise for you to sell now or hold on to it a bit longer.

Poor Home Value- Your home is in a prime location but it needs a lot of work compared to the other homes in the area. Building a new home can be expensive so selling your current home for top dollar is important. Renovating your current home can increase its value and will make it easier for you to sell when/if you decide to.

In Love with Character- Most new homes don’t come with all the character that old homes do. If you’re in love with the old charm of your home and can’t imagine yourself living in a modern home, renovating may be a good choice. You can always add charm to any new build, however it can be costly depending on the amount of work.

Short Timeline- Building a new house can take time, especially depending on the time of year and the weather’s cooperation. If you have a short timeline then renovating is probably the best idea. Depending on the amount of work that needs to be done, renovating typically takes less time than building a new home.

Tips on surviving a kitchen renovation project

kitchen remodel can be one of the most rewarding home improvement projects and also the most frustrating to endure. Family life tends to center on the kitchen, and functioning without one disrupts all aspects of life. Tearing out the heart of your home requires a plan of how to survive the weeks to months of construction ahead.

The duration for a kitchen renovation depends on the scope of the project. Is it a simple tear out with the same basic footprint or a major redesign? If it is a basic tear-out, plan on four to six weeks without much access to the kitchen. If it’s a significant renovation, expect at least three months of disorder.

Set up a separate, temporary kitchen.

If at all possible, move your current refrigerator to another room in the house, where you can still access it. Otherwise, get a small college fridge to keep the essentials. A spare microwave is also a critical appliance.

Find a place in your home to eat.

Many families eat meals in the kitchen, so think about how alternate living spaces will serve at mealtimes. We ended up eating most of our meals in the family room, where our temporary kitchen (a fridge and microwave) was set up, but I wish we had better utilized the dining room.

Invest in paper plates and disposable utensils.

You will end up having to wash dishes in a bathroom sink, so it’s best to keep a stockpile of disposable plates and utensil handy. If at all possible, keep a sink hooked up on main level during the construction.

How to assemble the perfect ‘team’ for home renovation

Like most things in life, sometimes “it takes a village” to do a remodeling project right. So the critical first step on your home improvement journey is to assemble just the right team of partners.

For simple repairs or small projects that are just a bit too much for you to do yourself, a good handyman is an invaluable ally. Some homeowners I know have theirs on speed dial.

A well-rounded handyman can do everything from simple repairs, like fixing a leaky faucet, to those projects you’ve been putting off, like building a no-frills deck out back. Smart ones can help solve just about any routine problem around the house. They’ll hang your flat screen, pictures and shelves; replace your shower door, change your air conditioning filter, clean your gutters and power-wash your porch.

Specialty tradesman. Painters, plumbers and electricians are trained and experienced in a single specialty. When you’ve got a job that requires expertise, hire an expert.

Anyone can slap paint on a wall, but a professional painter knows that for those walls to look nice and for the color to last, painting is only half of the job. Pros will prep your walls by patching cracks, caulking holes, sanding and covering imperfections. A painter will know how many coats your walls need and can advise you on colors and paint brands. He’ll do the job quickly, and he won’t make a mess

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DOING A FULL HOME RENOVATION

Renovating may sound so good and exciting but reviving a home is a process that requires a lot of time and money. Realistically, a full home renovation can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. To experience a stress-free home renovation

Plan your renovation.

You can’t start a renovation without a plan. It can be a formal architectural plan or just a set of ideas. The important thing is you have a concrete process for the whole-house renovation.

You can do it by researching or looking for contractors and subcontractors if you do not want to do it yourself.

To help you form out a rough outline, here’s a checklist of some things you should check out.

Roof

Foundation

Windows

Wallpaper

Ceiling

Flooring

Siding

Gutters

Door

Paint

Rooms

Kitchens

Storage

Bathroom

Work out the costs.

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to do your homework. Budgeting the whole cost will help you in maximizing the renovation. Remember to work out the total expenditure requirements/limit. Make sure to check your budget with your contractor regularly

Assess the condition.

Knowing what you need to fix is crucial before starting a home renovation. Invest in a detailed survey from a reputable building surveyor before buying. Discover the true condition of the building to help you in forming an accurate plan in fixing the damages.

Things to consider when renovating your home for a higher resale value

Get an inspector

You want to get an inspector before anything else. You don’t want your basement to be leaking or your home to have structural, heating, electrical or plumbing issues. It’ll all be taken in by the buyer, so when you do market your home, you’ll be able to advertise the fact that it has been inspected. If you don’t make the changes necessary to pass an inspection, a buyer will usually hold it against the seller to negotiate for a lower price.

When to just sell

It’s important to speak with both your real estate agent and contractor to find out the value of your home and which improvements are financially feasible. But you need to be aware of your home’s circumstances. If you’re selling a bungalow near Avenue Road and Wilson Avenue, it’s likely it will ripped down regardless, making any renovations irrelevant.

Home automation

From voice activated smart lighting to a keypad on your door that can be controlled from your phone, there are simple additions that will add value to your home; spending $2,000 on smart home technology can conceivably add $20,000 in perceived value. Because the technology is new, people may view it as expensive and complicated. But once explained, it’s quite easy to use and understand its value in your day-to-day routine.

What’s worth renovating most

Kitchens and bathrooms will allow you to get the most money back in terms of resale value, but they need to be done right. These are areas of the home that feature appliances that are used everyday. A bathroom renovation in Toronto (with its old plumbing), can cost in the mid- $20,000 range, while in York Region you’ll be spending around $15,000 to $20,000. Kitchen renovations start at around $40,000, but could be a bit less expensive if you’re looking to simply change your cabinets. These changes have seen an added resale value of 75 to 100 per cent.

What should you stay away from?

There’s little reason to renovate your basement and living space, or to change the flooring if you’re simply looking to sell your home. These areas usually involve someone’s personal taste. So, they shouldn’t be cheap and cheerful just to sell the home because the buyer will notice.

How To Manage Home Renovation Costs

Choosing A Builder

Do you plan to build your own home? Perhaps you’re looking to renovate or extend your existing home. Either way, there are many ways to make the right and wrong decisions when choosing a builder.

Get some advice

When choosing a builder, a good place to start is by asking any family and friends that have hired a builder to construct their home or renovate.

Licences and insurance

Whether you’re going through a home builder or you’re designing your own home or renovation works with help from an architect, it’s important that you choose a builder that is licenced, registered and insured.

You should be wary of builders that either refuse or don’t make it clear upfront that they are legally permitted to be involved in building and construction. Some builders’ licences or registrations may have simply expired or some may have had their licences revoked but are still involved in the building industry.

Experience and skills

Really question whether they have the skills you need. If they only have experience in renovations and extensions, they’re not the right choice for your home.

How To Choose The Best Home Renovation Loan?

Setting up your new home or redecorating an old one can be as daunting a task as it is exciting. Especially when it comes to managing finances. Bigger tasks such as renovation, remodelling, complete furnishing, require higher funds. Also, you can use it to enhance your home in many ways such as tiling and flooring, internal & external plaster and painting, etc. However, this should not cause any hindrance when setting up your dream house.

However, before taking a decision, make sure you consider some essential factors:

Need – First and foremost is deciding what you will use the loan amount for. List down all the activities and purchases you wish you carry out for your house. This will help you set a fixed budget.

Eligibility – Once you have decided on a budget, you should check the loan amount you are eligible for. Depending on your credit score, you can also get suitable interest rates.

Interest rates – Apart from your credit score, the loan amount as well as loan tenure also makes a difference to your interest rate. You can also opt for a fixed or floating interest rate, depending on your capability of repayment.

Fee – Along with the interest rates, also compare the fee being charged. Different repayment plans have different fee. A high fee can significantly increase the repayment amount.

Repayment option – Choose a repayment option and amount most suitable to your needs and abilities. You would want to go for an option that doesn’t create a hole in your pocket in the longer run.

expert renovating tips to remember

From choosing tradies to setting a budget and nailing your floorplan, our tips from those in the know will set you on the path to a successful renovation

KNOW WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

“When shopping for a property to renovate, look for large spaces, lots of natural light and a back garden that faces north. Always have a building inspection done to confirm that the existing house is in good condition, and check that access for tradespeople is not too difficult.”

BEFORE YOU START

“Before starting a renovation, always check that the plumbing and electricals are up to scratch, and if there are any structural remedial works that need to be done, such as rectifying water damage or rising damp. They’re not the most exciting things to invest in, but it will help avoid costly repairs down the track.”

GETTING PLANS APPROVED

“To get plans approved quickly by council, make sure you know the rules and rationale for their existence. Design to meet that rationale and, if necessary, work the rules in favour of the right design.”

DIY DEMOLITION

“If this is a home you plan on selling in the future, look at recent sales and comparable renovations in the area to ensure you’re not overcapitalising.”

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST RENOVATION SPECIALIST FOR YOUR HOME RENOVATION

Your home renovation will be the biggest project that you are likely to undertake in your life.  Choosing the best renovation specialist for your home renovation is a crucial decision. In this article we will take a quick look at the criteria you should consider when picking a renovation specialist for your home renovation.

Extensive Experience.

Browse through a renovation specialists website, have a look at the projects that they have previously completed. Are there a reasonable amount of completed projects or only a few that have many highlighted pictures?  Make sure that the renovation specialist has successfully completed a variety of projects in the past. How long has the company been in business for? Do they have a long and proven track record of completing projects on time and on budget? Are they a reputable renovation specialist? Have a look at the reviews that mention their name. Are the reviewers happy about every aspect of the renovation? An established company with extensive positive reviews will be able to deliver the home renovation that you will love.

Compare Pricing.

Once you have a short list of home renovation specialist builders you will want to compare the prices that they quote. The temptation may be to go for the cheapest quote. However this is rarely the best thing to do. Calculator: The home renovation specialist that works with you on your budget is an ideal choice. The best renovation experts will be able to suggest cost saving measures and give advice as to where spending some extra cash for those special features will get you the desired outcome. An expert renovation builder will know how best to plan your home renovation to fit with your budget. If you want a champagne build, don’t go to a builder with a beer budget. Be realistic with your budgeting. Know what features are not negotiable and which ones you could do without.

Planning Time Frames

Having a clear plan of how your renovation will proceed is essential to remaining sane during a renovation. You will have a good idea when the kitchen or bathroom will be occupied and be able to plan around these eventualities. Have your renovator work on a plan with you. The best renovation specialists will have other jobs on too so you will have to negotiate a schedule that works for you both. Also remember that the weather may (will) affect your plans, so be prepared to be flexible.

Personality Match.

The last and possibly most important aspect of choosing a home renovations builder Brisbane is whether you can relate to one another. It is a little like choosing a partner.  This person is going to be in your life for an extended period of time and you will have to communicate about a wide variety of topics. Some of those discussions may be difficult. You should choose someone that you feel that you can trust on top of meeting all the other criteria. If you have a good clear relationship and you have been upfront about all of your expectations then you should expect the same from your renovations specialist

How to choose the right builder

When building a new home or undertaking a renovation, the most important decision you’ll make is picking the right builder. Choose well and the builder will bring your dream home to life, settle for less and you may regret it for years to come

Where to start

Brian Seidler, Master Builders Association NSW executive director, stresses how important it is to spend time doing research when selecting the right builder for a home building or renovation project.

“What builders want is detailed information about what has to be done. This is the most important thing for them to be able to accurately quote work and price. For example, engineering details and specifications for the concrete slab or footings are needed. An extra centimetre or two in thickness, or a different type of waterproofing product and process can add a significant chunk to the bottom line.”

Seidler also suggests going to the NSW Fair Trading website to see what information it has about your preferred builder. “See whether your builder has a licence to do home warranty work, that’s anything over $20,000. And whether they have any black marks, or a pattern of disputes with clients.”

What to look for

“Experience makes all the difference. Renovators should find out how and when the contractor got into business and how long the company has been around.”

Ideas For An Inexpensive Kitchen Remodeling

Choosing Kitchen Materials

Before you shop for appliances and choose the material for your countertops, make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your kitchen renovation. You should identify goals and priorities, with the help of your completed Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire and Kitchen Goals Worksheet. You also should have a clear vision of what your new kitchen will look like, after exploring various kitchen designs and layouts. Finally, you should carefully plan out space and storage.

Now it’s time to drill down to the details of your kitchen remodel. It’s best to choose all of the appliances, materials and finishes down to the hardware before the project begins. That way, you will have a truly realistic idea of how much the project will cost. (Allowances can quickly get out of hand.)

As you choose among fixtures and materials, visit specialty design showrooms for appliances, lighting, flooring, cabinets, etc. You’ll get a real feel for what’s available in the market, and you can talk to the professionals who work there about your ideas and what products will achieve your goals.

Cabinets form the backbone of the kitchen. Configure the cabinetry to make the most use of your kitchen’s size and floor plan. Consider different layouts and looks.

Base cabinets get the most attention, whereas hanging wall cabinets are sacrificed for aesthetic features—windows, dramatic backsplashes—to create atmosphere and a living room appeal in the kitchen. That said, base cabinets are moving away from doors and toward drawers. Drawers make storage more accessible for more people.

Your Guide to Choosing Kitchen Cabinets

The right kitchen cabinetry can make or break your kitchen’s functionality and style — not to mention your budget. No pressure, right? Don’t stress yet — Houzz’s kitchen cabinet guides can walk you through the process, from start to finish. Resource guides covering everything from Shaker to flat panel, from corbels to aprons, from glass knobs to recessed pulls, are all listed here in easy-to-access fashion.

Door Styles

Shaker, flat or inset? Your cabinet door style is important — it may be your biggest kitchen expense, after all — but choosing it doesn’t have to be stressful. See which of these popular cabinet doors fit with your home’s style.

Hardware Styles

Of course, once you have your cabinets chosen, you have a whole other task ahead of you: choosing hardware. Even if you’ve got simple Shaker cabinets like these, your choice of drawer pulls and knobs makes a big difference in your finished look.

Colors and Finishes

Colorful kitchen cabinetry has made a big comeback. Try pretty palettes to give your kitchen flair.

Molding and Details

Adding molding is an easy way to make any type of cabinetry look custom. Whether you want to add crown molding to your existing kitchen or edge molding to new cabinets, this guide can help you envision the final result.

steps to choosing the right kitchen cabinets

Set the budget

Cabinets fall into three categories: stock, semi-custom, and custom. Stock cabinets start around $70 per linear foot (a typical kitchen has 25 to 30 linear feet of cabinets). Home centers sell them fully assembled or stores such as Ikea offer flat-pack versions that will need to be put together onsite; styles and sizes tend to be fairly limited. Semi-custom cabinets, which range from $150 to $250 per linear foot, come in more configurations, so they’ll fit your kitchen more precisely, if not perfectly. Custom cabinets can easily cost $500 or more per linear foot; they’re crafted to your exact specs and can include many personalized features.

Choose a style

The big decision is between framed and frameless. Framed cabinets consist of a box and face frame, to which doors and drawers are attached. Frameless cabinets, often referred to as European-style, eliminate the face frame; doors and drawers attach directly to the cabinet box. That provides great accessibility and a more contemporary look. On the downside, the absence of a face frame can compromise rigidity; better manufacturers compensate by using a thicker box—say, ¾-inch plywood instead of ½-inch particleboard. For the European look in a framed cabinet, opt for a full-overlay door, which covers all or most of the face frame.

Pick the features

Accessories can improve cabinet functionality, but they’ll also increase the cost by 20 percent or more. A pull-out trash can is a worthwhile addition. Built-in charging stations are helpful, too, because they keep the countertop clear of electronic devices. Appliance garages, those countertop compartments designed to conceal small appliances, don’t always offer the best organization. Instead, consider a lift cabinet with a spring-loaded shelf that swings up and out, providing easy access to a mixer, food processor, or other hefty device.

Lighting

“Integrated lighting has become very popular. As soon as you open the drawer, the light comes on. We also do a lot of undercabinet lighting, including LED fixtures with a built-in plug for countertop appliances and a USB port to charge your smartphone and other electronics.”—Kathleen Wilber, Ikea, U.S. sales leader for kitchens

Finish

“There’s still plenty of interest in lighter-toned cabinets. But we’re starting to see an uptick in our pebbled gray and chai finishes, as more customers go for a tinted neutral color instead of stark white.”—Tracy Riel, KraftMaid Cabinetry, manager, designer services

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets Where To Start & What To Know

Choosing kitchen cabinets is probably the biggest if not the most nerve-wracking decision you’ll make for your kitchen. It’s easy to understand since the cabinets have a big impact on your budget as well as how your kitchen looks. They’re one of the first things you see when you walk in a kitchen and have a large influence on the whole “feel” of the room

Looks aren’t the whole story however and with cabinets there is an element of ‘you-get-what-you-pay-for’. That’s because they’re made with a variety of construction techniques using several different materials in a “good”, “better”, “best” fashion. Besides that there are options to consider like full extension drawers, soft-close hinges and many others, and they can have a big impact on the overall cost.

If you’re now thinking that you’ll need to mortgage the farm to afford decent cabinets, don’t worry. You can still find good products at an affordable price and it doesn’t have to incorporate the absolute best materials or the latest organizer gizmos.

Just be aware however that cabinets generally consume about half of the typical kitchen budget so you’ll want to be sure you know what you’re getting for your money. The best way to do that is to understand the differences in construction and materials and how those elements impact their quality and durability.

The first thing you want to do is get some clarity on your goals for how you want your kitchen to look and function so that you’re ultimately satisfied with the end result. You should do this regardless of whether you’re replacing your existing cupboards (essentially staying with the same layout) or starting with a completely new layout plan.

Tips for Choosing the Best Kitchen Cabinets

It is not possible to have a functional kitchen without cabinets. They are an essential part of the kitchen. It is not possible to have an organized kitchen without cabinets. There is an extensive range of styles available on the market and choosing the style that is perfect for your kitchen can be challenging. Some of the important considerations while selecting cabinets are the color and style.

Consider the Kitchen Style

There are several kitchen styles which are suitable for traditional and modern kitchens. It is important to choose cabinets which match with the color scheme of your kitchen.

Choose the Material

There are a wide range of materials which are used for making cabinets. You can choose from stainless steel, melamine, metal, wood, or thermo foil. One of the most popular choices for cabinets is still solid wood.

Choose the Right Design

There are so many options when it comes to styles and colors of doors. There are also countless possibilities when it comes to the layout.

Aesthetics and Functionality

While choosing cabinets, you should not just focus on the beauty and look of the cabinets. You can choose the best cabinets by considering the available space. You can also add drawers under the counters of the kitchen instead of shelves