We understand the importance of having a space to thrive. But we also know that money can be tight. So we’ve started a little serious full of tips for how you can save money on a budget, and what we think is the most important things to invest in during your renovation. So keep your eye open for the next couple of blogs that will come out with even more tips for your renovation. But first let us start here with some of our best tips from our own designer Becca.
1. HAVE A GAME PLAN
Take the time to create a good game plan before you start the actual renovation. Doing the planning up front will lay a solid foundation for the whole renovation process. This can also save you money, because you can be more efficient with your budget. Since you’ve planned ahead you can shop around and find all the best materials for the best prices instead of buying out of emergency. This saves you from that last minute emergency over-priced purchase of tile that needs to go in next week. Or from the quick purchase of appliances that you need to now pay higher shipping prices because the guy that installs them is arriving next week.
Planning ahead of time will also help you be efficient with the renovation schedule. Hopefully you’ll be able to have all your materials on site before starting work, which will keep schedule delays down, and being able to communicate in advance with the contractors. This gives your contractors more time to streamline their work, saving both time and money in the process.
Lastly, taking the time to establish plans before diving into the renovation will give you more time to sit with the project and really discover what you want to do with it. You’ll have time to find materials that you LOVE instead of just settling. You’ll have new inspirations, that don’t come at first glance. You’ll be able to play with your floor plan until it’s perfect. And so on. There’s a lot of benefits to just taking time to review and think through your plans – more often than not really great ideas will come on the third or fourth pass through, ideas you wouldn’t have had initially.
Really it’s from this first tip that all of our other design tips stem from. It’s taking time to design your space well, that can really keep you from regret, overpaying, and frustration down the road.
2. COLLECT PHOTOS OF YOUR INSPIRATION
Collect photos that inspire you. What type of aesthetic are you looking for in the project? Narrow these down to 1-3 top photos that really encompass the style you want to go with. Use these to guide your material selections and the other elements of your design. This will keep things cohesive. you can even build out a little moodboard with your inspiration photos if you want.
“An arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.”Oxford Dictionary’s definition of moodboard
3. BUILD A BUDGET
We hate to say it, but it really does start with the money. What can you afford to renovate? We recommend writing down 1-3 things that are non-negotiable to you. And building out from there. If you know what’s the most important things for you to spend your money on, that will give you a starting point for your budget. That could be demolishing a wall in your home, or using only gold accent features or perhaps the flooring is your non-negotiable.
“For me personally when I think about the design of a space, my top priority is windows and lighting.”Chris
4. THINK ABOUT THE MECHANICS (the outlets, lights and electrical work)
Think through the mechanical plans – where you want lights, outlets, and other electrical work. Any HVAC work to be done, plumbing plans, where you want sinks, faucets, etc. Take your floorplan drafts and mark out all of these items so that you can show your contractors. From there you’ll want to list all the materials that you need to get, then start sourcing each thing item-by-item. Keep an eye on your budget as you do this.
5. THINK THROUGH THE FLOOR PLAN
Have your floor plans drafted, then sketch different ideas and layouts on them. Think through all the different options and play with different ideas. Which walls to take out, where to put your cabinets, and so on. Also consider how you will arrange your furniture – space plans. This will help you visual your renovation project a little, and help you think through the changes you want to make.
As you think through your floor plan don’t forget about where doors and windows will go. Chris says that windows are the most important thing for him. A designer team that does windows really well is found at the IG handle @hungtingforgeorge based out of Australia. You can thank us later.
Window spacing, window sizing, and window placement are the biggest things that either give me satisfaction or make me wonder what a builder was thinking when they are done in a way that doesn’t work well in the space.Chris
6. BE CREATIVE
This is your space. Don’t worry about doing it like your cousin, or modeling it after what’s trending the highest on Pinterest. Let the space be unique to you. You know creativity is what we love the most about flipping our own houses. It gives us the space to be unique, to paint the rainbow stairs, or use the color pear on a wall, or paint the cabinets pink. Be creative, put words in cement, or paint them on the floor. Put eyelashes in the attic or a swing in the basement. It’s your space so be creative.
7. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TEAM TO HELP YOU
Whether you hire a designer, a subcontractor, an electrician or painter. You are going to need to work with a team. The people you hire can directly affect your frustration or. excitement for your project. So make sure you do your research, talk to the right people and chose a team you love! And of course if you’re in the Chester, Lancaster or Berks County area, we’d love to be the team that helps you! Find out more about what we do here.
The renovation process can be a difficult and frustrating. But if you plan well, create a budget and find a team to help you with the rest, it doesn’t have to be a head ache for you. Instead, you might actually enjoy the process of being creative and dreaming about the space you live in. Not only that, but that dream could become a reality. So don’t be afraid to tear down that wall, paint those cabinets or really do whatever you’d like to change your space into something you can thrive in.