How to transform your house into your dream home
As we spend more time working and studying at home, we’re beginning to realise the spaces we love — and the ones that could use some TLC.
Renovating or redecorating can be a great way to bring your home one step closer to being the house of your dreams. However, it takes careful planning and consideration to turn your vision into a reality.
Whether you’re one of the thousands of Australians who have taken advantage of the HomeBuilder Grant, or you’re simply looking to change things up a little, these expert tips will help you create a brief and set your plans in motion.
Tailor your renovation to your own unique needs
Every household is different, and so is every home renovation. This is the time to really think about your space and consider your needs. Ask yourself questions like:
- How does everyone spend their time at home? For example, if you have multiple people in the household who are working from home, you may require individual working spaces for each person.
- What do you love doing together as a household, and how can you enhance this experience with a renovation? If you love movie nights, it may be worth creating a separate media room. On the other hand, if you love spending time outdoors, consider investing to transform your outdoor area into an entertaining space.
- Does everyone have enough space in your house? Are there spaces that aren’t being used at all, or that could be utilised more effectively? A basement that’s rarely used could be transformed into a teenager’s retreat, or the shed in your backyard could double as a second office space.
- What’s the relationship between your indoors and outdoors? How can you enhance this? Could you bring in more light into your bedrooms, or improve the flow between your yard and your living/dining area?
Rather than dwelling on how many rooms you have or how many square metres you’re working with, focus on function and experience first. This will get the creative juices flowing and open up a myriad of possibilities that may not have been there before.
“It takes fresh eyes, creative thinking and experience to identify the problems and see the opportunities in your house. Getting the spaces right – before all the finishes and fittings – will ensure the success of your home.”Fooi-Ling Khoo, director of OOF! Architecture (Houzz).
Plan for the future
It’s easy to think about what your needs are at this very moment. Perhaps you’re getting frustrated at the lack of personal space when the entire family is studying and working from home, or wishing you had better noise proofing to deal with your teenager’s latest drum habit. But before you get to planning, stop and think about what you’ll need one year, five years, or even fifteen years down the track.
The best idea is to plan for multifunctional spaces that can adapt to your needs over time. You might start out with a guest bedroom and eventually transform that into a kid’s bedroom, or use the rumpus as an entertainment space and a teenager’s retreat.
“Families grow up. In the early years, you’ll probably want a kids’ playroom under your nose – near the kitchen, perhaps. But once your children are teenagers, you – and they – will prefer somewhere to escape to.”Lana Taylor, Three Birds Renovations (Homes To Love)
Develop a comprehensive brief
If you’re working with a professional architect or renovator, your brief is like the project’s North Star. This tells the architect or renovator everything they need to know about your needs and preferences, and helps them create the perfect space for your family.
Don’t forget to discuss and share the brief with everyone else in your household as well. Doing this will ensure that you’re all on the same page and that your house is a dream home for everyone — not just you.
“A brief should tell a story about a person and family: who lives in the house, their ages, personalities, likes and habits. Think about where, when and how they like to spend their time – when you’re together and apart – as this helps us talk about social arrangements within the house…It might be pages long, but that shows you’ve really thought about it. You want to work with an architect you have a connection with and a long brief can help us feel like we already know you.”James Goodlet, director of Altereco Design (Houzz)
Consider what can be done as a DIY project
Renovation projects can quickly add up — and before you know it, you’ll blow your budget way out of the water. To avoid this, try to find opportunities to DIY whenever possible.
While wiring and plumbing definitely demand help from the pros, not everything requires an expert hand. Something as simple as using paving paint in an outdoor space or switching up the wall colour can work wonders to transform an area. The same goes for spaces that do require expert assistance, where you may be able to shave costs by going about it a different way. For example, if you have low ceilings with hanging lights, consider swapping these for uplighting fixtures to add space rather than paying to raise the ceiling height.
Don’t forget about kerb appeal
Kerb appeal is one of those investments that not only lifts the value of your home, but also gives off a great first impression. Take time to think about how to elevate your entrance: it could be replacing your door, adding plants and a footpath leading to your door, or even installing a security system.
“Install new garden beds and plants, rejuvenate old concrete pathways and driveways with a gurney and paving paint. These are all tricks you can use to make people think you’ve spent more money than you actually have.”Cherie Barber, professional renovator (news.com.au)
Tip: If you have to focus on one thing, focus on cement rendering and external painting. According to Barber, these upgrades will typically return $10 for every $1 you invest — making it incredible value for money.
Keep resale in mind
Although you’re writing the brief for a home renovation, it pays to keep resale in mind, particularly if you’re planning to sell in the next 5 years. This way, your renovation will pay off in the future — literally.
Looking to fund your latest home renovation project? There are a number of options available to you, from refinancing your loan to taking a repayment holiday. Contact us today to book your obligation-free consultation and discover how you can achieve your dream home sooner.
** General Advice Warning
The information provided on this website is general in nature only and it does not take into account your personal needs or circumstances into consideration. Before acting on any advice, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and where appropriate, seek professional advice in relation to legal, financial, taxation, mortgage or other advice.