The idea that you have to gut your property to renovate a home is wrong. In fact, it’s dead wrong! Big interior design projects are necessary from time to time, not to mention gorgeous. However, they are time-consuming, energy-sapping and expensive. Even if you do have the time and energy, an average family doesn’t have the budget.
The alternatives are cosmetic renovations such as painting and plastering. It may literally be covering the cracks, but it helps add a new lease of life to tired properties. Before you break out the Dulux, there are a few things you should know. Firstly, because it’s cosmetic doesn’t mean it can’t go wrong.
Here's five things to keep in mind.
A well-known rule for renovations is to spend 10% of the home’s purchase price. To begin with, the geography and property market make this is a bad idea. Both can fluctuate at a moment’s notice and make an investment a waste. Secondly, the idea of a cosmetic renovation is to keep the costs low. So, spending a significant amount on a project is a terrible idea. The key is to get creative and to find thrifty ways to make the property gleam. Have you heard of rubbish surfing? It’s where people look through bins and skips for unwanted waste. Sounds disgusting, but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Of course, painting the cabinets with a new shade is a less messy and nauseating way to save money.
Don't curb your enthusiasm
For the exterior of the house, that is. The emphasis always is and will be on the interior. Homeowners want to impress people as soon as they walk in the door, yet forget about the outside. Not to burst your bubble, but people make their judgements when they roll up outside or walk past. The interior may change their opinion but not completely. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to loosen up the purse strings for exterior renovations. It may be as simple as keeping the lawn neat and the garden kempt this winter. At Christmas, you may like to turn on the illuminations. Whatever the choice, don’t leave the exterior unattended.
Declutter and clean
Before you head to the local B+Q and stock up on resources, you should consider the cleanliness. Not to judge, but lots of homeowners are not on top of their cleaning duties. It is easy to see why when you have to work and the kids act like human wrecking balls. Still, painting the walls won’t make a difference until the clutter disappears. The mess will always be there and make the entire house appear untidy and chaotic. Just removing the things which don’t need to be there and putting them away is a huge time-saver. And, a quick clean for ten to twenty minutes a day will prevent the mess from resurfacing. Remember that a renovation, no matter how cosmetic, is the last resort.
Repair and replace
Trump likes to repeal and replace things, but you are a real conservative. Rather than spend money on a replacement, you can fix it and not pay a penny. Okay, so mending broken household items isn’t free, yet it doesn’t cost a fortune. Consider the kitchen sink for a moment. Sinks tend to drip and leak, which is a problem. Rather than replace it or call a professional, you can don a pair of rubber gloves and get your hands dirty. Usually, a leak is an issue with a washer which needs tightening. Even moderate problems succumb to the power of DIY. A chip in a ceiling leads to damp and mould, but specialist plastering tools from Plasterers1stopshop can help. With the right plaster and equipment, anyone can cover over a small crack. Anything complicated needs an expert.
Get a second opinion
Sure, you won’t need to rip out the kitchen and live in a caravan for weeks on end. Still, the result is essential for a variety of reasons. Firstly, no one wants to waste time and energy on something which isn’t right. Let’s face it – you’d rather do it the first time. More importantly, the majority of people don’t have the money for endless renovations. So, if you get it wrong, you may have to live with it for the foreseeable future. By bouncing ideas off an unbiased source, you can avoid the aggravation.
The key is to see cosmetic renovations for what they are: necessary evils. Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with keeping it cheap and simple.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.