Nobody likes making design mistakes because fixing it might cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It’s painful to use your credit card at these times, but you have no choice. What’s more frustrating is when you realised that you could’ve avoided it—only if you planned ahead of time.
While it’s true that there are hidden costs in construction, planning the project will help you identify the mistakes that might occur in the future. This prepares you mentally, emotionally, and of course, financially.
Here are foolproof steps in planning your home renovation and makeover to avoid maxing out your credit cards:
Think about the area’s function
As the homeowner, you should know how the area will be used. For example, you want to open up your kitchen to your backyard and create an outdoor dining and living area in there. Imagine the things you can do in that space. Will you use it to bond with your family every night? Will it be occasionally used for a barbeque party with friends? The purpose of the space will help designers picture the size and layout of the space as well as the furniture needed in there.
Having the correct measurement is key to good design. Before a renovation, you must measure the doorways (both width and height), ceiling height, hallways, walls, and staircases that will be affected by the construction of your dream project. After that, measure all the pieces of furniture that you may want in your space. Take note of every item’s dimensions. This will help you plan your space accurately later on.
Gather more design ideas
Visualise your project better with the help of home improvement magazines and websites. Gather several photos of the interior design that you like and take note of the things that you admire in each one. Clearly indicate where you may want this in your home. For example, you admired the idea of having an open floor plan at home to make your space more family-friendly. Keep that in mind as you search for different looks of open floor plan spaces.
Plan on graphing paper
Finally, it’s time to sketch all your ideas in paper. It’s okay if you don’t produce a stunning drawing. As long as you clearly see the direction of the makeover.
It may sound easy, but it’s not. You have to draw this plan with scale. That’s why you’re using a graphing paper. Take all of your measurements and follow this step-by-step guide. Once you’re done with the initial drawing, indicate all your design notes on the side such as the paint, tile, or wallpaper that you want to use etc.
Prepare a detailed budget
Now that you have your detailed sketch, you need to do a detailed list of what you need. Create a spreadsheet where you’ll indicate all the items you need to make this project happen. Look up the possible value of an item in the internet so you have an idea on how much it’s going to be. Don’t forget to say how much or how many is it that you need. This list will guide you on your home improvement shopping spree.
Another important thing to do is to provide a contingency budget. At least ten percent of your entire budget is enough to rescue your project in case of emergency. For example, you saw a lovely yet expensive piece of furniture and you want it in your home. Buy it as long as you can afford it. Then, try to bargain on the other things on your list. Opt for discounts and sales. To me, this is not irresponsible spending. It’s okay to splurge as long as you know how to save.
Give your old items a new life
This is one way to save. For example, you still own a chair that doesn’t fit your new home design but you can’t let go because you can’t buy a new one (yet), give it a new life. If it’s a stuffy chair, reupholster it or put a slipcover over it. You can try to trade furniture with your relative or sell it over the internet. Use the money to get the chair that you want.
Seek for professional help
Don’t think twice about hiring the people you believe who can help you in this intense process. A designer home interior isn’t always expensive—it works with your budget. The best part? Designers always strive to deliver good results. I suggest that you work with the designer who communicates well with you and tries to get your taste. Hiring them also means they’ll make suggestions on the design (it’s mainly why you’re paying them). If you like their idea, grab it. If you don’t, say no to it. Don’t nod and feel bad when the designer “imposed” their taste.
At the end of the day, the presence of a designer will keep you on the right track in the design phase. They can help you avoid costly mistakes and can help you work with a budget. These guys know where to score affordable building products and furniture. If you truly want to have a good living space with less debt, work with the people who already know this process. Seek for their advice in a quick, design consultation.
Charlene Ara Gonzales is a design writer in Superdraft Australia. She features the most useful and stunning home design and office interiors they create on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.