The words “home renovation” come with a number of emotions. Looking at pictures of perfect kitchens, bathrooms, and the like can make remodeling seem exciting. Unexpected costs and delays bring in feelings of fear and frustration. If you’re struggling to envision what your home will look like after a renovation project, relax, and keep these expert tips in mind.
The renovation process doesn’t have to be all work and no play. The fun part comes with finding your inspiration. Even if you don’t think of yourself as the “creative type,” you’ll know what you like and don’t like. Peruse photos to get a sense of what might be your style — discovering your personal aesthetic is easier than you think. If acquaintances have spaces that you like, ask about them. You may end up with a lead on a great contractor that a friend used or a tip on where to find exceptional light fixtures.
Odds are that you’ll notice home design more when you start thinking about renovation. Now it’s a matter of putting the things that you like together, and seeing if it’s cohesive. Oriana Gomez-Zerpa, KUKUN’s resident architecture specialist, suggests putting a mood board together. Collect images, textile samples, and whatever else inspires you, and put in one place — be it a physical collection of the items, a Pinterest board, or another virtual place to store the things that you enjoy. Doing so will help the professionals you work with on your project to understand your taste and must-haves for the space. A mood board can also help you see if the things you like will create a coherent space — maybe those bright cupboards don’t go with the countertops you originally picked out. Better to find out before you place the orders.
Perhaps the most effective way to envision you home after a renovation is to use 3D modelling software. These tools enable you to easily change colors, materials, and even furniture arrangement — minimal imagination required. There are plenty of options available, but many versions come with a big learning curve or aren’t very user friendly. For the best results, contact an interior designer or related professional who knows how to use the software.
You Don’t Have to Do It Alone
“Renovation requires a new skillset, something that [those going through home renovation] maybe haven’t been able to hone or practice. It can be overwhelming,” said Joe Rountree, a real estate appraiser who has successfully renovated and sold five houses in 12 months’ time.
Renovation can be scary because it’s a bit of a mystery. Talk to people who have gone through the renovation process, and consider bringing your questions to a professional such as a contractor or architect. People who know about home renovation can help demystify the process, so you can have an easier time envisioning the possibilities for your space. Make sure to find a qualified, knowledgeable professional who can answer your questions. If you have specific desires — for example, you may want to keep your project as green as possible — seek out a professional with relevant qualifications.
Piece by Piece
“Look at the whole of what you want to do, and break it into manageable pieces,” Roundtree said. If you’re getting stuck when you try to picture your new bathroom, take a look at one aspect — sinks, countertops, toilet — and try to picture it in your space. Pretty soon, you won’t have so much trouble envisioning the possibilities.
Why are you Thinking about Renovating?
Nick Giobres, a construction manager and resident KUKUN expert, recommends that clients think about what they don’t like about their space. There’s a reason you’re considering a renovation. Maybe that last holiday dinner felt too cramped in your dining room, and you want to expand. Perhaps your kitchen is showing its age, and you’re thinking of refreshing it. Explore the issues that are causing you to consider a remodel, and devise solutions, or have a professional come up with them for you. Once you identify the things you’re not happy with, it will be easier to start putting ideas together.
Don’t be Afraid of the Budget
“Budget can be a major issue, as most people don’t account for hidden damages discovered during the renovation process that must be repaired before work progresses,” Giobres said. Renovation can be costly, and, for many people, it is one of the main reasons for shying away from home renovation. By setting a budget, getting a home inspection, and setting a portion of that budget aside for unforeseen costs, you can alleviate your monetary concerns and have an easier time envisioning what your space could look like.