If you see people walking down the street, looking like zombies, feverishly comparing the colours of tiles as they wander the halls of Bunnings, chances are you’re looking at another casualty in the renovation war. Here’s why spending money, and spending it on the right things, is a necessity.
Practical, Not Pretty
I spent the best part of my childhood in a house that was being renovated. I had family breakfast with builders and plumbers and painters until I was about 12. It was a mammoth task my parents undertook, and well worth it now. But the things that cost lots of money were not always the ones that were obvious to the eye. Insulation, grading- they’re not hot, and they’re not pretty. No one’s going to comment on them as they walk through your home, as they would a new kitchen or beautifully restored old fireplace. But they are a necessity. Making those hard calls will not only improve the re-sale value of the house, but will make it a nicer place to live in for the years you do remain there. Ignoring a leaky roof, and renovating the sun room instead might seem like fun, but is a financial disaster waiting to happen.
There are trends in renovation, as there are in any undertaking. Trends that are written off by this year’s experts (and potentially every year’s experts) include: a fireplace in the corner. For centuries, people put fireplaces in the middle of a wall. For a reason. It immediately throws all proportions of a room out, and makes it look unappetizing. For those with delusions of grandeur- it’s suggested that Grecian columns and spiral staircases are vetoed. Take it from someone with Greek blood- columns only work in ancient settings. And spiral staircases only work in fairytales. Having a house that’s easily accessible and comfortable is far more important than one that looks like Rapunzel is at home. Ditto internal French doors that open onto a blip of a room- French doors are meant to open onto impressive rooms and the whole effect will be lost if it’s a room full of dowdy couches and the telly.
If you have limited funds, go with what you know works. As advised in Globe and Mail, invest in well-built structure, good quality windows and appliances that’ll last for 50 years as opposed to flashy ones that break when you breathe too heavily on them. Know your own habits, and ways in which to best accommodate them. A walk-in pantry for the big cook, or a independent bench top for the kitchen for those who like to have dinner parties.
How To Avoid Expensive Home Repairs
Give your house an audit. Walk around and list all the things that concern you- from the things that just need to be fixed through to the things you would desperately love to change. If you know what repairs you will need to make, it will be easier to start saving for them. Have an emergency fund and a maintenance budget- the more you can fix now, the more money you will save on it later. Don’t get DIY if you’re not comfortable- sometimes spending the $200 on a professional will save you an immense amount of money. And always look up- a happy roof is a happy home.