How to renovate your own home

Just one look at the price of an interior designer, or the cost of completely overhauling your property can be enough to convince you to do it yourself. Putting on the protective gloves and learning how to use a sander can not only be hugely satisfying but also provide a bit of a confidence boost in your own DIY skills. Savings some cash by undertaking the majority of the renovation work will provide you with some skills and expertise to do it all again in the future. 

Put down a plan first

If you’re planning on doing substantial renovation work, it’s a good idea to create a plan. Mapping out a floor plan and making notes of what you want to change and where ensures that everyone in your family is singing from the same hymn sheet. It will also help you to create a comprehensive shopping list of what it is you need. For example, if you are planning on stripping the floorboards in multiple rooms, this will help you to gain precise measurements to get a sense of how much varnish you will need once the sanding is done. 

Upcycle

With an old, large sofa, for example, you may struggle to upcycle it, and so a replacement may be needed. However, with bookshelves, dining room chairs and large tables, upcycling could give them a new appearance that will leave you with novelty feeling of purchasing new furniture. For example, upholstering chairs, painting wardrobes, and sanding and re-varnishing old bookshelves will immediately strip the tired surface off them. If you’re after a customised, boutique look, then stencilling can create a design that’s usually reserved for expensive hotels and furniture shops.

Don’t give yourself a tight schedule

Choosing to renovate your own home can be cost-efficient, but it might not necessarily be time-efficient. The reason for this is that you won’t be able to leave your keys with the builders while you get out to work, and to put it plainly, you might not have the stamina of someone who has been working in manual labour for their entire life. For example, sanding the floorboards yourself is entirely achievable, but those who have done so on their own time have found it to be an intense workout, with the floorboards needing more work than they initially expected. Give yourself a deadline as motivation, but do be prepared to adjust it. 

Use old materials where possible

If you have old materials that are still in good working condition, then it might be worth your while to use them. Having a house that’s entirely furnished with new furniture and fittings can certainly look bright and snazzy; however, blending the old with the new can look incredibly chic. Sorting through your materials and investing a bit of creativity can create some truly unique and effortlessly trendy looks that no-one else will have. 

It’s at this point where a vintage and reclamation yard is your friend. Finding somewhere that specialises in reclaiming perfectly useable and stylish vintage architectural pieces will provide some ideas for stand-out features in your redesign. It will also help you to think outside the box. Why not redesign your porch with vintage patterned tiles instead of plain grey slate? Could smaller rooms benefit from a large mirror that won’t be sourced in any high-street shops? 

Leave critical maintenance to the experts

If plumbing will need to be checked or wiring will need to be changed, do not do these yourself. Reserving a bit of budget for experts to come in can not only save you a bit of time but is also crucial for your safety. Damaging freshly-varnished floorboards or wooden furniture with a flood would be devastating at the last minute. Wherever you are, and wherever you need help, whether you need a Jersey handyman or a local plumber, it’s a good idea to call up and explain what it is you need to be done. While you might be reluctant to part with some of your hard-saved budget, it could be much more price-effective when you consider the risk of an accident. We live in a time where upcycling has never been more popular, and where purse-strings are particularly tight, and so you won’t be alone when it comes to experimenting with DIY. If you’re scared about painting, sanding or varnishing for the first time, then be sure to grab a scrap piece of wood or furniture to practice on first. Once you’ve overcome the initial confidence hurdle, you’ll soon find yourself renovating like a seasoned pro.

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