Home Insurance

How to make your dream home a reality

Thinking of fixing up the living room or redecorating your bedroom? Whatever your home improvement project might be, here are some top tips on how to make it a reality.

There's no better feeling than creating your dream home, especially if you are renovating a previously tired and uninspiring space. In the age of the internet, there are millions of different styles just waiting to inspire your next project on social media, interior design apps and websites alike.

If you're looking to make your dream home a reality, here are 5 top tips to inspire and guide your project along:

1. Plan your vision

While designing your dream home is pretty exciting, it can also be daunting when you consider all the elements you need to think about. That's why no matter if you need to save up or if you have the money to go ahead already, you should take your time to decide what you want and if it will work in the space you have.

Free tools such as Pinterest are a great way to find inspiration, and you can even create boards for each room of the house.

You should consider the size of the room, how well lit the space is, how your décor options will fit with the rest of your home, not to mention your budget and timeframe.

To make things easier, you might also want to make a physical mood board of different colours, patterns and textures that might work in the space.

2. Do the research

Depending on what the job entails, you might want to consider whether it's something you can do yourself with a bit of DIY, or whether it's better to hire a professional. Remember, elements such as plumbing and electrics should always be left to a qualified expert.

For larger jobs you cannot do yourself, it's worth getting several quotes for what the average cost of a project is. It's not about who can do the cheapest, and the most expensive doesn't mean it will be the best either. Go with the contractors who have a good review and plenty of example projects to show their work, and always vet for professional accreditation.

You should also do plenty of research to see what colours and styles would best suit your style, not to mention your home. You could always hire an interior designer and have a colour consultation if you are unsure.

3. Set a reasonable budget

As the saying goes, “buy cheap, buy twice”, though that doesn't mean you can't redecorate a space if you don't have a big budget. That being said, it's easy to get carried away with how much you spend when it comes to making your dream home a reality!

To set a budget you should make a list of everything that needs to be done, and set this against your total project. Research average renovation costs and be aware that for larger projects, you should leave a 20% contingency in case of unexpected expenses. If things are looking a little tight, you might want to consider delaying the start date to be able to accommodate your requirements.

Keep in mind that every home has an upper limit of what it's worth, so if you are looking to make a return on your property you should factor in the area and average house price in that location.

4. Figure out the timing of the project

If you are planning more than a lick of paint and quick refresh of a room, then you will need to consider how long the project will take. Not only do you need to consider hiring equipment, but if it's a particularly big project you may have to factor in taking time off work, too.

Make sure you have all your materials to hand before you start. It's best to order your items a few weeks in advance especially for projects such as kitchens or bathrooms, as the last thing you'll want is contractors turning up to start when items have not arrived yet. If your project involves new windows be sure to order them early as well - they're notorious for taking months and holding up renovation projects.

It's also a good idea to set a time frame so that everything is completed within a timely manner. This is especially the case if you are doing all of the work yourself. Set a goal and stick to it!

5. Get the necessary tools and equipment

If you are doing the work yourself, then you'll need to research the correct tools and equipment for the job. You can do this quite simply by going to any tool hire centre (e.g., HSS) and telling them about your project.

If it's a simple redecoration, then you should make sure you get the correct paint, brushes, tools and accessories to ensure a smooth finish. Don't forget overalls, protective gear (e.g., eye goggles and face masks if you're dealing with dust or chemicals) and plenty of dust sheets to protect your furniture!

Before you start, remember you may need to do prep work such as stripping paint, sanding floors or removing wallpaper. All of these tasks take time as well as requiring specialist tools, so it's worth researching all of this in advance.

Ultimately, you should take your time to plan and research each aspect of your dream home creation to ensure the best possible result that sticks within budget too. Finally, for larger renovation projects you'll need to notify your home insurance company or you may not be covered.

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