As the weather is warming up, and the sun brings us all out of hibernation, there is an air of enthusiasm and excitement that seems to only occur when the spring and summer months come closer.
Plenty of people do a big spring clean, the garden furniture gets dusted off and put outside again, and the windows are opened up letting the fresh spring air flow through the house. This change of pace, and feeling about the outside is a wonderful opportunity to make the most of, in terms of home renovations. The winter months are simply a write off for renovating the house, because the weather is bad and most of us just want to snuggle up, eat carbs and sleep till it’s over. So as soon as the weather changes, and the evenings grow lighter it is important to start making changes you want to make to your property, because it will be autumn before you know it, and so plans will delay another year.
So which renovations do you do first? If you have a long list like most people, it is important to prioritise your renovations so that at the very least, the most important changes are complete before winter comes around again. Here’s how to make sure you’re completing renovations in the right order:
First Things First, Get Your Facts Right
Before you even start to plan which projects to start first, you need to check you have an up to date, correct list of what actually needs doing. So a spring clean should actually be your first port of call. Declutter the whole house, including the garden and the garage, and make sure that you’re completely aware of what state the house is in. It might be that a declutter of the lift space reveals a few roof problems, or clearing out the spare room reveals a damp issue, or a mouldy corner that needs painting. You have to know what you are working with so you can prioritise correctly. You probably won’t want to start painting the fence first if you discover a leak in the roof.
Now You Can Make A List Of What Needs Doing
Now you can make a list of what needs doing. It may well be totally overwhelming but putting pen to paper, or finger to smartphone to do list, will work wonders for your ‘can do’ attitude. Don’t worry about prioritising at this stage, simply focus on getting absolutely everything that needs doing on the list, which will feel like an achievement in itself.
Make A Time & Money Budget
Once you know what you are dealing with you can then also consider a time and money budget, so that you have a rough idea of what actually can be done once you have made a priority list. So once you have a number one priority you can then see that you have a weekend spare to get it done, but you will need to save X amount from the next two months wages to pay for it.
Don’t Forget About Small, Free Jobs
Don’t forget about small, free jobs you can do that are very easy, as each and every little change will make a different. Examples of little free jobs include:-
- Repotting a houseplant
- Painting over a scuff mark in the bedroom
- Changing all the bulbs in the house to eco-friendly ones
- Sanding and waxing the small coffee table
- Breaking down the old chairs in the garage for firewood
- Putting up a shelf
- Putting hooks up
- Re-screwing a cupboard door back on
These little renovations are ideal to complete every other day, or when you get a spare hour as even if you don’t have time for big renovations yet, or you are saving up, you will feel you are always moving forward.
Your priorities will be very personal to you. Lots of different things will affect your family’s priorities including:-
- Why you are renovating – if it is for a new baby, because you are selling up, because you plan to rent the house out, or because you want it to look beautiful
- If there are repairs which are urgent
- If any house renovations need doing quickly because daily life will improve once they are done
Only you can answer these questions, and only you know which priorities matter the most. You may well have to make difficult choices, but it will be worth it in the end. As a general rule, anything urgent should be first on the list, along with anything actively damaging the property like a leaky roof or damp. Anything affecting your quality of life should come after that, such as floors without carpets, or broken appliance seals leaking water. If you are selling, then the changes that will have the biggest impact on your selling power, and on the value of your house should come first. Following all the top priorities you can then look at changes that are going to make a big difference to your way of living such as:-
- Laying decking in the garden
- Installing external bifolding doors to bring in more light and give instant access to the garden
- Installing a new shower or bath
- Installing a new kitchen
- Having the garden landscaped
- Having new carpets
- Getting integrated technology
- Installing a cat flap
Then at the very bottom of your list should be those little tasks we talked about earlier, which can make an overall significant change to your feeling of wellbeing, and the look of your home.
Developing A Plan & Going For It
- Once you have your priorities, budget and other details clear in your mind (and on paper!) you can make a plan.
- Are you going to do the renovations room by room?
- Are you hiring somebody to do any of the jobs for you?
- How will the renovations affect the family?
- Will I need to plan renovations around when they aren’t in the house?
Matching up your task list with your budget and time list along with your calendar should help to sync up your plan moving forward. Although it is easier thinking about one task at a time, you don’t want to hit a patch of bad weather and wish you had completed outdoor tasks when the weather was better. Think really carefully about your plan, and then make it happen!