We all get bored with our homes from time to time – whether that’s because of the layout, decor or simply outdated furniture. In these circumstances, remodelling your home will breathe new life into your property and prevent you from moving. In fact, it has been reported that most homeowners prefer to stay put after their home has been remodelled.
A home remodel is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of forethought and planning. It’s not something that you can do on a whim and expect to complete overnight.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll cover all the key points you need to consider when giving your home a fresh new look and feel.
The Difference Between Remodelling & Renovation
So what’s the difference between a remodel and a renovation? You may be thinking that they’re exactly the same, but there’s a pretty big difference between the two.
It’s pretty important to understand what each of these terms means, especially if you intend to ask a contractor to undertake the work for you. So what do both of these terms mean?
If you are renovating your house, then it means that you are restoring it to its former glory. Perhaps you’ve bought a house that’s particularly run down, and it’s not exactly liveable.
It may once have been a home or building that could have stunned the masses – perhaps it still does, but maybe not for the right reasons.
If you’re renovating your house, you’re making the house look alive again, so that it is no longer in a total state of disrepair. It often means that rather than making the whole house look totally brand new, you are instead improving on the features already in the building.
They can sometimes be a little more drastic but for the most part, they are subtle changes. It’s essentially restoring a structure that already exists.
Remodelling is a different kettle of fish. As you may have gathered already when you are remodelling you are changing the look and form of the building. So perhaps you have a 1970’s style bathroom when you buy the house, but you want it to look like a modern, sleek bathroom.
It won’t look like it did before.
As such, the goal of a remodel is generally to change how it looks as a whole. Sometimes a remodel consists of changing the structure of a room, such as creating an open plan living area or you may switch the locations of the kitchen and the living space.
You’re turning it into something different, in short.
Now it is worth mentioning that remodelling projects can often cost more money than simply renovating a home. You’re often changing the structure which means that key things such as the plumbing and the electrical wiring are going to need to be changed.
You will usually need contractors – unless you’re a plumber, electrician and a building contractor all in one. They’re pretty complex in comparison to renovating, so it’s important that you thoroughly consider whether you want a remodel or a renovation in advance.
Another thing to keep in mind is that in some situations you may need to get a permit to renovate your home, especially if you want to extend part of your home. This can also cost extra money, and you may need to install a new roof or something else.
Remodelling your home can be a great choice if your home hasn’t been designed well and won’t fit with your current tastes or needs. Sometimes a remodel is the only answer if things haven’t been done properly.
One quick thing to remember though is to check whether your home or the home that you plan on buying is a historic home. If your home is a historic home then you may find that you can’t remodel the home as it has historical value.
Keep this in mind before you think about remodelling as you may only be able to renovate in this particular scenario.
Remodelling Your Home: Where to Start
Remodelling can be a lengthy, complicated process, but we all have to start somewhere! Here’s what you need to know to start your home remodel on the right foot.
Setting Up a Budget
The first thing that you need to do is set a budget for your project.
This can be somewhat tricky if you have never remodelled a home before as you may not be sure exactly where to start.
Before you start though, it’s pretty important to think about your purpose.
Why are you remodelling, what is your end goal?
For instance, your remodel may go completely differently if your purpose is to sell the home after the remodelling process.
If you’re looking to sell then you will need to think about what’s popular in your area and what is going to give you the best possible return on investment.
If you are planning on remodelling your home for your own sake, then you will need to think about any budget limitations and what you would be happy to see in your home.
Then it comes to setting your budget. Now, this isn’t just about setting a budget for the cosmetic changes you want to make. You also need to think about what could go wrong and how you will cover the costs in the event that things don’t go quite as planned.
In addition to this, set some money aside for when you’re renovating the kitchen, for example, as you’ll need to eat!
Consider whether it’s really necessary to invest in a totally brand new kitchen too, as you may find that you can make some significantly cheaper upgrades that can seriously reduce your budget.
Setting a budget can sometimes be challenging, so here are a couple of tips:
Before you set a budget, you first need to prioritise what you want. For instance, would you prefer to remodel your kitchen, or is it more important to you to knock a few walls down to create some open plan living areas? Maybe you would rather splash the cash on your bathroom.
You should consider the things that are the most important to you – after all, you obviously don’t feel that your home’s current state doesn’t appeal to you and you may feel unfulfilled more in certain rooms than others. Prioritise the biggest projects first and then go from there.
Consider the value and cost of the things you want to do
This is especially important if you plan on selling your home later down the line.
If you do eventually plan on selling the house then you should think about the return on investment – don’t spend obscene amounts of money on a kitchen that you aren’t going to reap the rewards of when you sell.
Consider the things that are most likely to get you a good return on investment when you sell. This may not be relevant to you if you are keeping the home.
How will you finance the remodel
The biggest issue you may have when it comes to remodelling your home if how exactly you are going to finance the remodel. If you have savings ready then this may not be an issue, but if not then you may need to borrow money through a loan.
Consider your key needs from contractors
When creating your budget, you need to think about what you need to be done. What things are you going to ask a contractor to do? Consider things like the key structural changes and what cosmetic changes are needed.
Try to be as specific about your needs as possible, as the contractor will be able to give you the most accurate quote.
Then, you will need to get some bids from a minimum of three contractors. It’s worth considering not only the quote that they give you but whether the work comes with a warranty, materials supplies and more.
Remember though, if the quote seems too good to be true then it probably is, so make sure that you give your decision some serious thought.
Potentially Booking Time Off
Whether you’re planning on undertaking the work yourself or if you are planning on getting a contractor in, you may want to book a little bit of time off.
After all, remodelling your home can mean there’s a lot of disruption to your life. For instance, if you’re remodelling your kitchen then you may not be able to cook at home, so you will need to do so elsewhere.
When you speak to the contractors, you should try to get an estimate of how long the work will take and also when it will be in order to take some time off. Once you have this information, gauge whether you need to take any time off.
You should try to book off one or two days before and after the start and finish time of the remodel too, as sometimes things can take longer than anticipated.
DIY Home Remodelling Plan
So what if you’re not planning on hiring a contractor, and you instead want to remodel your home all by yourself? Well, in this case, you need to prepare and plan for the job. This begins with getting the right drawings and equipment to help you to do the job right.
It should be noted straight away that it’s always best to enlist the help of an architect or home designer to help you to create drawing plans.
A professional will consider the logistics of the plan, for instance, whether the plumbing would be appropriate for the new location, or whether knocking down a certain wall would cause lasting damage to the structure of the home.
It’s best not to bite off more than you can chew – if you think that drawing up the plans yourself would be more of a challenge than you’re capable of handling, speak to a professional.
With that being said, it’s certainly possible to draw up your own floor plan if you feel confident enough to do it. If you’re not familiar with floor plans though, they’re basically a drawing of a room drawn to scale viewed from above.
It usually sets up the locations of key things like furniture, appliances and more to establish where everything is going to go.
We must stress though: It’s vital that you have a renovation plan in place if you plan on remodelling your home.
So, how do you draw your own floor plan?
1. Select the area you plan to change
Since you’re remodelling your house, the first thing that you need to do is figure out how much of the room or the floor that you need to draw in order to make your plan. It’s worth coming up with a couple of ideas while taking the size and shape of the room into account.
Since a floor plan drawing is drawn to scale, you’re going to need to measure all the walls and doors, furniture and more in order to ensure that you get the most accurate plan.
If you’re making an extension then you may need to check that the extension is going to fit in the planned location.
3. Add Wall
Add your walls into your floor plan. Make sure that you’re properly drawing them to the correct scale.
When drawing up your plan, add in any extra features you may want – doors, windows, appliances and more. Make sure they’re in a logical location for your plan to work.
Add in your furniture if needed.
If you’re drawing a plan, it may also be a good idea to invest in decent home design software to help you to create the plan. It’ll certainly be easier than trying to do it by hand!
The next thing that you need to do is get the equipment that you need to use for your remodelling project. Naturally, each project will have different requirements in this respect, but here are a couple of the key things that you may need for a job well done:
Safety first! Remodelling your house can get pretty dangerous if you’re not careful, so it’s important to ensure that you have the right safety gear to protect you in case anything happens.
Before you use any tool, make sure that you read the instruction manual that comes with it to ensure you’re using it safely.
When in and around your project site, ensure that you’re always wearing appropriate safety footwear to protect your feet. Also, invest in a decent pair of safety goggles, a dust mask and earmuffs. Make sure that you also keep your mobile phone on you in event of an emergency – just don’t use it when operating power tools.
It’s always a good idea to have a measuring tape handy, but especially when you’re remodelling your home. You’re going to need to measure all sorts of things, so look for an easy to use measuring tape right off the bat.
A hammer is a key tool for anyone to have in their arsenal. It’s worth looking for an all in one model that features additional chisel ends. It needs a strong head, and it especially needs to be durable!
You can buy a range of different pliers, so have a look at getting a pair of pliers that will help you to remodel your house. Usually, needle nose pliers are especially helpful. Pliers are usually needed for things like holding wires and things that may be nestled in tight spaces that you can’t reach.
First the hammer, then the sledgehammer! If you have any pent up aggression then don’t go looking for a fight up the pub, just take it out on your walls while you’re doing a renovation instead! Invest in a decent hammer that you can lift and use with ease.
While it may initially seem like a good idea to attempt to reach high places by stacking cardboard boxes, we assure you that it’s not a good idea. To save yourself from getting injured, invest in a decent ladder and stepladder (Yes, they’re different things!).
Duct tape comes in handy a lot when you’re looking to improve your home. It’s a water-resistant material with a great deal of durability, so you can use it for a range of things including fixing holes in water pipes.
Some power tools require electricity if they aren’t cordless, so you will need to get some extension cords so that you can reach the areas that you need to access.
Cordless Combi Drill
Following on from the previous point, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by investing in a cordless combi drill. It’s ideal for a range of different projects, from renovating the bathroom and kitchen and more.
A lithium-ion cordless drill is an especially good choice because they tend to last longer.
A laser level can be especially handy when you’re trying to do layouts. It will give you points of reference for where you need to put things. In short, they’re good for remodelling your home.
DIY Home Remodelling
Here’s are some of the key things that you need to know how to do when you’re remodelling your home!
How to Plaster a Wall
Plastering is one of the key skills you need to learn when remodelling your home.
Thankfully, it’s not rocket science to plaster a wall – it’s just a matter of following a few guidelines.
1. Get Your Tools
The first thing that you need to do is to gather your materials. You will need:
- Water brush
- Bucket trowel
- Plastering trowel
- hawk/hand board
2. Prepping the Wall
Once you’ve got your materials ready you will need to make sure that your walls are prepared for the plastering process. This consists firstly of stripping the wallpaper off the walls – not particularly fun, but you will get some pretty dodgy results if you don’t do this.
Then you will need to wash the wall to get rid of any dirt and grime off the walls, and scrim tape off any of the cracks on the wall.
Finally, apply some PVA to your walls as this can slow down the suction of the walls, so you can plaster more easily.
3. Plastering Time!
Now it’s time to plaster your walls! First, you need to mix the plaster. Check the instructions on the plaster that you buy as it will show you how to prepare the plaster, but it’s usually around a bull bucket of water for 1 bag of plaster.
Pour the water in first and then add the plaster in gradually in accordance with the instructions.
Once you have prepared the plaster, you can then add the first coat to the wall. Pick up a trowel – it can take a while to get used to using it, but you will get the hang of it. Pick up some plaster using the trowel, then apply the plaster starting from the bottom of the wall.
Once the plaster is dried, apply a second coat about 20 minutes later.
Once you have applied the layers you should then smooth them to a finish
How to Paint a Room
Another thing that you need to learn is how to paint a room properly.
The last thing that you want is a room that hasn’t been painted properly and looks unattractive, especially since paint can be pretty expensive and messy.
As with anything, plan ahead and follow the steps below:
Consider your colour scheme – perhaps you want to paint the room with two different colours, or you want to add some wallpaper.
Once you’ve grabbed your chosen colours, try out a sample swatch on the wall to see if you like it. You may find that it isn’t a good fit, in which case you will need to find a new colour.
If you like the colour then you will need to figure out the amount of paint that you are going to need to paint the chosen walls.
It’s worth remembering that a one-gallon can of paint covers around 250 to 400 square feet of wall, and in that, you also need to consider any wastage. If you’ve never painted before then it’s pretty much inevitable that you will make some mistakes.
Get rid of any dust or grime off the walls by giving them a good scrub, and cover any furniture that you don’t want getting damaged. You can then prime the wall to allow the paint to stick more easily.
Next, it’s time to grab your materials and get to work. Mix up your paint, and roll the paint onto your brush or roller. Once you have done this, allow the paint to dry on the wall for a few hours before adding a second coat.
Make sure in the meantime that you also cut in the corners and the tops of the wall using a small angled brush. Once you’ve done this, it’s just a matter of cleaning up and enjoying your handiwork!
How to Fit Baseboards
Adding baseboards to your home is just one way to put new life into a room.
You’ll need a few tools for the job, including:
- Circular saw
- Tape measurer
- Paint brush
- Mitre saw
- Chalk reels and chalk
- Safety glasses
- Wood fillers
- Colour chips
Before you begin setting up the baseboard, you will need to ensure that you wear some safety glasses and earplugs to keep you safe.
To start, get rid of any old baseboards that you have. Then you will need to measure the boards and the wall to ensure that they will fit each wall.
If you are installing a baseboard in an area with outside corners then cut them just a couple of inches longer than the length of the wall so you can make mitre cuts later on.
Then, use a level to ensure that the floor is level. If it is, you can then install the baseboard. You should start in an inside corner, then hold your board up against the wall.
Make sure that it’s level and tack it into place temporarily. Nail those baseboards into the correct position using some finishing nails.
If you’re setting up baseboard on outside corners then put a little bit of glue onto the mitred edges so the two pieces can stick together better. You don’t need to do this on an inside corner.
This would be the time to install any cap and shoe moulding if you need it. Then use a little bit of spackle to touch up the wall, then apply your finishing coat. All done!
How Hang Wallpaper
There are very few people that actually enjoy installing wallpaper.
Good for you if you are one of those people!
If you’re not though, you want the easiest and most simple way to install the wallpaper.
Thankfully, there is a way to do that.
First of all, get your wallpaper and use the roll as a guideline. I.e. put the roll in the corner that you plan on starting at, then roll it down to the end of the wall. Mark the paper where the wall ends.
Eventually, you will know where each seam of the wall is going to end up on the paper.
Prepare your walls by filling in any holes using a joint compound, and scrape the walls using a drywall knife to get rid of any imperfections on the wall. Then prime the walls as you would do when painting the walls.
Once you have done this, roll the paste onto the wallpaper using a paint roller. Seam the inside corners to ensure that it’s hung plumb. Before you hang the paper you need to book it – this is when you fold the paper into itself to give the paste some time to activate.
Put the paper onto the wall and smooth it down using a clean roller as you do so. You can also set your edges with a roller once you’re done. If you need to cut the edges then you can use a taping knife to do this. Be careful that you don’t cut off too much wallpaper in the process.
Remodelling the Floor + Costs
You may find that you buy a new home and you aren’t particularly fond of the flooring.
In this case, you may need to remodel the floor.
This may cost a little or it may cost a lot depending on what you need.
For instance, you first need to think about the demolition work.
There’s likely already flooring in your house so you will need to remove it first. Then you will need to consider the flooring that you’re interested in.
For instance, you could be spending a minimum of around £25 per m2 for natural stone flooring.
There are some that can also cost a lot more than this, however. A porcelain floor tile could cost a minimum of about £20 per m2 just to get the tiles – that’s not even including the labour costs.
Wooden flooring can also get pretty expensive, beginning at around £25-£45 per m2. For reference, here’s a rough estimate of what it may cost you to remodel your flooring.
While remodelling your floor may be expensive, adding new flooring can breathe a whole new life into your home. It’s just a matter of choosing the correct flooring for you and the room you are remodelling.
For instance, if you’re remodelling your kitchen then getting some stain-resistant flooring is a good choice. If you’re creating an open plan kitchen and dining room then you may want to use two different types of flooring.
Things like natural stone and polished concrete are quite popular choices for kitchens too. For kitchens and bathrooms, it can be helpful to look for flooring that’s easy to clean.
On the other hand, carpet could be a good choice for bedrooms and living areas as it can help to make them warmer. Of course, if you live in a hot climate then carpet could make the room too hot, so think about where you live before you choose your flooring.
How to Remodel your Kitchen + Budget Breakdowns
The kitchen is the heart of the home, so giving it some new life is a great choice for a remodel.
Of course, as you can probably imagine, remodelling your kitchen can be pretty expensive.
In fact, the Houzz 2021 Kitchen Trends report states that the median kitchen remodelling cost is around £25,518. That’s a pretty big number!
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to spend that much, as it can depend on your kitchen size and what exactly you need to do.
If you’re smart, you may be able to renovate your kitchen for less than £10,000. But what things cost the most money?
First of all, cabinets and worktops. These will likely eat up a large chunk of your budget – a good estimate is that you should budget roughly £2,250-£5,250 for your cupboards and worktops.
Some things will cost more than others though – you will be spending a lot more on wood, marble or granite than on a fitted laminate worktop.
Then there are appliances. To save yourself a bit of money, look at a few different retailers to find out who has the best deal. In general, though, you may be spending around £2000 on your appliances.
You may also need to rewire and install new things in the kitchen, which could easily cost anywhere from £300-£900.
You should also think about the flooring as mentioned earlier, and consider the cost of labour.
You should do some research into your style and taste, figuring out how much certain items cost before you hit the buy button. Look for high-quality materials and labour – the extra cost will be worth it for a kitchen that can last you for years to come.
As a quick reminder, the key things that you need to think about are the counters, appliances and plumbing such as sinks, washing machines and more. Consider how much space you have in the kitchen for everything too.
How to Remodel a Bathroom
It’s important to renovate your bathroom every once in a while.
Remodelling your bathroom can cost a lot of money, but setting a reasonable budget can help.
When trying to remodel your bathroom, you first need to figure out the style you’re going for.
Think about the colour scheme, any new fixtures and fittings you want, get some new storage and consider where you want the utilities to go.
It’s entirely possible to remodel a bathroom by yourself, but when it comes to setting up things like the toilet and the bathtub, you may want to enlist the help of a professional plumber to save yourself any nasty accidents.
If you’re remodelling the bathroom yourself, you first need to get rid of any bathroom fixtures that you don’t want. You should take some time to gut the bathroom. Then, set up your shower or tub.
Take some time to consider the shape and size of these, as they can take up a lot of space.
If you have a small bathroom then optimising on space is essential.
Once you’ve installed the shower, you can then set up the cabinets and other fixtures. Next is the floor tiles and repainting or tiling the walls.
Remember to cover up any seams and gaps using some drywall mud and tape, and use some cement board for the wall for the bath or shower. As bathrooms are prone to damp, you should also invest in some specialist bathroom paint.
Things to consider before remodelling your bathroom
Before you remodel your bathroom, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The first thing to think about is the amount of space available to you. You may not be able to fit a bath into a half bathroom, in which case a shower may be a better choice.
You should also consider the codes in your area as legally you may not be able to install a bath in a space that’s too small.
You can also think about saving some space by using a recessed cubby in your shower. This will give your soap somewhere to permanently live so it doesn’t look untidy left in the open.
Think about the needs of the people in the home, too. For instance, some people may need extra things for accessibility, such as handheld showers or grab rails they can hold onto.
Another thing to think about is how high you’re going to put things. The last thing you want is to be installing a shower that’s too high for you to even see. Who wants to reach for toilet paper that’s near the ceiling? It may be an extreme example, but it illustrates the point.
Bathrooms can get pretty cold, so it may be worth investing in some radiant heat to go below your tiles. This means your feet won’t feel like ice during the winter when you’ve forgotten your slippers in the night!
Avoid any wallpaper in the bathroom as it isn’t going to deal well with the humidity. And finally, make sure that you keep the bathroom well ventilated, as this will help you to avoid any mould or mildew building up near your porcelain throne.
Other Remodelling Ideas
When you’re remodelling your house, you should also think of some other more minor things.
For starters, think about your curtains. Curtains are convenient for blocking out light – pretty important in sleeping areas like bedrooms.
In addition to that though, they are also good for adding extra colour and character to a room.
Make sure that you measure the size of your windows before you buy curtains to ensure that you have the right length. In some cases, you may also need to get custom fit curtains, especially if you have something like a bay window that likely wouldn’t fit with a standard curtain size.
You should also think about doors. If you’re creating an open plan living space then you may not need to worry about doors from the living space to the kitchen, but you would need to think about doors to areas that you need to close off such as the bathroom.
You may also need to get a new front door. Think about what look you want to go for – do you want glass doors for instance, or would you prefer to go with a traditional wooden door? Make sure that they are well hung too – the last thing you need is your door falling off when you’re in the bathroom.
Take some time to consider your windows, too. If you’re buying an older home then they may not be well insulated. This could be a good opportunity to invest in some double glazed windows if you don’t already have them. This can help you to save money on energy bills too.
There’s a wide range of styles to choose from, such as frosted glass windows, so have fun looking for a style that suits your tastes.
Cutting the Costs of Home Remodelling
Remodelling your house can be pretty expensive, but here are a couple of ways that you can save some money on your remodelling project.
If you’re looking for contractors or materials, take some time to shop around a little. One tile at one retailer could cost double for the same thing elsewhere.
Naturally, it’s still important to pay for quality items and services or you may find yourself paying to fix things in the near future, but shopping around can sometimes save you a lot of money.
Make sure you thoroughly plan the remodel in advance. The last thing you want is for something unexpected to crop up at the last minute that could potentially cost you an extra few thousand pounds. Consider what could go wrong and budget extra for it.
If nothing goes wrong then you may find yourself with a few extra pounds that you didn’t think you would have!
You don’t necessarily need a project manager to ensure that the remodel is going smoothly – if you do the job correctly then you can save yourself money by overseeing the project on your own. Source your own contractors, bricklayers, electricians and more.
It will require you to give up more of your own time but it will likely save you money.
Manage the Waste Well
Sometimes you can waste things unnecessarily when you’re remodelling your home. Perhaps you’ve cut off too much wallpaper or you’ve ordered more materials than you need. You can sometimes repurpose these things elsewhere.
Some materials like metal can be sold to places like salvage yards. Waste not, want not!
When you’re looking for your new kitchen, check the ex displays. You’ll be paying a whole lot more for a current showroom kitchen, whereas an ex-showroom kitchen can sell for significantly less money and it’s just as good.
Home Remodelling Mistakes to Avoid
If you’re new to remodelling a home then it’s only natural that you may make mistakes. With that being said, it’s possible to avoid any mistakes entirely so long as you know what you’re doing. Here are a couple of the mistakes you should avoid.
Don’t be a Know it All
The chances are that you aren’t an expert in everything when it comes to remodelling. There are things that you won’t know how to do. Cater to your own strengths and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you’re trying to do something that you’re unfamiliar with, maybe check online for a guide on how to do it, or enlist the help of a contractor.
Don’t Assume You’ll Stick To Your Budget
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s always best to budget more than you actually plan on spending.
You could have done your research as thorough as possible but sometimes things just happen – perhaps there’s an issue with the structure or the plumbing and you need to pay extra to get it fixed.
Always account for unforeseen circumstances.
Don’t Risk Your Safety
It’s tempting to pay for materials or contractors that can give you the lowest quote, but ultimately your safety is a priority. When the cost is lower the risk for injury is higher, perhaps you will spend less on safety gear.
It’s better to pay more money when improving your home to stay safe, and it’s better to spend longer doing something than to rush and hurt yourself.
Don’t Assume Your Project Will Only Take a Few Days
This ties in with the previous point about time. Some projects can take longer than others, and while a contractor may tell you it takes only 2-3 days, this isn’t always the case. If you’re doing it yourself then it may take even longer.
Be realistic with your time – it’s better to assume that you will take longer and then you’re pleasantly surprised when it’s done sooner.
Final Thoughts – Let’s Remodel!
Remodelling your home can be an incredibly enjoyable experience, especially if you’re doing it yourself! As you can see, there’s a lot to take into account, but by following our guidelines your home is sure to look brand new in no time at all!