Are you thinking about renovating? Don’t know where to start? I can help with that!

It can be really hard to know where to start when you are dreaming about renovating your house.

The planning stage of any project is of utmost importance, so it’s best not to rush this significant phase. Here is how to get started…

First of all, you should carefully plan the scope of your project. Research the costs and figure out your budget. What does your budget allow and why are you renovating? Are you embarking on a full renovation or do you need to work out how to split your project into stages? Prioritise what your needs are, because the answers to these questions will influence the scope, areas you will spend money on and the timeline of your project.

Then the real planning can begin. What style do you want in your newly renovated home? Explore and select your design based on your preferred style, needs and how you will use the space.  I recommend starting with furniture and layout plans. This is the foundation on which all the other plans are based on. Is there furniture you are keeping? Where are you placing beds, desks, closets, TV, carpentry, tables, couches, console table and so on. Measure carefully and plan the layout for your different rooms.

Once you have a furniture plan and a building plan for any changes of walls, you can start to plan electrics and lighting. This is so important to get right. Not enough light in a room is frustrating and too much light can be blinding. I recommend layers of light, so that you have general light for the room or space, ambient light with uplighters or lamps and task light for work or reading.  

Ensure to plan carefully for ceiling fans, wall lights next to the bed and light fixtures by desks or reading corners. Think about where you might have a lowered ceiling (or already have a lowered ceiling for air-conditioning) for recessed spot or profile light fixtures. Bathrooms need to have waterproof light fixtures away from shower heads and baths and it is nice to have a light that is dimmer on a separate switch that can be left on over Shabbat or at night, that won’t blind you if you have to get up in the night. Lighting (with its own switch) under cabinets in the kitchen is crucial so that you are not working in shadow. Hanging pendant lights for over the dining table and island look very effective. These can either be one fixture with one base or can be several fixtures (which will each need a separate point). What about spots for extra light on the stairs or in the hallway? Lighting in carpentry or behind mirrors also elevate the design. Lastly, don’t forget to plan for your BBQ, pergola and outdoor areas! It would be disappointing to have to add wires and junction boxes on the outside of the walls when your renovation is complete.

Make sure to plan outlets where you need them based on the furniture plan. Double outlets by every desk, bed etc. Perhaps a hidden charging station in a cabinet to charge phones, laptops and tablets. Plan enough outlets for computers, screens, printers, TVs, WiFi and communications, intercom etc. Do you want a smart home?

Although it is more expensive and a hassle to add points after, obviously every point you add, cancel or move even in the process of renovating also adds cost. So it is better to plan carefully according to your precise needs and mark all these points carefully in the floor plan.

Other than furniture, building, electric and lighting plans, you need to plan your bathroom layout and decide on exact locations of plumbing points. Kitchen carpentry plans need to also be prepared for all your cooking/baking and storage needs and an electric plan and plumbing plan specific for the kitchen and all the appliances should be produced separately to the main electric and lighting plan.  

All this planning should be done before any selections or purchases, to make sure that you make correct choices in the items you buy for your home. Once all the plans have been produced you can also approach recommended builders/contractors for implementing the build phase of the renovation.

This list sounds extensive and I hope I have managed to give you some things to think about to include in your renovation project. Renovating is not easy, but it will be worth it in the end.

If you would like to discuss any project with me, don’t hesitate to contact me for a consultation in your home. Check out my Instagram @designby_efrat or on Facebook @Design by Efrat