Saturday, February 28, 2015

Beginners Guide to Remodeling a House!

Making a home out of a house is no easy venture. Home is where we create lifelong memories with our family. Life is even more beautiful when we have our dream house, one which is lovingly decorated; a comfortable lounge with potted plants, a cushioned seat by the window where we curl up with a book; a hot shower in a designer washroom; a state-of-the-art kitchen or that pink or blue room where our kids go into a slumber of rosy dreams.



The globe-trotting suave generation of Indians are on a remodeling spree to suit modern urban lifestyle. Renovating a house is a mammoth task that is easier said than done. In a bid to keep up with the latest trends in styling a home, we tend to go overboard with designs as well as finance. Replacing old structures and fixtures requires strategic planning and professional intervention. To get the best out of this expensive investment on domestic luxury, it would be prudent to look at several factors, from inception to owning a designer nest.  

Research

Go online. Technology has brought the world to our desktop and all the information required to renovate are only a click away. Do a thorough search about remodeling trends keeping in mind your property. Blindly following a trend may not necessarily be a good decision. Remodeling an apartment is vastly different from renovating a bungalow. Ensure that the final design is suitable to local Indian conditions. For e.g., the concept of an open kitchen may not be conducive to Indian homes due to elaborate cooking routines and use of multiple pots & pans. Speak to family, friends or acquaintances who may have had renovating experience to get key information on some do’s and don’ts. Go window shopping and check out the discount sale at stores specializing in home interiors. Compare prices. 


Planning

A good strategy is the key to launch a successful venture. Speak to several professionals or skilled labor who specialize in renovations. Compare their fee but the quality of work is also important to realizing your dream home. Check-out their previous work at site and if possible, speak to their clients.

Finances are critical to a renovation project. With a professional remodeling agency, it is recommended to enter into a contract detailing crucial aspects. Read the document carefully paying attention to the fine print. No matter how stringent a budget, a minimum 10%-20% increase should be anticipated and hence, keep reserve funds. Time will be a critical factor for working couples. The family may even have to move to another location for the period.

In the excitement of emulating international models, we forget that the Indian climate is tropical. Choose locally available material that is sustainable with low maintenance. Be realistic about installing expensive gadgets, bath and kitchen fittings. For e.g. a bathtub holds much fascination for Indians and they install one without considering water scarcity, space and the precious time required to indulge in that leisurely aromatic soak which has anyway evaded most of those who have installed one in their homes. Instead, check out the latest in shower cubicles.

A fancy European style kitchen is the dream of all working women who have little or no time to cook. With increasing dependency on hired cooks, is it wise to spend hard earned money on kitchen appliances that you might use once in a year or that a maid will not know how to use and maintain?

Effective use of available resources, space and creating space if necessary is value for money.

Implementing

Bear in mind that you may be excited about renovating but the neighbors will be inconvenienced with months of incessant banging and drilling, even more so in an apartment block. Effective communication is crucial to see the project reach a satisfactory finish. Before you start the project, speak to your neighbors and take them into confidence. Schedule specific working hours for the labor staff. Most residential complexes allow renovation work only between 9 am and 6 pm. Check with the neighbors regularly about any problems they may be facing. Also, keep all common areas clear of the debris. In some cases the labor lives in the house until the end of renovation. In those circumstances, ensure they are disciplined and do not create trouble.


Be eco-friendly

Consider eco-friendly renovation, though it might be more expensive than regular options. The stores are well stocked on home interiors that are environment friendly viz. energy saving light bulbs, roof top solar panels, wall paints & wall coverings / furniture & furnishings that are free of exceedingly harmful volatile organic compounds.

In the end, remember that remodeling is a time consuming and frustrating experience. Before launching into a renovating project, keep all the pros and cons in mind and hang in there with mood swings. Remember that a beautiful house awaits you at the end of the hardships.

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