Home Remodelling Tips

How do I remodel my whole house?

Home renovation is a huge project that can start off simple. You peel back a corner of carpeting on Saturday morning, and a lightbulb goes off in your head: Why not refinish these hardwood floors?

Six months later, that mere refinishing project has led to torn-down walls, pried up floorboards and decommissioned bedrooms. But the flip side of this is you end up with a gorgeous, refinished house for a fraction of the cost it would have cost to buy a new house.

A full-house renovation is quite a different matter. It doesn’t — or shouldn’t — begin with pulling up the carpet. It should begin with real-world realisations about the scale of this project and dedicated planning.

There’s a way that you can make things fun and enjoyable. Check out our range of Melbourne home renovations for your dream house.

Here’s our whole house remodel guide.

GET A CLEAR VISION

Let’s clarify a few things first. It’s important to consider if you really want a whole house to remodel because it’s not a small DIY project that you can simply abandon if you lose interest. Are you sure you can manage and oversee the remodelling process from start to finish? Is it something you consider worth investing in? These questions can help you decide whether to proceed or not. The first thing we had to do on a whole home remodel was to determine where to start. We needed a plan.

Before you start on any of the actual house remodelling work, you’ll need to plan out what you want to do to the house and develop a scope of work.

Are you simply swapping out paint and flooring? Do you plan to gut the entire kitchen? Are you going to reuse any of your original materials? Will you be taking down or putting up any walls? Significantly changing the layout of a kitchen or bathroom? Are you going to need to re-route any plumbing or electrical?

renovations

When we took on our own remodel project, we considered the layout of the house and thought about how we wanted to use the space, what our future needs may be, and what we would enjoy aesthetically.

Once you’ve decided to push through, start envisioning what you want for your home. The beauty of an entire house remodel is that you can create exactly the home you want, so it’s worthwhile investing the time and energy understanding precisely what is important to you and your family.

For starters, you can familiarise yourself with simple and basic home remodelling ideas. Check the latest trends on home design, and see if there’s something you’d like to try. 

THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE

A whole-house remodels a significant investment of your time and money, and quality work will last you a lifetime. So it’s important to keep in mind what life might look like in your current home in the years to come. Children will grow up, and grandchildren may come along. As you age, accessible design features, including easy-to-operate options and well-lit areas, become more important. Think ahead to get the most out of your remodel.

If you don’t see yourself living in your remodelled house permanently, then you should also consider its resale value. Most American homeowners opt for a whole house remodel to sell properties.

CHOOSE BETWEEN DIY OR HIRING PROS

How can you make the project possible? You can either opt for DIY or hire contractors.

Since this is a huge project, it’s impossible to go full-blown DIY. That’s why most homeowners prefer to work with experienced and skilled design-build contractors when it comes to the whole house remodels.

As this is a whole-house renovation, you likely will not be doing all of the work yourself. Even the most determined homeowner will have to call in a professional for projects like plumbing and electrical.

Professionals range from expensive contractors to sub-contractors and handymen you find through word-of-mouth or classified ads. Since not all home renovation projects are created equally, you will want to consider on a case-by-case basis whether you are capable of taking on the home renovation project yourself or whether you wish to hire professionals.

It’s good to know, though, that one way to reduce costs in contractor-driven remodels is to take on some of the projects yourself. Contractors don’t especially like using subs other than their “own people.” But if that “other person” is you, and your piece doesn’t impact the remodel’s progress, he should be amenable (suggestion: save your piece for the last, such as painting the kitchen).

The thing is, these pros can either come from an in-house team or simply consider themselves subcontractors. A typical go-to choice is the former since an in-house team has surely worked on big projects before. A team is more likely organised, systematic, and works with a solid, cohesive plan. Hiring one might be expensive, but the right team is worth it.

The other option is all about outsourcing. Do you need a contractor who is highly specialised in kitchen and bathroom remodels? Are you looking for someone who’s an expert at outdoor remodels? If so, hire a few subcontractors to work on some specific areas.

It’s a common misconception that homeowners have no choice but to leave everything to the contractors. If you think you can extend help on some tasks, then that’s where DIY comes in handy. This might even cut some costs.

At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of home renovations.

MAKE A FUNDING PLAN FOR YOUR PROJECT

Gone are the days when you had to stick with a certain way to fund your home remodel. Everything’s flexible now, as long as you’re financially ready and capable of the investment.

Your home remodelling project will cost you more than you care to know. So it’s best to come up with a range of funding options. Your choice of funding options may range from simple sweat equity on up to the traditional home equity loan.

Of course, the simplest and most direct way to finance home remodels is through cash and liquid assets. You won’t be tied to monthly payments, interest charges, or even debt. But, if you don’t have sufficient personal savings in the meantime, taking out loans is a doable option. The easiest way is to opt for a home equity loan. Your newly remodelled home becomes collateral, and all you have to do is pay on time to avoid the risk of losing your property. Zero-interest loans are much better, but getting qualified can be quite tricky.

In case both options don’t work, using your credit card is the last resort. But be prepared for high-interest rates.

Develop Plan for Saving on Remodeling Costs

From designers’ fees, contractors’ commissions and The Home Depot credit cards: home remodelling seems designed to drain your piggy bank as fast as possible. But there are tried and true ways to save on home remodelling costs, on everything from the kitchen to bathroom.

BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH MANAGING CONTRACTORS AND WORK CREWS

Notwithstanding your rock-solid decision to do it all yourself, you will inevitably find yourself hiring someone to help. You will need to know how to manage work crews.

MAP OUT THE REMODEL AREAS

Are you planning to remodel your entire home, or do you want to focus on the kitchen and bathroom remodels? The term’ whole house remodel’ can refer to a combination of any rooms, an additional new room, or the entire house. Decide on what you really need to remodel and include them in your plan.

CHOOSE YOUR STYLE AND DESIGN

Speaking of style, what look do you want for your new space? A whole house remodel allows for a complete style overhaul, so the sky’s the limit. Choose a few styles and themes that appeal to you and talk it over with your design-build contractor to see how it will fit with your plans.

CONSIDER YOUR UTILITIES

Your utilities such as water, gas, and electricity may put some constraints on your remodel, particularly if you’re planning to change the structure drastically, or build up or out. Suppose you’ve got a significant remodel in mind. In that case, it’s worthwhile consulting a remodelling professional as soon as possible to know what changes are viable and what challenges can come with it.

KEEP IN MIND STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS AND MATCHING

Once again, drastic changes may interfere with the structural support of the home, and in the case of additions, this is true. Each city or building jurisdiction has its own unique requirements above and beyond the current building code. Consult with a design-build firm to help you work out how this will impact your home. New structures should adhere to your area’s building, so this is important to keep in mind.

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR REMODEL PLAN

There’s nothing worse than working things out or hearing about a great new addition for your remodel and then forgetting about it! Save yourself from the stress, and keep track of everything.

Before getting the project started, you can make your own remodel binder that compiles all paperwork and information you need. You can create categories with the use of tab dividers, so organising and monitoring is easier too.

Aside from that, a lot of homeowners are now using various home remodelling apps to make the process easier. Say you need a 3D view of your whole house, or you’re making a theme out of your desired colour palette. Accessing your home remodel plan through your phone is convenient.

TAKE SAFETY AND CLEANLINESS SERIOUSLY

It’s good to consider things like lead-based paint before sanding down that 80-year-old hand-railing. Avoiding mess when painting your house interior is just as important as developing a plan for keeping out dust from clean areas of your house.

Planning for a new look of your house? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions is here to help in your home renovations.

Brilliant renovation design ideas to consider

The Glass Link

Using a glazed link to connect old and new sections of a house that’s being extended is an increasingly popular design idea for renovations. A glass linking section can provide a distinct junction between two sections of a house, as well as bring in pockets of light to otherwise dark, old properties.

This glazed link, designed by Adam Knibb, joins together the original Grade II-listed former barn with a timber-clad, contemporary extension, and has many clever design features. The link addresses the difference in floor levels between the old and new sections, brings in light and gives views of the garden. The top of the link is set at a slight angle to ensure rainwater runs off.

The Voluminous Space

A renovation project can offer scope to maximise potential in an existing home, but we often think in terms of floor space, with space above overlooked.

This contemporary home is now unrecognisable from the cramped 1930s bungalow it once was. By including picture windows, strategically placed roof lights and soaring vaulted ceilings, this single-storey home feels airy and spacious. Keeping internal walls to a minimum further enhances the sense of space.

The Broken Plan

Going the whole hog with an open plan layout is not for everyone. While completely open plan areas undoubtedly make the most of smaller spaces and ensure light can flow from one space to another, they can make it hard to create more private, intimate areas in renovation projects.

This is where ‘broken plan’ comes in — layouts that are open, yet zoned through the implementation of partial walls, internal windows, and room divides. This is a strategy that works in large and compact homes alike.

Existing Openings Transformed

Modern-day occupants of old houses usually want very different things from their home than the original owners. Ensuring a period house works as a dwelling for its 21st-century inhabitants, without compromising its original character is a real challenge. Both of these properties featured openings that were no longer required, yet the sensitive nature of the listed buildings meant the openings couldn’t just be bricked-up.

Creating a shutter-style feature within the now-defunct original doorways of his home (above), formerly three farmworkers’ cottages. Along with looking striking, the design offers privacy, obscuring the view into the house from the road, while allowing natural light in.

Erected in 1836, the design for the renovation and conversion of this barn (by David Nossiter Architects) retained all of the large agricultural openings. Three different glazing companies were appointed to install bespoke glazing within the original openings, including a swathe of sliding doors. Elsewhere, simply fixed panes of glass ensure the once dark space is full of natural light. “The sensitive nature of the listed buildings meant openings couldn’t just be bricked up.”

Exposing the Original Fabric

Exposing the original fabric of an old home, or salvaging materials, can not only bring character to the interiors of a renovation project but can also be a pleasing nod to the history of the building — as this exposed timber frame goes to show.

On the verge of collapse when work started on the extension and conversion of this Grade II-listed barn, the local conservation officer gave approval for the oldest part of the structure to be dismantled, providing as much as possible of the original oak frame was salvaged and reused.

Border Oak carried out the delicate task of dismantling and rebuilding the barn. While some of the timbers could be used structurally, those that were in too poor a state of repair have been used for decorative purposes.

The Supporting Post

In response to the clients’ wishes for a home that had an “industrial aesthetic”, a spacious feel and plenty of natural light, Granit Architecture + Interiors have created a contemporary extension to the side and rear of this property that incorporates features to fulfil the brief.

A reclaimed column, originally from an old bandstand, provides structural support and has removed the need for a load-bearing wall. It’s an example of how a key part of the structure can play an aesthetic role, too.

Full-width steel-framed doors spanning the rear of the house further add to the industrial feel of the space, as do exposed brick walls.

The Twisted Roof

The front of this pretty Grade II-listed cottage in Norfolk gives no clue to the more radical rear extension — which includes a fine example of how renovations can result in some of the most inventive and striking solutions.

Here, the twisted roof of the new extension was a solution borne out of the desire to retain the rear bedroom window while incorporating a new staircase, as architect Tom Allen explains: “I needed to get a roof in that would miss the window at the back and have sufficient head height as you go up the stairs — and that is where the twisting roof design evolved from.”

The roof is actually a standard warm deck roof construction, with softwood ceiling joists and rafters, but, unusually, each rafter has a slightly different pitch in order to accommodate the twisting element.

In place of standard sheets of ply over the rafters and joists, there are three layers of 6mm ply that have been glued and laminated in place to form a strong, curved construction — similar to the hull of a ship. The insulation too is a series of built-up layers, with a single-ply membrane over the top.

The New Third Storey

On purchasing a decaying two-storey, double-fronted house, located at the foot of a sloping street mainly occupied by three or four-storey buildings, the owner was keen to ensure the house was more in keeping with neighbouring homes.

The solution, designed by Granit Architecture + Interiors, was to add not only a contemporary glazed, two-storey extension to the side at the rear but also to add an entire new third storey. The exterior walls have been newly rendered and matching sash windows constructed so that the new storey sits seamlessly atop the old.

The Bifold Alternative

Designed by Granit Architecture + Interiors, this typical Victorian terrace has been transformed by a new rear and side extension. Keen to bring more natural light into space, but looking for something a little different to the usual bi-fold or sliding doors, a huge run of steel-framed windows and doors have been introduced, along with a series of large roof lights above.

Built-in Joinery

Not all rooms are square — particularly in renovation projects. While this is undoubtedly part of their charm, it can make finding furniture that fits and makes the most of the available space a little tricky.

Built-in furniture often works far better in awkward spaces, such as those with uneven walls and sloping ceilings, ensuring every last nook and cranny is taken into account and made use of. 

In order to squeeze as much usable space out of this bedroom as possible, bunk beds, with storage beneath, have been built in, ensuring that the space afforded by the vaulted ceilings has been fully taken advantage of.

Now that you’ve planned out your home remodel in its entirety, it’s time to get started! Don’t be afraid to jump in. With the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to renovating your entire home!

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