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May 15, 2006

Spring remodeling

Filed under: DIY Project,Home Decorating,Interior Design — DO or DIY @ 2:58 pm

If you have a remodeling project, spring time is probably the best time to do it. By now you should have thought about what you need to remodel rather than just redecorate. Remodeling requires the revamping of a space, so it’s normally a more time-consuming and expensive project..
Nevertheless you should also think about decorative elements; what style, what color scheme your new space will be and within what budget. As I said in the previous article about spring decoration, you must think about your home as a whole picture – there should be an overall feel to it, not a mish-mash of ideas, themes and styles. Don’t just follow magazine photos or other peoples’ homes – sure, be inspired by them, but let your imagination and personality manifest themselves!

The most important element of remodeling is good planning. Double or triple measure of the space you’re reinventing before you order anything new for it. In fact, ask your partner or a friend to measure things independently and cross-check your measurements!  If possible, remove fitted cabinets and other items so that you can measure accurately. Always measure a room at floor & ceiling level. If they don’t correspond, measure half way up and diagonally too (this is especially necessary in older buildings).

Then design your new space. Whether you need to remodel a single space or a whole building, it’s best to get advice from an interior designer or architect. I know that lots of make-over  TV shows give you the confidence that you can design yourself, but I can assure you that a qualified designer will point out details or come up with ideas you would have never thought of! They also have good knowledge of resources and could save you a lot of money! By the way, so called designers at DIY & Home stores are rarely proper designers, they are just salespeople – find a local designer, who is independent and properly qualified.

Then choose your new fixtures, fittings, appliances etc and order them. Make sure they arrive well before the works are due to start. I’ve experienced so many projects that were held up because the shipping got delayed – quite frankly, the delivery should have not been organised for the same day as the builders moved in. Don’t leave things in their packaging – make sure you’ve got what you ordered and that they are not damaged (exchanging items can also slow down the project).

Sometimes you’ll have to hire tradesmen, even if you want to put together things yourself. In the UK you’re not allowed to carry out electrical or gas work – these have to be done by registered electrician or gasmen. Across the US different regulations apply- the general rule is that if you don’t understand something or you’re not competent – leave the job to the professionals. You can still do some other works. 

Remember, details do matter. Some badly carried out DIY jobs can really ruin remodeled spaces. If you’re not good at plastering, just get in a plasterer; if you’re not good at tiling, get in a tiler (you can perhaps do the grouting yourself) and so on.

Anyway, the better you plan ahead the less hassle is likely to occur during your remodeling project. If you’re doing most of the work yourself – you’re in control and everything should go according to your plan. You then can enjoy the results for some time to come!

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