Many people who are not in the building trade wonder how to plan their home renovations. It’s a situation that is all too close to home for us. Plans for a structural renovation of our home have been on the cards for around 5 years. We’ve been so busy managing other people’s builds that there has been little time to plan our own renovation. You know what they say, a builder’s home is the last one to be finished.
There are some unexpected benefits of living in a home for a year or two prior to planning your home renovation:
1. Spatial awareness and traffic flow
Living in a place prior to planning a renovation allows you to ‘get a feel’ for the space. If you’re not a builder, designer or architect, it may be hard for you to articulate what it is about a space that’s not working for you. Allowing yourself to live in the space will enable you to figure out how you will use the space and to know what it is you want from it. Bad traffic flow, for example, can make a space seem smaller. While you may have initially thought ‘bigger is better’, there may be simpler creative solutions to improve the space without drastically changing the structure.
2. Light and heat
Living in a space for 12 months allows you to track how the home responds to light and heat across the seasons. A dark corner in winter might actually be a cool place in summer. Taking the time to mull these solutions over will allow you to create a space that maximises your use and enjoyment of the finished product.
3. Design a space that will grow with you
We have borne three children into our home. While living in a largely un-renovated space during this time in our family lives has sometimes been frustrating, ultimately the renovation we do will reflect the family we are now (with kids aged 8, 6 and 4), and who we will be when our boys become young men.