Generation Renovation – But is it worth it?


Generation Renovation – I didn’t realise this was a thing until a friend used the term at dinner and when you break it down, it’s a thing. 

Those I know who are looking for the perfect home are searching for a period property in need of work, something they can make their own and hopefully turn a profit when the time comes to move on. Those who own their home seem to be looking to renovate a room or two. 

It’s been reported that two in five home owners plan to renovate their home in the wake of the pandemic. This maybe an extension or something less extravagant such as a new kitchen, bathroom or perhaps a simple paint job. 

Those looking to upgrade reportedly view Covid-19 responsible and its easy to see why, the pandemic has shifted the way we use our homes – they are now more multi purpose than ever. Our homes are where we relax, cook, work and in some case homeschool which has create a surge to better our surroundings. 

Depending on whether you live in an house or an apartment, this will depend on the project you can take on. There are numerous options such as extending, renovating, re-configure the layout, or create a nicer living environment to increase the value of your home. The most popular option seems to be creating a new room such as a home office or gym – but that’s really no surprise. 

One of the benefits of numerous lockdowns was having the opportunity to save – money which would have been spent on dinners, taxis and cocktails remained in our pockets putting us in a stronger position to carry out the home alterations we would have otherwise dreamed to complete. Before attempting to take down a wall, take some time and understand your motivation before dipping into the surplus of cash, asses your and your families needs. 

Though one of the major disadvantages is that a large proportion of people are now looking to carry out home renovations which has placed highly regarded contractors in demand. To put it into context, my contractor is currently booked for the next 18 months. The demand sounds like a bad dating site, some of my friends have been ghosted and rejected numerous times!

Searching #renolife on instagram will give you an understand of how many people are currently living in a building site. Both Covid-19 and Brexit caused building materials to become sparse and costs soaring! I was fortunate not only to work in the industry but I also secured a contractor and began work on the Notting Hill apartment pre-pandemic and predicting the lockdown, bought the materials required to continue the project, if allowed.

Having completed numerous renovations one of the biggest tips I can give would be to use one contractor/building company. Sure, this will be more expensive but ultimately it’ll make your life easier as all the workmen from plasterers to plumbers will all work around one another (without complaint) and all answer to the principle contractor/project manager. The principle contractor can also help with putting a schedule of works in place, correctly organising the workmen to avoid a job having to be done twice.

Whilst searching for a contractor or waiting for the works to begin, use the time constructively and plan the interior scheme – you will thank yourself later! Similar to building materials, hardware such as tiles, switches, sockets and appliances all come with lead times and having these selected or even better ordered will help keep the works on schedule.

Living in the property before starting the work will help you to understand the flow and realise where you’re drawn too and what jobs you wish carry out. Collate as many images as possible, create powerpoint documents and pin the images you love. Dissect these down to their core to really understand what it is you love about that particular image. Mood boards will keep your thought process on track and also provide a head start on the furniture and accessories which is probably the items you’re most excited to source. 

Living in the property whilst carrying out works can be a challenge as you become displaced and feel like a guest in your home, overrun with workmen and dust, shuffling minimal positions room to room – but it’ll be worth it. I have always been obsessed with design, moving from fashion to interiors around 4 years ago. Having the opportunity to renovate a home was something I couldn’t wait to do, especially after renting for the last decade. 

Renovating a property will feel like a full time job between ordering materials, daily site visits, meetings, sourcing and sampling it really will take up a large amount of time but in the end there is no feeling like create a home, a nest that’s truly unique and reflects your personality. 

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