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Home renovation: 5 top tips

4 min read

Home renovation: 5 top tips
The quest for a "forever home" is something many buyers spend their whole working life trying to fulfil, while for others it seems frustratingly out of reach. But could you make your own forever home through some canny renovation?
According to a recent survey by Opinium, commissioned by LV=, over half (53 per cent) of homeowners consider their house to be their forever home. But what about the rest of us.
Renovations, even small ones, can be a savvy way to make your current home meet your changing needs. From revamping the bathroom to building an extension, there are many ways to change your thoughts and feelings towards your current house.

Tip 1: Landscape your garden

A garden was the most important factor when it came to finding a permanent home, with 59 per cent of survey respondents citing it.
Your outdoor space is a great way to make your home feel bigger without spending too much. If it’s looking a little sorry for itself, don’t panic. There are plenty of landscaping ideas that can be done on a budget—though, of course, you can spend as much as your funds allow.
The first step is research. Use websites such as Pinterest to get an idea of what can be achieved in the space you have, then do a rough sketch of how things could look.
You don’t need to be an artist—it’s just to give you an idea of how everything will fit together in the space before you splash the cash.
Small things, such as painting fences, buying new plants and planters and jet washing your paving slabs, can have a massive impact. But if you do want to go bigger, here are some ideas:
Buy new garden furniture
If you bought affordable, space-saving furniture when you moved in, treat yourself to a new set. Outdoor sofa sets can make your garden feel more luxurious, while fire pits are a practical and fun way to add a focal point to your garden.
Create zones
For large gardens, creating different zones can help to divide the space, but also make it feel bigger. Try splitting it into areas that fit your different needs – friendly for children, a good place to relax, plants to bring colour and space to eat outside.
Replace your paving or decking
Paving or decking can soon look tired, especially if you’ve inherited it from previous owners. Replacing it can be affordable—especially if you use local traders and source the materials—but can have a massive impact on how your space looks.

Tip 2: Make more space

A single or two-storey extension can instantly (after a few weeks of feeling like you’re living in a building site) make your home feel like new.
More than a third of those asked (38 per cent) said the number of rooms was important when finding their forever home.
Whether it’s increasing your number of bedrooms to fit your growing household, or making the kitchen or living room bigger, having more space can be the perfect way to make your forever home.
An extension is undeniably one of the most expensive renovations but when you compare to the average cost of moving—around £9,000—and the hassle, it could be an attractive option.

Tip 3: Refurbish your bathroom or kitchen

Of those that had already found their forever home, half refurbished the kitchen, according to the research. This suggests tackling this area can really influence how you look at your house.
Renovating your kitchen can be a small-scale project that can improve the value of your home, as well as making it more suitable for you long term. Much like planning your garden design, you’ll need an idea of what you want and what’s possible with your space before spending any money.
Retailers can normally help you plan these areas if you’re buying your kitchen with them, but if you want to use local traders for the project, you can do this yourself.
Pinterest can be a great way to start, but there are also online tools that allow you to enter your room dimensions and see how different styles will work. Of course, you can also call on a professional designer to help if your budget allows.
Giving your bathroom a new lease of life can also be a practical way to revamp your home. Fairly small things such as replacing the floor or tiles can have a big impact on the overall feel of the bathroom. Changing your bathroom suite, shower or cabinets can be a little pricier but may make the room much more practical for you.

Tip 4: Make better use of your space

Many people will admit that they do not use their space to its full potential. Whether it’s a cupboard, garage or loft, many areas of your home can become filled with junk you probably don’t need and don’t even know is there.
From turning mop cupboards into downstairs toilets, under-stair spaces into storage, walk-in wardrobes into en suites or garages into playrooms, there are endless ways to unlock the potential of your home and make it work for you.
Tradespeople—like a joiner or builder—can usually help you to figure out what to do with your space, but it might be worth consulting a professional designer if you really want to optimise your space.

Tip 5: Finding your forever home

forever home
Finding your forever home can feel like a Herculean task, but it doesn’t need to be. For more than a third of respondents, their forever home was love at first sight, suggesting it’s more about how a space makes you feel, rather than having a set number of bedrooms or a massive garden.
See where you stand in your demographic with the Forever Home Finder Tool, but don’t panic if you’re not there yet. It could be right around the corner, or even a little closer to home, if you undertake a renovation project or two in 2020.
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