There is no doubt that renovating a property is a mammoth task and takes patience and perseverance. Reuben John from City Living - Fine & Country East London gives a few tips on where to start.
The reason for your renovation will determine the extent of the work you undertake. Are you doing the renovation solely for your own benefit or with an eye to adding value for future resale? Renovating for yourself is not the same as renovating for profit, however, the process is similar.
Taking time to plan is essential. Do the research, write lists and prepare a budget. This will help clarify whether you have the funds to complete the renovation or whether you need to do it in stages. Add at least 10% to your initial budget for contingencies. Either way, tackling one project at a time makes sense, particularly if you are living on site. Renovating a kitchen and bathroom at the same time can leave you without the working fixtures you need for everyday living.
Do as much as you can beforehand as this will reduce the time the project takes. Have as many of the materials and fixtures as possible onsite. Waiting for a new sink to arrive can severely delay the completion of a kitchen, as well as increasing the cost if contractors have to return to finish the work. Make sure you know exactly what you want, as changing your mind once a project is underway can be brutally expensive.
If it is a recently acquired property, assuming it is habitable, take time to live in it to get a feel for what is going to work in terms of both lifestyle and aesthetics. It provides the opportunity to work with what you have, and it can be surprising how some simple changes, such as removing a wall, can move an area from pleasant to amazing.
Be prepared to accept there will be chaos during the process. If you are living in the property during the renovation, try and create a separate area that remains tidy and relatively dust free. Keep the communication channels open with everyone involved in the process, too. If you are using contractors, regular inspections and discussions keep everyone on the same page.
Maintain your sanity by reminding yourself this is a temporary state. When things get too much, take a couple of days out. Have a night in a hotel room or with friends. Having even a short time in a dust-free, organised environment reduces stress levels and revitalises.
Finally, make sure you have fun with the renovation and embrace the process. Remind yourself that you are lucky to be in a position where you can be creative. Spend time imagining what it will be like when it is complete. Breaking the project into stages can help with this – having time to enjoy one completed space while another is being completed helps in maintaining a positive attitude until the day all the work is done.