19th March 2017
Doing Up Your Home: A Checklist from Scratch
Embarking on a full renovation or home finishing project but not sure where to start? Before the panic sets in, let Sarah Micallef – who’s fresh from her own home renovation – point you in the right direction.
If you’ve just bought an unconverted property or a new build that’s still in shell form, you probably already know that there’s a long journey ahead. And with so much going into a renovation or finishing project, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed. But don’t fret! Knowing where to start and having a rough idea of the different stages will help keep you organised… and, let’s face it, sane!
When we purchased our home – an unconverted house of character – the only thing we knew was that there was a lot to do, and that it wouldn’t be easy. I would be lying if I told you there won’t be times when you’re tempted to throw in the towel, but as every home owner who has been through the process will tell you, stick with it – it is definitely worth it!
The planning stage
Let’s get you organised. Your first order of duty should be planning out your rooms and how they will be used. While it might be difficult to imagine at this stage, having a good idea of your room layouts, including basic furniture positioning is vital, as this will determine how your electricity and plumbing will be laid out.
The project will start with structural works. Whether you’re tearing down walls, opening up windows or building an extension to your existing property, your builders will be the first workers on site. All other stages depend on this one, so be prepared for the chaos it brings! If you’re converting an old house, this is where it becomes a building site, so be brave: it will look a whole lot worse before it starts to look better.
Plumbing and electrics
The next phase is plumbing and electricity, and this is where those layouts your prepared will come in handy. Detailed diagrams outlining where all your wiring, plumbing, electrical points, switches and water outlets will go are utilised here, and it is also at this stage that you need to lay the groundwork for any AC units, intercoms and networks you will require, so as to avoid having to dig into the walls again later – a messy and unnecessary expense.
Insulate, insulate, insulate!
Next comes waterproofing and insulation of the roof and any outdoor areas, followed by apertures, if it’s a new build. If you have an older house in which you’ve opened up windows or made them larger however, you might need to wait a little longer till you order your apertures – at least until the walls have been finished or plastered. Any variation in opening size thanks to uneven old walls could throw the previous window measurements out the, well, window!
The final push
Finally, it’s time to move on to finishing the outside walls, followed by the indoor walls. Next, the flooring will go down and bathrooms tiled, with fixtures being installed soon after. With all this in place, you can finally move on to the final phase – furnishing. The house is as good as set once you’ve got your fixed furniture installed (like your kitchen, for example), leaving you to focus on the fun stuff – making your new house a home! Bring on the house parties!