So you’re thinking about home extensions and renovations?… Maybe it’s a second storey addition. Or perhaps an extension out the back. A house lift and build under might be on the cards. Or you’re after a complete house overhaul.
Regardless of what house renovations and extensions you have planned, it’s always a good idea to think about these six elements that can really ramp up your renovations and achieve a much better outcome.
Without a doubt, energy efficiency is something that can be sorely lacking in older houses. Sure, over time, there may have been attempts to both cool and heat the house. But most of the time, these are band-aid fixes at best.
When older homes were built initially, not much thought was put into thinking about how cool the home would be in summer and how warm it would be in winter. Of course, our lifestyles were completely different back then, and due to this our homes were constructed and configured completely differently.
So, the challenge for homeowners today is that we are living in older homes that have not been built for our current conditions. There is little or no insulation. There can be lots of little gaps where heat can escape from. And the original layout of the home can often be pokey with little to no chance for adequate cross-ventilation.
When completing home extensions and renovations, it can be the ideal time to take a good look at your home’s energy efficiency and what you can incorporate into your renovations to improve it.
Tried and true measures such as adding insulation, rectifying any gaps or sources of air leaks and reconfiguring the layout to make the best use of passive design and solar amenity can make a huge difference to the energy efficiency of your home.
If you haven’t noticed, smart technology has really become mainstream. No longer is it just an option for the super-rich or the ultra bespoke homes. Smart technology can now be incorporated into any home. And during renovations and extensions is the perfect time to think about making your home a smart home.
Automated lights, keyless entry and voice assist devices are just a few of the things that you can incorporate into your home extensions & renovations to make life that little bit easier.
Smart technology is also a great way to increase the security of your home. Keyless entry means you can give one time access to your home, for a cleaner for example. Or you can give the kids a code instead of keys if they get home before you do.
Even voice and motion-activated security cameras are quick and easy to install and you can see what is going on at home even when you are not there.
If someone rings your doorbell while you’re at work, you are able to both see them and speak to them remotely. Or if you are on the way home, you can turn the air conditioner on so it’s nice and cool when you get home. A late night out with friends, have your lights turn on as you pull into the driveway so you’re not scrambling in the dark.
Who wouldn’t want cool technology like that in your home?
Money Saving Features
We touched on money-saving features in the above two points. Both energy efficiency products and smart technology can go a long way to saving you money in running your home. But we can go that little bit further and look at the actual products, finishes and materials we use within our home to help us save money.
Choosing to install energy-efficient lights for example is just one of the ways you can save money on the running costs of your home. Water-saving devices such as taps and toilets are other firm favourites. But if you also think about the materials you choose and elect to install long-wearing, low maintenance products and finishes, it can cut down the home maintenance costs long term.
Classic Design vs New Trends
One of the main elements that we ask our clients to consider when we conduct renovation consultations is to think about the overall design aesthetic they want to achieve. Of course, we all have our own styles and taste. But in our opinion, it’s always best to go with a classic design that complements the existing home rather than opt for current trends.
When renovating old houses, a classic design will make your home more unique and is going to give you lasting results. Opting for current trends will mean your home will likely date faster.
Trends come and go but classic is forever.
Another thing to consider is that we have so much history and heritage in our homes in and around Newcastle. Why not consider repurposing, restoring or refurbishing finishes, materials and products to retain not just the character of the home but also the history?
Don’t throw out the history of the home in the process of upgrading. A well-done renovation can incorporate both successfully.
Reworking the layout
During home extensions & renovations is a great time to sit down and consider the layout of your home. As mentioned earlier, our lifestyles have completely changed over time and when you have an older house the layout just might not work for modern lifestyles.
It is common for homeowners to remove walls and create open plan living when renovating their homes. It might also be a good idea to think about the floorplan as a whole and consider it’s worthwhile moving rooms around or repurposing rooms to make the layout work better.
Moving your kitchen from the back to the front. Moving bedrooms around. Converting bedrooms into bathrooms are just a few layout changes you can make. Even stealing some space from one room to give to another may be a way you can customise the home to suit your needs.
It’s worthwhile taking the time to really think about how you and your family used the home and what layout changes would we would make the flow and your lifestyle so much easier.
Don’t forget storage
This article would not be complete without a reminder to think about storage in your home additions and renovations. The golden design rule… You can never have enough storage.
While thinking about your floor plan and layout, think about storage and where you can incorporate sneaky storage that makes the best use of the space. Will you have cavities where you can add a concealed cupboard? Are there bench seats in your design that you can convert into blanket boxes? Would it be worthwhile lining your roof space and creating an attic space for your Christmas decorations and seasonal sporting gear?
Remember, “I’ve got too much storage” is a term that is never used. Ever!
Get professional design advice for your home extensions and renovations
Of course, all these elements are great to think about and incorporate into your renovations and extensions. But even if you simply think about one or two elements and rework your plans to include them, it’s going to make a world of difference to the end results in your home.
Overwhelmed by the information provided? Or by the home extensions & renovations process in general? Not sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck or getting the best out of home upgrades? It always pays to get professional advice. Advice not only on what can be achievable with your budget but also what features are going to give you and your family the most benefits.
Our renovation consultations are designed specifically for this purpose. We come out on-site and speak to you about your project, what you want to achieve and provide our professional advice on getting the most out of your home extension or renovation.
To start the process, it’s as simple as getting in touch.