Home renovations are becoming more common in Australia thanks to the rising costs of property. Where once families would move to a larger house or nicer suburb, they now choose to stay put, mend and make-do with the homes they have. In fact, the Housing Industry Association estimated the Australian home renovation industry to be worth a whopping $32 billion dollars in 2017, a number they predicted would continue to grow.
Renovation is now the go-to solution for homeowners who have found themselves needing different things out of their properties as their lives have changed, making it more important than ever for would-be renovators to ensure their renovation is future proof, so they don’t find themselves repeating the process again in a few short years.
Evaluate your lifestyle
When planning a renovation for your forever home, take into consideration how you live your life now, and where you plan for it to go in the future. For example, are there areas in your home you find yourself wishing were different? Do you wish the bathroom was more spacious, the kitchen and dining areas combined in an open-plan style?
Do you plan to have children? And if so, do you need to make sure those future children have enough room in the backyard to play, or have space for their own bedrooms? Perhaps you have pets and need to integrate doggy doors or fences into the equation.
Make a wish list of all the things you want to change about your home, then compare it to your available budget and allocate funds to the most important changes first. Allow wriggle room in the budget to account for unexpected problems that may crop up during the reno.
Factor in technology
Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years and will continue to do so. But if you’re renovating your home, it pays to make some smart decisions about the technology you integrate into your existing structure while you’re at it.
One thing that can not only add value to your home, but reduce your energy costs, is solar panels. Solar energy collected by panels can now be stored in batteries, meaning you can replace some of your regular energy usage with solar power, bringing down your overhead costs in the long run.
Plan to use energy-efficient LED downlights in your home as they last longer than normal globes, use less power and are made from substances that are safer for the environment.
If you are renovating areas like your bathroom or kitchen and looking for new appliances, pick products with great energy and WELS ratings.
On a lighter note, ensuring your home is conducive to wireless technology is a must-do. This way you can integrate wireless speakers into your entertainment system and be sure every room has infallible internet access.
Reconsider your windows
Investing in double-glazed glass can keep your home warmer in winter, cooler in summer, and reduce the noise pollution coming in from outside your home, such as street traffic or city sounds.
Allow for future trends
Allowing for future interior trends while you are redecorating your newly-renovated property can not only avoid your property dating prematurely, but make it versatile enough to adapt to many different styles over time.
Choose reasonably neutral colour palettes that have historically withstood the test of fashion. White, grey, navy, cream and black can all be dressed up or down with a multitude of colours, and work with a variety of both timber and metallic finishes.
Keep this in mind when choosing your flooring. Do you want floorboards or tiles that can be easily covered with a rug or worked into different schemes, or do you want to commit to carpet?
Choose robust materials
While renovating, ensure you’re making the best decision when it comes to materials. Ensure timbers are hardwood with finishes that can withstand constant wear and tear. Choose durable tiles for the bathroom, laundry and kitchen, and consider stone benchtops that are resistant to cracks, scratches and stains. For furniture, look to pieces made using fabrics that occur naturally in nature, such as wool, cotton, linen and leather.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.
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