One of the consistent questions I receive from homeowners is “Where do I start?”
It doesn’t matter whether you’re building or renovating. Knowing how to start can be confusing and overwhelming.
There is so much information and advice out there. Finding a simple path through it all can be challenging. It doesn’t take much to get overwhelmed. And it doesn’t take too many wrong turns to be in completely the wrong place.
The thing is that ‘wrong place’ is usually an expensive place to be. It can be costly to reverse decisions, and get back on track. It can also force you to have to live with your mistakes, and pay a mortgage on them as well. That’s the double-whammy in building and renovating.
In my experience, all projects start the same way. Building, renovating, subdividing, extending … ALL projects. Whatever your dreams. Wherever you are, and whatever your budget is.
This way involves answering four questions.
These 4 questions are:
- What would you like to do?
- What are you allowed to do?
- What can your budget afford?
- What do you, and your family, actually need from your home now and into the future
Let’s start with Question Number 1: What would you like to do?
Often homeowners start by identifying their desires for their home as a shopping list of rooms and spaces. They try to piece their home together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Instead, ask yourself “What am I seeking to achieve?”
(Because ultimately, this is the guts of the question “What would I like to do?”)
What are your big goals for your project?
- Is it to create your forever home?
- To give your current home a little more room?
- To make life simpler, by downsizing? Or another reason?
And then ask “Why”?
I’ll be honest here. Any project involving renovating or building is a long-term play – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Your “why” is your sustenance to get you through. You need to know it, hang onto it, believe in it, and hold it high. Write it down. Put it on the fridge.
You may keep talking about your home in terms of what you want it to “do”. But it’s also important to think about “why” you want your home to do these things. And why you want to renovate or build in the first place.
Your connection to your home is usually quite an emotional one.
Understanding the “why” of your project honours this. It will help set the framework as you move forward. It will also help you navigate the seduction trap that is Pinterest, Interiors Magazines and Makeover TV Programs.
Creating your answer to “What do I want to achieve” saves your sanity, as well as your money and time.
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