Avoiding Renovation Horror Stories

Home makeover shows make it look so easy – an entire house renovated in the space of a one hour episode, but in real life, renovating is a huge undertaking with boundless potential for disaster. Here’s how you can prevent your home transformation from turning into one of these common renovation horror stories.

Majorly blowing your budget

Renovation cost blow-outs can usually be blamed on poor planning. When defining your budget, you have to account for your plans… well… not actually going to plan. With projects the size of renovations, something will inevitably go wrong. If you fail to account for possible setbacks, you could find yourself coughing up more money than you had set aside to fix problems quickly. Allowing yourself wiggle room in your budget will help absorb the cost of any issues that will come your way.

Discovering your plans aren’t compliant

Speaking of the unexpected, not accounting for the cost of making your renovation compliant with council regulations can bite you in the budget. This is especially important when renovating outdated older homes. Minor alterations to your home exterior or interior generally don’t require council approval but changes to services like plumbing, drainage, gas, or electrical need to pass an inspection by the relevant authority. You can check with your local council for relevant information and find out if your proposal requires planning approval by consulting a building certifier.

Your house becoming unliveable

Weeks into your renovation, the entire place is a mess and you barely have room to walk for the tools and materials cluttering your floors. You can make your renovation more manageable by doing one room at a time. Tackling more than one area at a time, especially functional areas like the kitchen or bathroom, can ensure you’ll be suffering through months of showering with a hose in the backyard or washing your dishes in the bathtub unless you have somewhere else to stay in the interim. Renovating a single area is also a good way for you to test out any tradespeople you hire before committing them to renovating the rest of your house. If it you insist on renovating the whole place at once, consider renting alternative accommodations to live in during the process.

Your contractors going M.I.A.

Renovating is expensive, so if you have to spend money on contractors, you want to be sure you get someone reliable. This is why vetting contractors before you hire them is so important. Ask friends or family for recommendations. Research reviews online, ask to see references, licences, and insurance policies, and take note of their communication in the initial contact stages. Communication is essential to making little problems known before they become even bigger issues, so make sure your contractor is responsive to calls and messages. Whatever you do, don’t just hire the lowest bidder or the first contractor you come across.

Need more advice on renovating your home? Step into your nearest Andersens store and talk to our friendly team members.

A Stylish, Kid-Friendly Home

As anyone with children will know, the pristine interiors found in blogs and magazines without just don’t match the reality of a home with a growing family. Part of designing a suitable home for life with kids means making design concessions for their wellbeing. Everyone has to make changes for children, and if it extends to interior design, you can take solace in the fact that nowadays, there are stylish, child-friendly options available when it comes to decorating your home. See how you can maintain your sense of style while ensuring your kids grow up happy and safe.

Furniture

For little feet still finding their way in the world, rounded edges on furniture are a must. Thankfully, curvy furniture is in, so a plush couch will look chic and still cushion any little run-ins your child may have. Opting for materials like leather, vinyl, plastic, or even outdoor materials in your furniture will mean that even if they do get dirty, it won’t be the end of the world. Removable couch and seat covers are a godsend for anyone wanting fabric furniture without the stress. Ottomans and poufs are also a good choice thanks to their rounded shape and perfect height for tykes.

Walls

When you arm a child with a crayon, walls are a common casualty. But if protecting your walls are a concern, why not embrace your child’s artistic sensibilities with washable or chalk wall paint? Wash-and-wear paint means marks can easily be wiped off and chalk paint transforms your wall into an instant canvas for your child. Alternatively, encourage your child to explore their creativity by framing their artworks and displaying them on the wall. This way, you can keep their drawing confined to paper but you won’t stifle their creativity.

Storage

Clutter is a fact of life in homes with children – or is it? With ample storage throughout your home, you can keep your home tidier. Keeping your valuable or fragile items tucked away from the reach of small hands will allow you peace of mind and also ensure your child’s safety. Having storage higher up on the wall or lockable cabinets can help with this problem. You can also encourage your child to clean up after themselves. Provide your child with storage chests or baskets for their toys and shelves for their books. Child-height hooks on walls are great for clothing. This way, your child can learn how to do their part in keeping a tidy home.

Flooring

Spills are inevitable with kids around, but you can be selective about flooring for easier cleanup. Vinyl plank flooring is an increasingly popular alternative to hardwood because of its lower-cost, durability, and good-looks. These stylish floor coverings imitate the look and texture of wood whilst being waterproof and low-maintenance. Carpet is a very comfortable option for children but some people are concerned about upkeep. Luckily, carpet is now available in stain-resistant fibres, so you can have flooring which cushions your child’s falls that will still resist soiling.

For more advice on the best floor or window coverings for your home with children, talk to a friendly team member at an Andersens store near you.

Designing a Home to Sell

Trying to appeal to every potential buyer when selling your property is unrealistic, but according to pros in the real estate business, there are some features that have mass appeal for house hunters in the current market. Find out which features are topping prospective buyers’ most-wanted lists and see how you can add value to your home before it hits the market.

Kitchen

It’s the heart of the home, so it’s understandable why the kitchen is one of the most important areas for prospective buyers. As one of the most expensive rooms to renovate, an outdated or impractical kitchen is a deal-breaker for many people. Modern appliances and kitchen surfaces made from decent quality materials will always be winners and cosmetic updates to your kitchen are affordable ways to up the perceived value of your property.

Bathroom

Perhaps second to the kitchen on the scale of importance to prospective buyers, the bathroom doesn’t need to be a palatial spa retreat to sell. As long as your bathroom is functional and fresh-looking, you don’t need to do a complete renovation. A fresh lick of paint and making sure things like grout and fixtures are in good condition will go a long way in making a good impression.

Clean, white modern bathroom

Timber-look floors

A timeless floor covering, hardwood floors are durable and age well. Barring the more divisive parquet style, timber floors remain largely impervious to trends. It’s not just genuine timber floors that are catching buyers’ eyes. Timber-look floors like vinyl planks or laminate are more budget-friendly alternatives to real timber. The classic good looks of a timber floor guarantee interiors that will stay stylish over time for the new owners.

Open-plan Living

One of the most common changes Australians make to their floor plans is to knock down a wall and ‘open up the space’. An open plan home is desirable for a lot of prospective buyers because it creates a feeling of spaciousness and encourages communal living.

Outdoor Living

When it comes to selling a ‘lifestyle’ with your home, there’s nothing quite like the inclusion of an outdoor living area. Australians love to venture outside and enjoy the sunshine, so a dedicated outdoor space like a covered patio, especially if it connects well with the interior, will appeal to buyers looking to get the most enjoyment out of their new home.

For help with floor and window coverings to add the “WOW” factor to your home before you sell, make sure you see the friendly team at Andersens.

Sources:
https://www.localagentfinder.com.au/blog/top-ten-tips-to-increase-your-homes-value-before-selling/

https://viviannstuart.com.au/7-sought-features-home-buyers-looking/
https://www.domain.com.au/advice/the-most-valuable-aspects-of-a-home/

Flooring Your Home for Pets

Australians just love their pets. In fact, 62% of Aussie households are home to a pet, with dogs and cats the most popular, meaning we have one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world! As loveable as our pets can be, it is reasonable to expect some additional cleanup when living with them. Claws can scratch floors, paws track in dirt, and toilet mishaps aren’t really confined to the bathroom. Living with pets is often about compromise, so if you’re renovating, it’s important to find a flooring solution to suit both you and your animal companion. See which floor coverings are right for your home.

Tiles

Tiles are highly durable and waterproof. Resistant to scratches and stains, tiles are easy to clean and perfect prevention from permanent damage that energetic pets might cause. Keep in mind though, that high gloss tiles can be slippery for animals to walk on, especially for more senior pets, and many people would prefer not to use tiles in every room.

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl flooring is a low-maintenance flooring option and the bevy of designs available will satisfy any style-conscious home designer. Underfoot, vinyl is springy and comfortable for humans, and for pets, offers improved traction that harder flooring cannot provide. Vinyl also absorbs sound, helping to muffle the sound of claws on floors.

Laminate

Although laminate flooring can be highly scratch-resistant, it often has a shiny surface that can cause traction issues for your pet. If you do choose to go with laminate, speak with a team member at your local Andersens store to find a suitable product. Traditionally, laminate does not provide the best water-resistance, but newer, innovative laminate products like Premium’s Impressive Ultra and Majestic (available by special order through Andersens) are waterproof and come with a 10 Year Wet Warranty.

Timber

Timber flooring, although timelessly beautiful, can be susceptible to scratching, scuffing, and even denting. Animal claws can definitely have a detrimental effect on the condition of timber floors – think stiletto heels. If you already have timber floors installed, you can attempt to protect them with area rugs or floor runners but parts will still be exposed to wear and tear from your pets. If your floor does become damaged over time, the upside of timber flooring is it can be sanded down. A downside to timber flooring for a home with pets – all spills must be cleaned up immediately because of how water-averse timber is.

Carpet

The thought of pets on carpet might have some people recoiling in horror, but if you must have carpet in your home, there are products available created with easy-maintenance in mind. Carpets from the Stainmaster range are designed to withstand wear and tear and have in-built resistance to stains and soiling. Redbook Green carpets offer a Lifetime Pet Protection Warranty – perfect if you want pets and carpeted floors. Plus, what feels good under your toes will feel good under your pet’s, too.

Looking for more advice on designing your interiors? Step into an Andersens showroom and speak to one of our friendly consultants for help.

Easy Ways to Fake an Entryway

An entryway is the first opportunity for you to make people feel welcome and show off your unique style. But what do you do if your front door just opens unceremoniously into the living space? You can still create the illusion of an entryway – just try some of the following tricks.

Console Tables

No entryway? Don’t despair! Place a narrow console table against a wall or along the back of your sofa for a convenient place to store those essentials you grab before you head out the door. Add some interesting decor objects to your table to give your faux entryway some personality.

Furniture Placement

Speaking of sofas, furniture can function as partitions to define the boundaries of your pseudo-entryway. You can also use backless bookshelves or divider screens to wall off the space from the rest of your home without resorting to expensive renovations.

Rugs

Is there anything a good rug can’t do? Use an area rug to to outline a drop-zone. Place a smaller, heavy-duty mat by the front door to prevent dirt from being tracked inside.

Wall Decor

Give your guests something to look at as they enter your home. This provides a natural reason to pause, mimicking the effect of an entryway. Apply some visually-arresting wallpaper or hang a show-stopping artwork to bring the “WOW” factor to your home’s entrance.

Seating

Adding seating to your faux-entry provides a spot for you and guests to put on or remove shoes. Choose a bench seat for optimal practicality or opt for an occasional chair that makes a statement.

Storage

Make your entry area practical by adding some storage. Purchase a compact shoe rack or some baskets to set by the door, invest in a coat rack, or install some handy hooks on your wall. If you have a closet by the front door, consider setting aside some space inside it for guests.

By using a few of these easy fixes, you can create a natural-feeling entryway without having to call in construction.

For more help with making your house a home, check out the rest of our interior decor tips here or visit your nearest showroom.