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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

3 Steps To Renovation

Planning a renovation or an extension or a new build, is an exciting time. Whether working on your own project, or helping clients to achieve a good home, there are many decisions to take along the way, but before it all even begins, there are three boxes that must be checked first: Budget, Expectations and Priorities

James Treble design for Eden Brae Homes
All images: James Treble design for Eden Brae Homes


So, how much can you afford to spend? Because despite many decisions and additions can be applied later, like wallpaper, for example, or the laundry cabinetry, there are some fundamental decisions that will need a good deal of money at the very beginning. Plumbing, brickwork, fixed flooring and essential cabinetry, for example, are just some of the expenses that cannot be postponed and must be known clearly. I would also allow some buffer in the budget for eventual glitches, like interruptions due to bad weather, delayed deliveries of materials or last-minute upgrades. And if not needed, the unused budget can be put at very good use later, with new furnishing, for example or landscaping.

James Treble design for Eden Brae Homes


It will be very difficult for an Architect or a Designer or even the sales people in a showroom to help you with your choices if you have no direction to suggest or examples to show. Being prepared, with a wish list at hand, will cut the chase and have you in the right direction from the word go. So, collect images from lifestyle magazines, websites and write notes of ideas you get from TV show or other people’s homes. Take photos there and visit a Display Homes’ Village, the best source of inspiration. Walk through and judge effective solution by functionality, before looks. Ask yourself WHY you like something, or you don’t, write it down and compile a look-book, maybe, to clearly show yourself and others the options you prefer.

James Treble design for Eden Brae Homes


With the help of the Architect, the Designer or the Builder, a list of priorities can be drawn, and some decisions must be made before the work even commences, like floorplan, plumbing and electrical for example. Let’s be practical: why fix the flooring when walls must soon come down, or why add a new front door before the work inside is finished and why asks for extra powerpoints only after the work is finished? You get my point. Prioritising will help the tradesmen do their job well, in a shorter time and saving you stress and money along the way.

James Treble design for Eden Brae Homes

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information. More of James' knowledge is now accessible via Practical Design Online Course.


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