The bedroom should be among the coziest spaces in your home, not to mention the best room for your perfect reading nook. And while it may not be top priority when it comes to renovations, it’s important to get things right when the time to remodel it does come around. Whether you’ve bought a fixer-upper or simply want to enlarge or improve your current space, remodeling your bedroom can be an exciting project to undertake.
However, as with any renovation there are pitfalls that are all too common. Many DIY-ers have fallen into the following traps, costing them time, money and sometimes their dreams. Before you start planning your bedroom remodeling, it’s well worth knowing which traps to avoid.
Rushing Your Plans
Many homeowners are eager to turn their dreams into reality, but it’s a good idea to stop for a minute and really think things through. Does your bedroom really need some big changes or would some clever transformations and tricks change the entire feel of the room? If remodeling really is the only way, go for it. First, make sure to get a good idea of how your space flows and what sort of redesign might work best. Now get your ideas down on paper, especially for more ambitious remodeling projects such as enlarging the room or adding an en-suite.
Think carefully about the placement of the little things, in particular light switches and any plumbing you might require, as these can cost a lot to move further down the line. With en-suites, be sure you’re aware of exactly what will be involved in terms of plumbing in the new facilities, and whether any flooring elsewhere in your home will need to be dug up or not to lay pipes.
Have a solid plan in your head and on paper before contacting contractors or designers, but also be prepared to be flexible. They may see things you don’t, and the best are likely to make useful suggestions and alterations.
Blowing Your Budget
With a solid plan, you can begin to budget. Depending on the scale of your remodeling project and your own construction experience, you may or may not require contractors or a designer. If you do, take your time to choose the best for you and add their fee to the budget.
Think in advance about the materials and tools you’ll require, creating a price list for each and every item, even the smaller things like nails and screws. If you haven’t yet selected specific furniture for your bedroom, do your research and set a price limit for each piece. With a list of all your costs, it’s wise to add anywhere between 15% and 30% as back-up, to cover any extra costs, such as leak repairs, rewiring, or mold removal.
With a clear budget in mind you know for sure if you can afford to turn your dream into reality or if you’re better off waiting another month or two. Having an additional cash reserve is essential, as things never quite go to plan and even the most meticulously planned projects typically go over budget.
While writing out your budget, don’t be tempted to compromise on quality in favor of cost. The cheapest tools, materials, furniture and contractors may seem appealing to your wallet, but in the long run, you will be the one who has to live with the results. Low-cost items will be the ones that wear down the fastest and more money will be required to replace them later, while the cheapest contractors are the least likely to do a quality job.
At the same time, don’t splurge on items that in the long run might not be worth what they cost – do you really need that king-size bed? Instead, strike a balance, prioritizing those items that have a higher return on your investment, such as a contractor who will do a quality job using durable materials.
For those of you who plan to enlarge your bedrooms or wish to add an en-suite, take great care during the demolition process. It might look fun to swing a sledge hammer, but if you bash down a load-bearing wall unknowingly, you could be in big trouble. If in any doubt, consult a professional.
In the same vein, take care with pipes and cables. The comedy DIY-er who drills into a pipe and floods their home isn’t so funny when it’s you!
Buying Oversized Furniture
Perhaps the most common mistake made during bedroom remodeling projects is the easiest to avoid. All too often homeowners see their dream bed, wardrobe or chest of drawers, buy them, and then realize they don’t fit in the room or won’t go through the door. Personalizing the room is a great idea, but make sure everything fits. When drawing up your plans, be realistic about how much walkway space you will need and take care to ensure all doors and drawers have space to open fully – also, take things like radiators into account.
It’s wise to measure the width of your door and have the maximum measurements for furniture handy when shopping around. This way, you can be sure that your new bed will leave space for a bedside table, and that your wardrobe won’t overwhelm the rest of the room.
As with most things, careful planning and accurate budgeting are key to a stress-free and successful bedroom remodeling. Never rush into it, and concentrate on achieving a quality, durable result that you can enjoy for years to come. Finally, don’t try to go it alone if you don’t have the skills necessary to realize your dream to a standard you can happily live with!