Showhomes & Tools

Renovation Basics

Renovation Basics

Home renovating involves many different considerations, from style to energy efficiency, to accessibility. Every home is different, as are the tastes and requirements of the owner. However, there are some general ideas and hints that will help you to add to the comfort and value of your existing home.

First, choose a style

The most important factor is choosing a style. You can use contemporary products and design techniques still have a classic home style. You can also choose country, modern, urban, or contemporary. Knowing the look you are after will make your renovation more efficient.

Use Design Software

One of the greatest innovations for home design is the computer aided design software available to the general public. These are free programs that allow you to rearrange furniture, move walls, reposition appliances, and change colors in a virtual environment to see how things would look before you ever contact a trades person or buy a bucket of paint.

Check out the free versions of developer3d and Google Sketch Up for starters.

Sensible Choices

High-efficiency appliances, solar power systems, geothermal heating systems, and instant water heaters are just a few of the innovations in green technology now popular in homes. Don’t be intimidated by the sheer volume of energy-efficient home options – remember that green technology has come a long way, and many are now mainstream and easy to use. Start by adding green appliances, and you can significantly lower energy costs

Colors and Textures

Completely updating your home’s design can simply involve changing colors and rearranging furniture. Consider paint or textured wallpapers to upgrade your room’s look with little expense.

Think about entertainment

When completing your renovation, remember that technology and entertainment are some of the most important considerations in a modern home. Consider designs that incorporate plasma or LCD screen televisions as part of the decor. There are a variety of mantel/fireplace combos in many styles that incorporate a plasma or LCD television for a complete look. Or consider a design that conceals entertainment technology when not in use for a more minimalist look.

Quality Takes Time

Television gives us the impression that a whole house can be built in less than a week, but even the “one-week homes” built on home renovating shows were preceded by weeks of planning and preparation. You may have to wait an extra day or two for quality materials to be delivered, or for a reliable specialty tradesperson (such as a plumber or electrician) to be available. A delay is frustrating, but when you finish you will be glad you insisted on good quality.

Delays are Inevitable

No matter how well you’ve planned your construction and renovating, you should be prepared for delays. Poor weather or a late shipment may be the cause. If you are aware of this possibility, you will be better prepared when it occurs.

Disruption to your daily life

Be prepared: living in a construction and renovation zone means inconveniences, ranging from workers coming in and out of your house to a never-ending layer of dust covering your belongings.

Planning your renovation

One of the key aspects to successful renovation projects is to understand the drawbacks of the home in its current state and the ongoing requirements of your family. To do this successfully, create a table outlining each room in the house and what features you would ideally change. Then rank each of these in terms of importance and the amount of use each area gets.

Room Improvements Priority Usage
Kitchen New CabinetsAppliances






4-5 Hours per day
Living Room CarpetPaint

Gas Fire



2-3 Hours Per day
Guest Room PaintCarpet 11 Occasional

View more guides

Renovation Basics

Home renovating involves many different considerations, from style to energy efficiency, to accessibility. Every home... Read more.

Renovating Your Bathroom

Bathroom renovating ideas should incorporate ways in which to make your bathroom more space efficient... Read more.

Renovating Your Kitchen

“Convenience” and “Efficiency” are the top buzz words in contemporary kitchen design. Plan your kitchen... Read more.

Renovating Your Living Area

Your design requirements depend on the scope of the renovation. If structural changes are required,... Read more.

FPB - Future Proof Building Principals
Energy Smart Health & Safety Life Cycle Quality Smart & Secure Sound Control Spatial Design Sustainability