RenovateYour Home to Make the Perfect Space

Russia,Moscow region -  living room interior design in new luxury country house

I’ve always believed that moving is one of the most upsetting things you can voluntarily bring into your life. Since then, I have discovered a more unpleasant and time-consuming hobby: house renovations. The true meaning of the word is concealed by the word itself. One imagines doing a little painting, perhaps replacing a few light fixtures, and perhaps adding a gorgeous, contemporary bathroom.

In reality, you get weeks of non-stop dust, an influx of visitors into your home, a sharp jump in tea and coffee consumption, a close meeting with possessions you didn’t know you needed, and a sharp rise in spending that results in cash flow problems. Why can’t we just live in a shack on the beach, sit on the floor, and only use one plate each, I have wondered during the past few weeks.

While I’m pleased to indulge in little hippy illusions, I worry that I won’t be able to give up my many material goods in favor of a carefree, easy life in this life. The satisfaction gained from home improvements is incredible, and once they are finished, I know I will be pleased with myself for having set such tenacious ideas into motion and seen them through to completion. Yet at this moment, the finish line feels rather far away!

I can only hope to share the priceless lessons I’ve picked up along the way with others so you might profit indirectly from them. This short list could help you avoid a great deal of frustration and trouble:

1. Always verify references, regardless of how “honest” you think the person is.

2. Research the goods you plan to use, such as exterior products, wall coatings, and the best practices for installing and applying your chosen finishes. This is really helpful because it shows that you at least have a basic understanding of the subject at hand and a general notion of what to anticipate from contractor quotations.

3. Seek a qualified, unbiased opinion on complex matters. A different set of eyes is often able to distinguish between the forest and the trees in half the time that you have spent fighting with the issue.

4. There are multiple ways to solve a problem; try to work with people who are proactive in finding solutions to problems as they arise. I have discovered that people with resources are priceless. Take advantage of them and their knowledge. The majority of the time, conscientious contractors can fulfill your wishes, or at the very least, get near to your ideal vision.

5. Recognize that things will go wrong, but try not to take it out on your partner or other members of your family.

Few things are permanently damaged, and the majority of broken things can be mended (at a price). Learn how to clean or fix fixtures, especially taps and bathtubs, if damage occurs. It’s important to know how to buff a bath; for acrylic bathtubs, you can either do it yourself using water paper to remove scratches and acetone to remove persistent stains, or you may hire a professional to do it for you. Just to be safe, call your supplier before moving further with this. Moreover, sealer can be removed off chrome taps using water rather than turpentine or thinners, which harm chrome. It works great with just water, a soft green scouring pad, and some elbow grease.

My general suggestion is to be skeptical of the estate agent’s pitch, think logically, and come to the conclusion that if remodeling the home wasn’t worth it for the folks selling it, it probably won’t just work out for you. But if you are persistent, plan ahead, and have a lot of patience, your dreams will come true. If you enjoy the journey and acknowledge that the goal is a work in progress, it will all be worth it. Sometimes things turn out even better than you anticipated, and other times you may have to make a little or even a lot of compromises.

Laura Dreyer has lived, worked, and traveled extensively over the world. She is currently renovating her new home in sunny Cape Town, about 5000 miles from her native England, because she loves challenges and different cultures.

Split-level house renovations challenges

Renovations to split-level homes present both distinctive opportunities and distinctive obstacles. Knowing what kind of split level you intend to house renovations is the first step in assessing the prospects and difficulties. Split-level home designs can be broadly categorized into five categories:

1. Split Foyer or Bi-Level – Consists of two levels, with the entry located on the floor that sits in the middle of the two floors. A small flight of stairs (often 4–8) ascends, followed by a similarly brief flight of stairs that descends. There will be stairs to the entryway if the bottom floor of the house is constructed level with the ground. The lowest level could be partially or completely below ground.

2. Split Level – This design features two or three small flights of stairs and three or four floors. The entry normally opens into a formal living room and is typically on the middle level.

3. Stacked Split Level – The stacked type contains four or five short sets of stairs per level and has five levels or more. The entrance is located on the middle floor and often leads to a foyer with stairs leading up and down. The term “stacked bedroom” refers to the placement of additional bedrooms above the second living space. This style of townhouse is prevalent.

4. Split Entry – The entrance to this style of home is placed off the main house and typically spans two storeys. Steps lead both up and down from the entry, similar to the divided foyer.

5. Raised Ranch – This style of split level home has two levels, each accessible through a flight of stairs. Most homes include a staircase near the entrance that leads to the living area, which is often on the top floor.

In the 1950s, split-level homes were fairly common, especially in the East and the Midwest. The home’s design is an adaptation that works well when building a home on an unlevel plot of land. It is quite simple to incorporate the house into the slope or side of a hill. These residences were created with formal and casual living spaces, separating sleeping sections from living areas. They provide more seclusion and peace. Many staircases and unequal heating and cooling are drawbacks. Installing a zoned system will solve the heating and cooling problem. For the elderly and the physically challenged, the number of stairs might be particularly difficult. However, the problem can be solved by adding a glider chair.

Additional drawbacks of this sort of design include a lack of a main floor bathroom, a shared bathroom on the top floor with the bedrooms, and a lack of openness in the living area. There is also a lower level laundry room (particularly as compared to many contemporary designs).

Split-level home remodeling issues include: o Opening up the formal living space with weight-bearing walls requires extreme caution.

o Little rooms are prevalent in split floors.

The steps between levels cannot be removed, it is challenging to designate an entry area, moving the kitchen increases the cost of this style of house renovations , and it can be challenging to add a level to some split-level designs without sacrificing balance and curb appeal.

The majority of these difficulties are manageable with imaginative thought, meticulous planning, and attention to the design. The basic floor design should generally be accepted and modified to improve access, room flow, and a sense of openness. Also, attempting to extend the length of an existing house or add another floor to a split level is typically a bad choice.

Before & After

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