While COVID-19 has changed our lives in so many ways there’s no doubt that the focus on our homes has never been greater. Re-examining how we live in our homes, and use our living spaces has resulted in a huge number of Australians undertaking home renovations. In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians spent over two billion dollars a month on renovations and additions in 2021.
With a desire for more functional, agile and purposeful living spaces, that can accommodate family time, working from home, schooling, recreational activities and entertainment, there’s much to consider when undertaking a home renovation. We reached out to James Hardie partner, and renovation expert Rebeka Morgan of BuildHer Collective, to get the skinny on how to achieve your dream home through renovation.
Consider form and function
Before starting the renovation process, figure out the inspiration for the form and function of your home. What are the problems you are trying to solve with the renovation – is it more space, better joinery or connection to outside? Think about how you want the space to feel. Remember you are building a space of connection, a living space and a place to share with family and friends. The way you want it to feel will connect to the form of the home.
Have a clear budget
A common mistake that people make when renovating is not having a clear budget and realistic expectations of what this can achieve. Start off with a solid foundation, as it will be difficult to rectify mistakes along the process. It is essential to understand and balance the cost of labour and materials, as it will make budgeting easier. The cost of materials is easier to quantify, but it is important to understand how complex and time consuming the labour component is.
Define the look
More than ever, Australian homeowners are pushing the boundaries when it comes to the style of their homes. To get the modern look, focus on elements that make you feel pride and joy and spaces you would enjoy living in. Focus on what makes you feel that way – it could be big windows, timber floors, embedded textures or simple materials.
Exterior building materials have many roles to play. They need to be beautiful, long-lasting, keep out the elements, fit within budgets, work with our thermal requirements, as well as define our personal design style. Mixing cladding styles on a home façade has become a popular choice to create an architectural feel.
Create a consistent interior and exterior look
The façade is your first impression of a home and can give instant street appeal. It is incredibly important to get the scale and materiality right here to make sure you are coming home to an inviting space that you want to be in.
Less is more when it comes to creating a modern exterior. Focus on clean lines, little ornamentation and pare back with only a few finishes that contrast well with one another. To achieve a consistent look with internal and external spaces, try to carry elements between both areas such as textures, colours and materials. Minimise the number of materials used internally and add personality to the space with a few statement pieces that resonate with you.
Add more than an addition
Adding a modern extension to a traditional home has become increasingly popular. An important consideration is to marry the old and new well. Focus on creating clear delineation between the existing building and new addition. Often this means a level change internally and a material change externally, to help experience the transition between spaces.
Whether you’re renovating to make room for a growing family or to get more out of your home, it’s important to plan so that your renovation process is streamlined, and you feel empowered to make the decisions that create the house of your dreams.