• Jess Blake

Planning a home project? This is how I planned our renovations for #ProjectHoneypot


Could 2020 be the year of home improvements?


Money.co.uk found that UK homeowners have spent an average of £4,035.70 (August 2020) on home renovations since lockdown restrictions began back in March, equating to around £55billion across the country as a whole.


63% of respondents chose to invest in their home to make it more comfortable as we spend more and more time there. A whopping 40% of homeowners admitted to ‘Zoombarassment’ over the appearance of their homes!


Are you planning any home improvements or soon to be taking on a renovation project?




You may have seen that I took on a personal project this year, renovating my family’s hideaway in the Cotswolds.


So I wanted to write a post to share what I did to plan and prepare for the work. I hope this might be helpful if you too are taking on some home improvements soon!



CREATE A SPREADSHEET


Write down anything and everything you can think of that you’d like to change or update. If you’re taking on multiple rooms I recommend breaking it down into the following columns:

  • Room/Area (e.g. hallway or external)

  • Description (e.g. replace side gate)

  • Task (e.g. measure up, source like for like and quote)

  • Essential (Yes or No)

  • Quote required (Yes or No)

  • Trade (e.g. carpenter)

  • Quote (make a note of any quotes you get, contact details and website addresses)

  • Completed (where you can tick off what you’ve done)



Once you have your list of essential jobs, you can use this list to get like for like quotes from potential contractors, and keep track of your project once it’s in motion.



TIMINGS


A key thing to remember here is to overestimate absolutely everything! This year more than ever, it has been so difficult trying to predict lead times or allow for tighter lockdown restrictions affecting your plans.


If you know when you'd like to get your project completed by, try to start as far ahead as you can.


For #ProjectHoneypot I started to contact trades at the end of May, for them to start work in July. I received some quotes in a very timely manner, some I had to chase over and over so give yourself enough time to make the right decisions for you.




RECOMMENDATIONS


As most of my trade contacts are in London, I was very keen on getting recommendations for who to work with. We were looking for several different trades from decorating to installing a new bathroom and cloakroom.


I posted on two local Facebook groups and was blown away by the amount of responses I got. Before long I had around 10 meetings set up with potential contractors, and collected a handful of good quotes for each aspect of the project.


Finding Country Bathrooms was an absolute win as they were able to take care of several of the other odd jobs as well. More on Ross and his team in a later post - for now, I'll just say that I would highly recommend them if you are in the Cotswold area!



INSPIRATION & SAMPLES


While I was filling in my spreadsheet, and contacting potential contractors, I was also collecting inspiration and samples so I would have a clear vision for where the project was heading.


This is undoubtedly one of the best bits of a project, and as we were making changes in every room of the house I had samples of carpets, tiles, wallpapers, paint colours, curtain and blind fabrics. Heaven!




Lay them all out. Create a Pinterest board or put images together in Powerpoint. Whichever method works best for you, I always advise not to make any decisions until you’ve taken the time to see everything together and to make sure you’re happy.


It’s also so helpful for trades to see your overall vision, and it helps with the smaller decisions too if you know what metal finish you’ve chosen in a particular room, or what your accent colours will be, for example.



Likewise, draw up your floorplans (to scale if possible) so you can triple check all your plans work practically and you've checked dimensions of everything you're ordering.



I will be sharing more details on each of the rooms we updated in upcoming posts, but if you'd like any assistance with your home project, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can email me on sayhello@happybeams.co.uk or find out more about my services here.



Thank you so much for reading! - Jess x



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All photography by @storiesbychloe

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