An alteration or home improvement is designed to change the layout of your home and normally involves moving, removing or adding in walls to create different rooms in new locations. An alteration or improvement is carried out within the existing footprint of your house, to make better use of the available existing space, without adding on an extension.
It might be as simple as dividing one large bedroom into two smaller ones, or involve removing multiple structural walls to create a large open-plan living, kitchen and dining area. Or moving things around to gain an extra bathroom.
Many older houses for example have lots of separate rooms, massive laundry areas and no indoor / outdoor flow … and a reconfiguration of the layout can make significant improvements.
Wall Removal & Addition
Walls are meant to be moved. Yes, you heard me right … to be moved! How else can you redesign your house exactly the way you want it?
Yes, some walls are structural or load-bearing and need to be handled appropriately, but they are (almost) always movable or removable. It’s just about replacing the structural element that is being removed.
Also, don’t get concerned about the need for big enclosed beams hanging down into your room space. In many, many cases it is possible to include new structural beams into the above-room/ceiling space and achieve a new continuous ceiling below … which looks much, much better. Equally sometimes the answer is to add a wall to give you a new bedroom, or a bathroom/toilet, or a hallway or an entrance.
So … Your ultimate wall removal or addition solution does not necessarily have to be constrained by existing wall locations … we may simply need to include a smart structural engineer in the planning!
Dining Room & Lounge Extensions
The lounge and dining room are often “showcase” areas or places of gathering, so appearance and quality of finish are important when you’re looking at renovating.
In addition, in older homes renovating these areas gives you a chance to update the general appearance, add more power points, light switches, heating or technology. It’s also a great opportunity to add that extra level of comfort by installing more insulation or gaining convenience by adding or relocating power points. You can also get the opportunity to check the condition of existing walls & framing, and it’s an ideal time to add new floor coverings, drapes etc.
Of all the rooms in your house though, re-designing and renovating your dining room and lounge SHOULD be the easiest. Unlike bathrooms and kitchens, you’re dealing with rooms that have relatively few “things” in them. There is normally no plumbing to contend with, no sinks, no shower units, and no appliances.
But … lounge and dining room design can be more complicated, precisely because of the absence of things in the finished room … there’s nothing to cover up a design mistake, and if you get it wrong, it’s simply “out there” for everyone to see.
Bedrooms Reconfigured Or Added On
Upgrading or re-designing a bedroom or two can be an affordable way to easily add value to your home.
Sometimes you can easily also gain an extra bedroom as well as upgrading what you’ve got … make 2 bedrooms into 3 or split an extra-large one into two. Be aware of where windows currently are, and if you can work around their locations and not have to move them, you can save yourself money. Generally speaking though, like walls, all windows are movable.
Plus … don’t forget that you can add ensuites as well as part of the upgrade. There’s no rule that says you can only have an ensuite adjacent to the master bedroom. If you think multiple bathrooms will work, then consider it a possibility. An ensuite next to your guest bedroom is always a bonus.
Bedrooms are probably the most important and sacred room in our home. They are the ultimate sanctuary away from our day to day hassles and worries, a place for us to reconnect with ourselves, our partner, a place to recharge and rejuvenate. We read, we relax, and yes, we even sleep in our bedrooms.
So, it’s important to get it right.
Here are some tips on bedroom renovation that might help you with your planning:
Work out how large your bedroom needs to be in order to suit your lifestyle and the bedroom furniture that you want to include. If you have big chunky wooden bedroom furniture then you need space so that it doesn’t overpower the rest of the bedroom. Also, how big is the bed you’re going to include … double, queen, king or super king? Nothing ruins a bedroom re-design quicker than not being able to use it the way you wanted.
Lighting is often overlooked, but it’s an important part of bedroom designs. Lighting plays an important role in creating the overall feel of the bedroom. For example, a master bedroom and a child’s study room, don’t justify the same type or style of lighting. If you like to read in the bedroom or watch TV however, you need to have adequate and appropriate lights included. Don’t forget that the use of table and floor lamps can bring light to any part of the bedroom, as well as add a touch of class.
Choose colours that are restful, relaxing, and preferably neutral. Strong colours should generally be avoided, unless you personally find them comforting. Designing your bedroom interior with a splash of a bright colour will obviously liven up the room, but don’t let it dominate everything and change the overall desired relaxing effect.
Choose layered curtains in the bedroom. It allows you flexibility to wake up to filtered light, black out the entire room for naps and sleeping in the day or open up for full daylight.
Ideally, the flooring in your bedroom should never be too heavy like tile, marble or granite as these give you an ice cold feel in the morning when you first wake and get up. It is generally recommended to use wood or carpet for bedrooms.
Basement & Rumpus Remodelling
Basements are often ignored space, but a basement renovation/conversion adds more living space to your home, with a nearly limitless number of uses.
What could you use the extra basement space for?
Here are the top six uses for that converted bonus basement space:
- An entertainment room or home theatre (or “Man Cave”)
- An added bathroom or shower
- An additional bedroom or guest suite
- Exercise space
- Extra office space
- Space for the extended family to live
Many growing families choose basement renovation to create an extra place for kids to play, but adults need “playtime” as well. Maybe you could create a bar, a games area, a kitchenette, or lots of comfortable seating to enjoy your TV viewing. For some these are essentials.
Or how about a wine cellar? A soundproof music room? A home recording studio?
There are many, many options for an often wasted and unused space.
Remedial Structural work
Unfortunately it’s all too frequent that we find a client’s home is unsafe, due to some significant structural issue. But we can help!
We can resolve issues with your piles and sub-floor structure, and with inconsistent floor levels. Sometimes piles have been eroded away or over-zealous previous owners have excavated around them inappropriately.
And sometimes there’s damage from ongoing earthquakes or due to inadequate structural design or support. We can conduct earthquake assessments to identify potential issues for you as well.
We can also help with the removal of chimneys including the cladding, internal wall linings and floor changes that are associated with a chimney removal