6 Home Renovations to Plan When Getting Married

Home Renovation when getting married

 

Weddings are a good time to plan your home renovations. You may want to add an extra room or storage space to accommodate a new person’s belongings, and make a few more additions to make your spouse comfortable. Here are some changes we recommend while you plan your renovation.

Start Pinterest board together (e.g. http://ow.ly/YswK4) This way you can get a sense of each others design sensibilities and go through the tough task of shortlisting designs for your home before getting started on site.

  • Extra storage units:  You may want to add an extra cupboard or cabinets to store clothes and other belongings when you get married. You may want to mount a full length mirror on the cupboard or on a swivel, with the swivel revealing shelves and hooks- ideal for your belts, bags and scarves. Position a low chest of drawers at the foot of your bed and use it to store your bed linen. Think vertically, adding shelving to walls and possibly extending them to the ceiling.
  • The master Bedroom:  Look for Bedroom design ideas to help you put together the perfect bedroom to welcome your life partner home. Apart from adding storage, you may want to shift to a bigger bed and add a dresser or walk-in closet to it. Ensure you have a dedicated bathroom attached to the room. You should also look at adding more plug points to the room as the number of chargeable devices would increase once you get married.
  • The Bathroom: Bathroom designs can be tricky to implement. If you have the space, you could go in for his and her sinks. You could also add a tub or a Jacuzzi. If you don’t feel the need to include a bathtub; you can use that extra space for a large storage cabinet instead. Walk-in showers are also popular but bathtub with shower combos offer the best of both worlds. If space is a constraint, wall-mounted cabinets and medicine cabinets are helpful too.
  • The Kitchen: You should look for modular kitchen ideas to add style to the belly of your home.  Opt for open shelves instead of upper cabinets to provide display space and make a small kitchen feel larger. The most popular kitchen upgrade one can do before getting married is installing new state of the art energy-efficient appliances, such as a dual-fuel range with double convection ovens, a high-tech range hood, an energy star certified refrigerator and a water-saving paneled dishwasher.
  • Living Room: If at least one of you is a movie buffs, you may want a separate living room with a TV installed, to snuggle in and watch a late night flick. This space should ideally be separate from a formal drawing room that isn’t prim and proper all the time.
  • Another Bedroom: A spare bedroom is always good to have since guests visiting tend to increase after you’re married. Additionally, it could come in handy down the road when you start planning your own family. More so you can always benefit from the extra storage in this room, since there will almost certainly not be enough.

Home Improvement: 6 Tips on How to Start

carpenter worker installing laminate flooring in the room

    A home renovation or home improvement project can be very chaotic; however, the following steps can make it much more organized than you think.

  • Browse Home Design Ideas

    It’s a good idea to start by building a sense for what you want in terms of the interior design of your space. Today there are plenty of options online to browse home design ideas and create your lookbooks, with Pinterest and Houzz being two of the most popular ones. Organize your thoughts by room, or project so you can tell your service providers what you’re looking for, and why.   Incorporate your design ideas and get a broad blueprint ready before you start your planning process.

  • Plan, Plan, Plan

    The most critical thing you can do at the start of a home improvement project is to spend time planning, and figuring out how to go about things. It can be vital in achieving higher quality, and lowering your renovation costs.  This will also avoid you from springing up last minute surprises on yourself and adding on little details at the last minute, spiking up your costs. This will also prevent you from constantly changing the scope of work, thereby avoiding delays and cost overruns.

  • Decide on the services you need

    Think about whether you need help with Interior Design, it comes at a price. Involving a designer doesn’t mean you don’t do your research on which designs you like and which you don’t. You also need to check if you have major structural work required, in which case you may need an Architect. Else, you would just need contractors to get your work done e.g. Carpenters, Plumbing, and Civil construction.

  • Determine your Budget

    While you may not have an understanding of what your project might cost you, it’s good to think about the outer limit of money you are willing to spend on getting your project done. Keep 10-20% aside in anticipation of cost over runs. The rest of it will essentially split into two buckets, services and products. For midmarket products, the thumb rule applies that the products to services cost ratio is 2:1. Picking luxury products or cheaper products can change this mix.

  • Find Contractors

    Next, you will probably need to start looking for contractors who can do the work for you. Try to find at least 2-3 people, whom you can get quotes from so it helps you validate your budget expectations. Take a look at the service provider’s work, through past references to evaluate which one best fits your needs.

    To find contractors, you could look online, ask your friends, or visit construction sites in your area and speak to contractors there.

  • Project Management

    All of the above should help you get started. However one key piece in making sure everything runs smoothly is project management. You need to have a level of supervision on your project. Whether you choose to give your own time, or hire a part-time/full time project manager, this is a layer that cannot be emphasized enough. Your project manager will help deal with the labor, ensure material arrives on time, check the quality of work and material, clean your place, and overall produce a higher level of quality of work that will last you longer and reduce mental stress (really!).

    Once you have the above steps in place you will realize that renovation need not bog you down. In fact, proper planning and your presence during the renovation can make the entire process stress free and effective as well.

Handy-man tips for exposed brick walls.

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What’s the point of owning house if you don’t mess around with it once in a while? Creating an exposed brick wall is more of a hands-on, DIY project, not meant for the faint hearted. Work closely with your contractor and follow these steps:

  • Pick a wall you want to expose.
  • Drill a hole to check if there’s actually brick back there.
  • Removed the plastering off the brick – this is a labor intensive and messy job so don’t start without enough help available.
  • Consider removing the damaged brick by drilling holes on all four corners of the mortar around the brick and shaking it loose or painstakingly chiseling it out.
  • Use a wire brush to scrub the wall.
  • Use warm water to sponge down your wall.
  • If you don’t want your house to collapse, grab some mortar repair (cement filler) and fill in the cracks and obviously replace any bricks your might have removed.
  • Clean the bricks again with warm water.
  • Use a sponge or brush to apply sealant onto the exposed brick wall, use a brick sealant with matte finish rather than a polyurethane sealant which will give the wall an unnatural glossy finish.

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BONUS TIPS:

  • To hang pictures and paintings drill your holes into the mortar rather than the brick.
  • Use exposed copper pipes as conduits to run wires if necessary rather than chasing the wall.
  • Compliment your exposed brick wall with some sleek contemporary furniture.

So what are you waiting for?  Head to your local hardware store and get started today..

Have you ever exposed a brick wall? Do you have any tips on how to do it? Leave your comments below.

How to take care of your house this monsoon

Home Protection from Monsoon

We like rains. What we don’t like is damp walls, smelly carpets and the fear of termites. So we thought why not give our readers what would help them the most at this time of the year – “Home Maintenance Tips for a Happy Monsoon”

At times the best solution to a problem is to avoid the problem itself. You cannot avoid monsoons but you can avoid its side effects that affect your house.

Here are few things that you must consider as the monsoon is almost knocking at the door.

Monsoons are a good time for maintenance and not enhancements

  1. Try to minimize moisture in the house by exposing rooms to more sunlight, using dehumidifiers and air conditioners.
  2. Exposing upholstery and rugs to sunlight to minimize overall moisture in the house.
  3. Ensuring cross ventilation to keep the rooms dry during rainy weather.
  4. Not painting/polishing the furniture as it would affect the outer surface of your furniture.
  5. If you have wooden flooring, getting it waxed would be a good idea.
  6. Avoid furniture near the windows to protect them from rain water.

Renovations and Monsoons don’t go well together

  1. Do not underestimate the smallest of the cracks. It would be a good idea to patch them up at the earliest.
  2. Get the window and door frames water-tight.
  3. Do not neglect the terrace. The terraces must be sloped between 1:100 to 1:150 towards the rain-water outlets.
  4. It would be a good idea to waterproof the horizontal surfaces and install proper rainwater pipes.

Walls need some extra care periodically to withstand monsoons. Rain water tends to seep through the walls because of the capillary action that takes place through walls, shafts and construction joints.

Hence, one needs to paint the exterior of the building every 5 years. If you are yet to do so, plan it now. Use waterproof emulsions that are available.

Engage professionals, an architect or structural engineer to check for structural weaknesses every four to six years.

Hope these tips are useful.

We at BuildingBlox ensure that you are always delivered with best of advice and products for your construction needs.

Things to keep in mind while planning a Modular Kitchen in India

traditional-kitchen
The Kitchen is the most used (read: abused) part of the house. Many women and families end up spending maximum time in the Kitchen. Some use the space as a family gathering space too, while cooking elaborate meals. Others prefer quick meals or hire professionals. Hence each person has distinct needs which need to be catered to, while designing a kitchen.
Before you begin planning a new kitchen, here are somethings you should be clear about:
1) Family Setup: If you live in a joint family with elderly people and children, then you should plan your storage at lower levels.
2) Will you hire professional help who will use the kitchen mostly? then you may want to store things used most by the help separately.
3) Stocking patterns: Do you stock for a week or for a month?
4) The budget: which is obvious
Once you have these steps sorted, think about the work flow. Usually, a kitchen involves cooking, stocking, washing, and an area to keep prepared food. Usually these areas should not be less than 3 ft apart, to avoid a crampy look. But much depends on the space you have.
Here are some layout designs you could consider: 
Straight Line Kitchen
Straight Line Kitchen

The Straight Line – this is most suited for small narrow spaces. In this layout, all the work area is set against a single wall. The production chain is linear. It is cost-effective and looks sleek. However, this kind of layout does not provide for adequate work and storage space.

Galley Kitchen
Galley Kitchen

The Galley – in this kitchen plan is flanked by work platforms on either side. Many consider this to be an ideal layout in terms of efficiency. Less movement per task. The only major drawback is that if the space is too narrow, the space would get easily crowded.

U Shaped Kitchen
U Shaped Kitchen

The U-shaped Kitchen – this type of design is ideal for a large space. It has platforms running along three walls, forming a U. this design provides for a lot of work and storage space. However if the space between the platforms is too wide, the travel distance during a normal cooking process will be too long and could be tiring.

L Shaped Kitchen
L Shaped Kitchen

The L-shaped Kitchen – this is the contemporary kitchen design in India. The platform runs along two perpendicular walls. The principle of the work triangle can best be demonstrated in the kitchen.

Peninsular Kitchen
Peninsular Kitchen

The Peninsular kitchen – again applicable to a large space, This layout has an independent counter which can be used for breakfast or snacky meals. This layout works best in open kitchens.

Island Kitchen
Island Kitchen

The Island Kitchen – the distinct feature of this kitchen layout is that there is a counter in the middle of the room. This type of plan requires a huge amount of space, but it works well for families that spend a lot of time in the Kitchen. Also, this layout works well in planning commercial kitchens.

Standard Measurements

Here are some standard measurements you could follow as thumb rules.

•    Height of counter-top from floor to work surface – 36″
•    Width of platform – 24″
•    Thickness of stone used for platform – 1 ½ ”
•    Thickness of platform skirting – 1″- 4″
•    Height of base unit – 34 ½ ”
•    Width of base unit – 24″
•    Distance between platform and overhead wall unit – 24″
•    Height of wall unit from counter – 18″
•    Width of wall unit – 9″-18″
•    Thickness of shelves – 3/4″
•    Maximum total height from the floor to overhead cabinets – 78″

Fire and Ventilation

Since Kitchens are synonamous with smoke and fumes, one should provide for efficient ventilation and the best way of doing this is with large windows. Where this is not possible, exhaust fans and chimneys are practical alternatives.The exhaust should be placed close to the hob and should have a separate plug point.

If you are planning on installing a chimney, the ducting has to be done in the initial stages of renovation itself. It should be placed directly over the hob at a minimum distance of 24″. Ideally, it should be fitted on an exterior wall.

Vastu Tips:

Here are some Vastu tips you must consider:

  • The Kitchen should be in the South-East corner of the house as the Element Fire governs in that direction. However, the North-West could be taken as an alternative.
  • Ideally, the hob should be placed in the South-East in such a way that while cooking the person faces the East.
  • Water should be in the opposite direction of the cooking gas.
  • Avoid placing the dining table in the center of the kitchen, and place it  in the North-west direction, if possible.
  • Electric equipment like microwave, oven or refrigerator should be placed in South-west.
  • The slope of the water flow should be from Southwest towards Northeast.
  • The exhaust fan should be installed either in the Northwest corner or the South wall.
Happy Kitchen Planning and cooking.
Interested in Kitchens? Check out our post on the practical side of Modular Kitchen Accessories