Homes and Property
Renovate your house on a small budget
Posted Wednesday, March 6 2013 at 02:00
The thought of refurbishing your house might not sound inviting, considering that there is a lot of effort, time and money that goes into it. However, when you take it one room at a time, then it might not be as overwhelming
From well painted walls and shining taps to a well trimmed compound, living in a house with an impressive and striking look is everyone’s dream. When you enter that “brand” new house, your excitement is heightened by the new items in it. As years go by however, houses succumb to age. The roof will gather dust and rust, the paint on the walls will peel away and get dirty as the water taps get broken or stained. Renovation might be inevitable, even though the house may not necessarily be up for sale.
However, thanks to the hard economic times, this may not necessarily be as possible as we wish. In that case, one has to devise ways and means of giving the house a facelift albeit at a low cost but efficient budget to save the day. These may include but not be limited to the following areas.
Plan for it
It can be disastrous to wake up one morning and think about a facelift plan and budget from the blue. You need a good amount of time and preparation before you make up your mind and set out on the project. This will give you time to consider the different options available on the materials, their prices and above all, change of mind.
Get your priorities right
Ann Mirembe, an interior designer with Ann’s Metal Workshop in Katwe, Kampala stresses that it is important to first choose what exactly you want to renovate as that will save unplanned for expenditure. In so doing, you will come up with a priority list of what ought to receive a facelift first, in line with your budget.
“You could decide to start with re-painting alone and later handle other things like re-doing the ceiling and floor,” Mirembe says.
Do you know the type of paint you want to use for the renovation or are you carrying on with the old one? Once that question is answered, the next aspect should be doing a market survey to ascertain the prices. Victor Kaweka, a painter based in Bukoto, Kampala advises that one should carefully select the amount and type of paint from the variety available and that includes oil, weather guard and silk emulsion among others.
“Be sure of the space (in square metres), colour and longevity you want, as each of these has a bearing on costs,” he advises.
Renovation does not necessarily mean breaking down walls and replacing every physical aspect of the house. It can be as simple as replacing and refurbishing the drawers, cabinets and sinks to give your kitchen a striking look. Chris Senabulya, an interior designer in Jinja district advises, “Replacing the wall tiles, old paint and varnish on the cabinets goes a long way in giving the kitchen a fresher look.”
The website, inman.com adds that one can also consider the possibility of re-facing the cabinets.
“By re-facing you replace only the cabinet doors but leave the actual cabinets (boxes) intact,” the website notes. This will depend on the size of your kitchen but is a sure way to save the cost of buying brand new cabinets.
This largely depends on the type of your bathroom. While some houses have bath tubs, others have showers but you may not necessarily have to replace these unless necessity rules otherwise.
“Tiling the floor of the bathroom and even the walls is a sure way to giving it a nicer look. If you already have, they may need replacement, just like the sink,” Mirembe says. However, different shops come with different prices. Tiles at Bamwe House of Ceramics may not be the same price as those in a chain store like Nakumatt.
Breaking the walls
Mirembe stresses the fact that any house can be broken up to suit the owner’s desires. This however does not mean breaking down the entire house, it can be walls on particular rooms.
“As part of the facelift, you can break down the wall partitions to make the living, dining rooms and kitchen an open space. It is a fashionable trend these days,” Mirembe states.
You don’t necessarily have to bring the roof down and replace the rusty and dusty iron sheets or tiles.
“Repainting, preferably with a different colour all together is good enough but this should be done after replacing the worn out parts,” she asserts.
The living room
A facelift for the living room can really be anything from replacing the curtains to repainting.
Acquiring tiles or replacing the old ones may be an expensive venture but there are cheaper options which are equally worthwhile.
“You can refurbish the living room with a big tile capturing a family photo engraved on it and place it in the middle,” the interior designer says. The beauty however, is that you can do most of these renovations on your own.