How to Renovate an Older Home

Planning to Decorate Your Home

Summer is the best time for decorating your house. The days are warmer (in some areas much warmer) and longer. Opening your windows won’t make you run for the nearest closet to retrieve your winter coat and painting in adverse conditions will have undesirable affects upon the finish. There is also the issue of painting in artificial or poor light.

During the summer months, you also have the extra help when the older kids are out of school and summer vacations are an excellent time for those more-than-a-weekend projects. But where do you begin? That is always the question that looms over most homeowners who wish to re-decorate rooms in their house.

Make A Plan

When you have decided to get to work on your house, make a plan and start simple. Do not plan a major renovation for your first project. They are like the green-eyed monster and grow larger and messier as you go along. Simple is always the best. Few people want to live months (and sometimes years) with clutter and dust. It’s best to tackle your room of choice in a continuous session. Make a list of what project will come first and which one will come last. Writing down your plan is a good method so that you’ll be able to realistically chart out your decorating campaign. That way, you can see that knocking out that east wall after you laid down that Italian ceramic tile may not have been a good choice after all!

Not only make a list of what you plan to do to your room of choice but also make a list of materials and equipment necessary before you get started. You may have to wait for someone else to deliver a countertop or carpet. But when you are ready to work be sure that you have everything on hand, which can be anything from ladders to plastic trash bags!

Before The Decorating Begins

If you are doing a major renovation, which may change the use of a room, you may need to obtain a building permit from your local building inspect. For example, a bathroom must have ventilation and a bedroom must have at least one window.

If you installing light fixtures or electrical outlets, then you will need to make certain that work is completed before decorating begins. This also applies to plumbing, gas and water fixtures. If you are hiring professionals for this work, make sure that it’s completed before taking time off to decorate.

Work In Order

If you are decorating a whole house, work from the top to the bottom. In this way, you will avoid getting the unavoidable dust all over your finished product whether it’s a room downstairs or freshly painted walls.

Generally speaking, the order to decorate a room should be:

  • Ceiling
  • Walls
  • Woodwork (doors, casing, baseboards)
  • Metalwork (radiators for those who have them).

The exception to the rule is when you are hanging wallpaper. You should always paint woodwork and metalwork first.

Once you have decided where to start working, remove as much furniture as possible. Whatever has to stay, push into the center of the room and completely cover it. This will help prevent paint splashes in the most odd places.

Your very first job is to check out and undertake any structural repairs that need to be made. This may mean dealing with rot, replacing old floorboards, or repairing minor holes in concrete walls. And yes, some houses from the 1940’s still have concrete walls.

Once you have planned out your agenda for decorating either a room or your entire house, you will find that decorating goes much easier. You will also have fewer mistakes down the road and a lot less bickering with your spouse over that ‘what you said’ weeks before!

BWHS