Bought an old structure recently? Want to rebuild a house according to your requirements and specifications? Everywhere, you will see a new enthusiasm to bring an existing structure up to the modern standards – expand the basement, brighten up the interior, renovate the kitchen and so on.
Perhaps, this trend is most pronounced in London where you will find a large number of Victorian semidetached and detached family homes undergoing a complete makeover. But other places are not at all immune to this trend.
Malaysia has its fair share of traditional Malay buildings and colonial era structures needing upgradation to meet the tastes of their current owners. This must not be considered as a design fault in the original structures. Sometimes a renovation is needed simply to make it more energy efficient, comfortable according to the prevailing standards, secure, habitable for the modern families and stylish.
Whether you are planning a house renovation for the existing one you are occupying for years or a structure that you are about to own, begin with a thorough assessment of the building and its surroundings. This is a step that would require expert intervention. If it is in a dilapidated condition, then it would be preferable to bring down the entire structure and raise a new one.
On the hand, if it requires only a minor refurbishment, identify the areas that you should improve, the costs involved in it and the time required to complete it to your satisfaction. You will require approvals for the design changes you intend to perform.
Building costs entirely depend on the state of the existing structure, what changes you intend to bring in, if you want to add or expand any part of it, build an annexe and so on. The choices of construction materials will significantly increase or decrease the costs. If you plan to rebuild with locally available materials, your costs might be significantly lower. Premium quality materials do not come cheap, though that does not imply that price is any guarantee of quality.
When you plan to buy an old structure or refurbish your existing one, you can expect to follow one or more than one of these steps. You can expect to undertake significant upgradation of the electrical wiring, plumbing and insulation of the building. Cracks on the walls, rots in the timber, rusty steel framing will have to be remedied.
Old kitchens, particularly those older than 30 years or so, will require considerable refurbishments. The same applies to the bathrooms. You may also like to build en suite bathrooms for your use and the use of your guests.
You will also have to improve the interior, welcome natural light and air inside the four walls of your building. Try to stay true to the original style of the building. If it is a classical structure that you are redecorating, try to include classical pieces of décor or go for an eclectic interior.
Building renovations do not always involve restoration of the main structure. Sometimes, an annexe is added, basement upgraded, loft area improved or a portion of the building expanded to make it more spacious, cheerful and habitable for you. During any kind of remodelling, try to assure the health and longevity of the structure and create a happy home for you and your family.