1. Always start with an idea in mind. Collect pictures of your favourite rooms. Take note of the colours, the materials, the structures. Now all those pictures, get a cork board and pin your pictures to your now "Mood Board" or your "Vision Board".
2. If renovating as a team i.e husband and wife (like myself) make sure you really sit down and discuss everything. In hindsight, I think I was a little lax at the beginning and didn't see the bigger picture in the same detail as my husband. For example, I wish we'd have really taken note of point 1 and noticed the style (hamptons) has a lot of white architraves for windows, we chose black.
Take the time to really decide what you want before going ahead.
3. Compromises, oh the compromises. There are plenty when working to a budget. Really know what you are prepared to compromise on and not. Another example, I really wanted timber bifold doors and my husband wasn't prepared to do the maintenance nor triple our budget, hence going to aluminium and what should've been white, is now black.
4. Research your pricing.
You are on a budget so you need to really do your homework when it comes to pricing. For example, you can pay such varied pricing when it comes to tapware, kitchens, tiles etc. We were quoted $18,000 for our kitchen and somewhere else we got it for $9000.
5. If you want things a little unique, such as a door, door frame etc, source outside the square. We love rustic elements. So, we found some cheap sleepers which we made our front door frame out of. For the door we sourced raw timber from a timber yard and couriered it to us. Then we took the 3 timber slabs, had them joined at a joinery and finished it ourselves with oil and put the handle on. That whole front door to have made at a door manufacturers would have cost about $2000 and we paid $1000.
Think outside the square, we did and ended up saving $1000 on a front door.
So, the long and the short of it, due diligence is important. I plan to update you on our progress. We are currently working on our rumpus room and laundry.