Business

Getting that fix

Renovating a home can be therapeutic

BY TAMEKA GORDON Assistant business co-ordinator tamekag@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 03, 2013    

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HOME renovation not only enhances the value and appearance of your home, it may also lift your spirit.

Getting a new hairstyle or car has been known to change the mood of individuals to a happier, lighter one and, according to the experts, the same can be achieved when little touches are made to the home.

The currently strained economic environment may be daunting, but "there are many little things that can give our house a new look without breaking your pocket", according to David Phillips.

As with buying or building a home, the project manager at Islandwide Construction suggested that individuals first decide "what they want".


He pointed out that a clear idea of the desired theme or look will guide the quantity of material to be employed in the renovation process, which will ultimately determine how much the work will cost.

Deciding on whether you will employ a do-it-yourself method or seek professional help is the next step since "generally construction is expensive, when you consider laying new infrastructure, utility costs, rental of equipment, and paying workmen," the project manager said.

Painting traditionally holds the prize for the most convenient and cost-effective "touch-up" as agreed by the Master Builders Association's Technical Coordinator Pervis Rogers.

The experts suggested that textured wall finishes and architectural painting can be used to create a "new look" for a room.

"You can create stripes or patterns on the walls," Phillips said, adding that contrasting colours add dimension and style. "Don't limit yourself to one colour."

"Many people just look at a paint job and tell themselves, 'I can't do that', but the truth of the matter is, all it takes is a little research and some creativity," he said.

"Paint can be used to create moods, pull a space together or make it feel more open and light," said landscape design manager, Nadia Tharker, of Nature's Paradise.

Scenery paintings in children's' rooms or in the kitchen can also add a new look. A scenic countryside or the ocean can help to set a relaxing tone the experts said. This also has the added benefit of aiding emotional and mental peace, the experts reckoned.

A back-splash made of either tiles or paint can also lift a dreary kitchen. Home décor magazines and the Internet provide good designs for these, Phillips suggested.

"A simple crown moulding can also add some dimension to your roof," Rogers suggested, adding that styrofoam mouldings are a cost-effective option.

Larger projects, such as changing out kitchen cupboards or retiling, were also suggested by the experts as well as replacing windows with more fashionable ones. However, Rogers cautioned that cheaper may not always be better in this regard as the inferior products could end up costing even more.

"A simple wooden picket fence or wooden trellis could also improve the look and feel of your home while providing a relaxing cove to escape a stressing day," Tharker suggested.

Plants, pavements, water features, and fencing are also common elements that the experts agree may be added to a property to up its appeal and the owner's sense of accomplishment.

"Aside from enhancing the value of your property, doing a bit of renovation every now and again can also help homeowners to recognise other problems with the structure of their property that otherwise may not have been noticed in time," Rogers suggested.

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