How many dreams accompany the purchase of an old house or the idea that we will go to live in that of our grandparents … In both cases, we are already able to imagine it, or rather to imagine what will be our perfect and very personal home, after having undergone a long and demanding renovation.
And it is precisely the renovation that can shatter the dreams of a lifetime and give birth to a house far from the one imagined. In fact, entrusting money and hopes to strangers and technicians, imparting the desired, is only the starting point of a journey that will prove to belong and full of pitfalls and to which one must prepare with scruple and dedication. During the works, doubts will be raised and many questions will be asked, which will need to be answered quickly.
The characteristics of the lighting system, which floor will be laid, the type of heating, whether the windows will be shielded by rolling shutters or shutters will be just some of the things that will be asked and on which you need to be prepared.
It will be appropriate to have the answers ready or, better still, to prevent questions by providing the right information to the companies involved in the work. You will avoid giving answers under pressure and without having properly thought about it. The risk is the suspension of work, loss of time and money, and, above all, finding oneself in a house that does not resemble the one desired.
The heating system
Among the many things that are taken for granted is that the house will be heated, but you rarely think about how. Heating an environment means first of all making a technological choice whose feasibility must be assessed but also the effect it will have on the final appearance of the entire home.
In fact, if you opt for a radiant floor system we must be sure that the difference in height between the slab and the final walking surface is such as to allow the installation of the radiant panels and an adequate layer of overlying screed (about 7 cm) which guarantees the good performance and functionality of the entire system.
Even the most classic wall plate heating system needs to be carefully planned: the radiators will, in fact, cover portions of walls on which it will not be possible to put furniture together and cannot be positioned (unless special precautions are taken) on walls inside which doors will be housed sliding.
If, on the other hand, you want an air conditioning system, of the exposed ducted type, industrial loft style, or hidden inside the false ceiling, you will have to make the appropriate assessments. First of all, it is necessary to understand if the height of the ceiling allows the pipes to be anchored, especially in the presence of beams that lead to a lowering of height.
The ventilation channels must reach all environments, even the smallest ones, and the result could be far from the beautiful images that are popular in trade magazines. The solution can be achieved by creating a false ceiling which, by accommodating the required changes in height, can also aesthetically resolve the environments. But remember that under certain heights, the ceiling cannot go down.
The floor is the “fundamental choice” of the renovation because the atmosphere and style of the apartment arise from this. There are a number of options to choose from, including marble, cement tiles, parquet, resin, porcelain stoneware, etc. Yet even for the floor, it is not simply a matter of taste, and one could be forced to make a fallback choice if one does not resort to timely measures.
The floor must be laid on a substrate that can have different physical characteristics depending on the floor that has been purchased. Furthermore, it is clear to us, but often only when it is too late, that if the decorative resin is a 1-3 mm thick film, the cement tiles normally 20 mm and in the case of marble even 30 mm, while a common tile has a thickness of 7. -9 mm and if the company present on-site does not receive information in time, it will prepare the substrate for the latter option.
Even for the most loved room for many, nothing should be taken for granted. Unpleasant surprises come when you go to the retailer, certain of coming out with the kitchen of your dreams and discovering that we could have it, but only if we had previously taken into account some considerations.
In the kitchen, we have an important concentration of systems, and it is not enough to have prepared a water pipe with drain and a couple of electrical sockets to assemble the parts to our liking.
The right thing to do is, therefore, to go with the floor plan to the retailer before the plumber and electrician enter the kitchen and return home with a diagram of the systems to be prepared. This is even more true if you want to create an island or peninsula kitchen: in this case, gas, electricity, and water will have to pass under the floor and emerge in the exact point where they are needed.
Lighting your home well means not only making it more beautiful but also increasing the feeling of well-being that you feel living in it. It means thinking about spaces by establishing where we will place the chandeliers, where the spotlights, wall lights, accent or atmosphere lights, etc.
For example, suppose you want to illuminate the sofa and TV area with spotlights recessed in the false ceiling. In that case, it will not be enough to leave a light point somewhere on the roof, but you will have to set the structure of the false ceiling itself so that the crosspieces do not prevent the positioning of the spotlights according to the scheme and the desired distances.
If, on the other hand, you want to make light cuts with colored LED strips, in addition to dealing with the structure of the false ceiling, you will need to have an access point to insert, and possibly replace, the transformer or any other equipment. Drawbacks of this nature could lead to the creation of space different from the one imagined, that is, less beautiful and personal.
Here too, therefore, it is necessary to anticipate and have long conversations on the construction site with the electrician before the finishes on the walls and ceiling are made, or the false ceilings are built.
When a company undergoes a restructuring, it realizes the technical systems according to market standards that today are outdated. In the bathrooms, for example, the toilet drain is arranged on the floor and at a certain distance from the wall to accommodate the toilet with a backpack cistern. Suppose you do not intervene in time, therefore, no hidden wall cistern and no suspended sanitary ware whose drains are on the wall, where the support brackets are also housed. This distraction can burden not only in terms of taste but also of practicality because the suspended or flush-to-the-wall sanitary ware makes it possible to recover up to 15-20 cms of space which, for a small bathroom, can make a huge difference.
Finishes and coatings on the walls
Among the works that involve the renovation, the finishing of the walls is the one that is usually most neglected, convinced that you can decide at the last minute and have what you like best. Obviously, this is not always the case, as to apply certain finishes, the substrate must be specifically prepared.
It should also be known that if you want to cover a stone wall or with other materials, it is useless to finish it in order to prepare it for coloring. So, by deciding it in time, you avoid facing an unnecessary expense. Similarly, if you intend to finish a surface with decorative, tactile paints, but you fear that the costs will rise, you might be pleasantly surprised by talking to your gilder.
When you do the work in a dated apartment, you are often confronted with walls that over the years, have been repeatedly refreshed with paints of a different nature or onto which wallpapers with glues that still persist on the surface have even been attached.
To make these walls sturdy, flat, and ready to receive the color, it is necessary to intervene with procedures that have a cost. This does not happen on the new walls, which, if properly realized, can be decorated in a more imaginative and artistic way with an expense equal to or less than a standard treatment. So if you want to have “special” walls, don’t give up before consulting a professional applicator who, evaluating wall by wall, will be able to satisfy you while respecting the budget.
Finally, we take care of the last step of a renovation: the furniture. Furniture is by nature the easiest elements to manage, but it often happens that a piece passes from father to son, with clear emotional value, and you don’t want to give it up. If then we already know that an old and capacious cupboard will come to live with us or that the old piano that no one plays anymore will follow us, not thinking about where to place them can be a problem.
In fact, in addition to being beautiful and having a value, period furniture is also of generous size, and you can find yourself in a situation where you are forced to put them where they materially enter. This way, they are hidden from view and go to cover electrical sockets or wall lights with the consequent inconvenience. Thinking about them in time, on the other hand, means creating niches or walls that are adequately proportioned to accommodate them and highlight their importance, perhaps thinking of preparing a light point that can illuminate them well and enhance them.
The above is only part of what to consider when renovating a house so that the initial enthusiasm and planning are not replaced by tiredness and frustration.
Alternatively, there is a way to have the house of your dreams, and that is to call an architect who will take care of these and many other matters. The important thing is to choose the right one, that is the person who is able to listen to you and understand what your home will be like.
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