How to Pair Rooms as Part of your Whole Home Renovation

A whole home renovation is one of the most exciting projects you can undertake. It gives you the chance to reinvent the space around you and turn your house into the home of your dreams. That may sound like a huge cliche, but a whole home remodel really makes it possible.

But the scope of such a project can seem overwhelming. People usually have some ideas about what they want to add or change or bash with a sledgehammer, but before any of that can happen, everyone has the same question:

Where do I begin?

In most cases, the best approach is to take on a couple of rooms at a time in a systematic way. Pairing rooms is more livable and practical than doing everything at once and more efficient and budget-friendly than going room-by-room.

How you pair your rooms depends on the kind of work you’re doing and the final design you have in mind, but here are a few basic guidelines and helpful tips.

Batching on a Budget

The order in which you approach your remodel is going to depend on your budget. You can pair rooms to save money or add maximum value to your home.

If you’re thinking about resale value, you’ll want to consider the best ROI combinations. Think about your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. Consider going about your remodeling stages in the order of a buyer’s priorities.

On the other hand, if you don’t plan on moving anytime soon, your budget will help you assess your own priorities and sort our the difference between essential changes and nice-to-haves.

As a general rule, the cost is roughly the same to make big changes to a small area or small changes to a big area. Figure out your budget and use it to determine the scope of your project. Doing it the other way around can get expensive quick.

Paint & Light

Changing the color and brightness of a room is a balance of paint (or wallpaper) and lighting. To get it just right, you should think of these as a pair and not separate considerations. Obviously, it’s easier to change a lightbulb than to repaint, but you should always think about the lighting in your home when choosing the color of any materials or furniture.

The color of your walls and the tone of your lighting impact how everything looks in a home. Small changes can make an enormous difference: just look at how many names there are for shades of white paint.

Pipes, Wires, & Blueprints

Often the most cost-effective and time-saving way to pair rooms is to combine them based on the work required.  Skilled labor is expensive. You’ll usually be charged by the day, so you’ll want to get as much done in a day as possible. Setup and cleanup fees present a fixed cost regardless of the scope of the project.

If you know you’ll need plumbing work in the kitchen and the bathroom, have a plumber take care of both at the same time. Take care of all your electrical needs in one job if possible.

The same goes for designers and decorators. You’ll pay a lot more if you ask them to go back to the drawing board (literally) with each room.  Designing everything at once leads to better results, ensuring harmony between rooms and avoiding a hodgepodge.

Flooring

Sometimes your materials will dictate the order of your renovations. When you install the same floor in multiple rooms, you’re going to want to do it all at once to keep the grain and fading consistent. If you go room-by-room, you risk availability issues with materials.  

Kitchen and Dining Area

It makes sense to pair rooms that will be used as one continuous space. These rooms will share a lot of the same materials, and their design will be similar or complementary.

From a practical standpoint, it’s good to get these high-traffic areas out of the way so they’ll be out of action for as short a time as possible and available again while you tear up the rest of the house. The kitchen can be an oasis of calm during a whole home remodel; you don’t want to live without it any longer than you have to.

Personal Space

An important advantage of pairing rooms is that it allows you to minimize the disruption of your life while the work is being done. You may find it’s well worth it to spend a little more money or have the project take a little longer if it means not having to check into a hotel or live without a kitchen sink.

If your house is big enough, you could live in one section of the house while another is having work done. In a smaller space, pair your rooms in a way that prioritizes your access to the most important rooms.

Beds, Baths, and Master Suites

As we discussed in our whole home remodeling post, redesigning your existing space costs half of what building out does–assuming that expanding is even an option. One way to give yourself a totally new space within your existing walls is to pair bedrooms and bathrooms and upgrade to suites.

Adding a connecting bathroom to a bedroom or creating a master suite is the sweet spot (no pun intended) for combining high resale appeal when the time comes to sell and a big improvement in quality of life in the meantime.

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