The urge to escape to the countryside is growing stronger with every passing day of this Victorian lockdown, especially if you’re living in metropolitan Melbourne. Those of you who are genuinely thinking of investing in a cosy cottage or lonesome log cabin in the country as a nifty getaway space, will be happy to hear that regional Victorian properties are catching some eyes right now, so it might be a good time to buy! You can certainly save some money by buying a fixer-upper, and making improvements to this new investment of yours can also be a fantastic way of keeping busy during the lockdown. But where to start with your DIY home improvement project? Read on for some guidance.
Update your electrical system
Before you even think about going furniture shopping, you’ll need to get your hands on your home’s electrical plan if possible, as well as some voltage testers so that you can test for any electrical leakage, frayed or damaged wiring, and other potentially dangerous faults, especially if your home is primarily made of wood. Do a thorough examination of your switchboard as well and test for any burnt or broken fuses. Switchboard upgrades in Melbourne can be quite simple so long as you get ahead of the issue and consult a licensed electrician, but for regional areas, you’ll need to be as proactive as possible to make up for your country home’s potential inaccessibility. It would be ideal to find an electrician that’s closer to you or has the means to travel and can offer a great selection of services. That way, you can have your whole home examined by the one expert eye with minimal fuss.
On a similar note, if your property is completely off the grid, you’ll want to ensure that you invest in an outdoor generator that’s large enough to provide your home with an adequate supply of electricity. Be sure to ask your electrician if you’re uncertain of what to look for regarding your generator’s output.
Upgrade your plumbing system
We’re not done with our utility maintenance just yet. Now it’s time to move on to your plumbing system! Cracked or blocked pipes can be a doozy to address once you’re all moved in, and plumbing fix-ups really aren’t something you can attempt to do yourself. In order to mitigate the risks and immense costs associated with fixing burst pipes, you’ll want to call up an experienced plumber to do a thorough inspection of your pipes and water fixtures.
This would also be a good time to think about updating any outdated fixtures and opting for more water-efficient faucets for your kitchen and bathroom spaces. It’s also recommended that you assess your hot water system too, to ensure that whatever system you’re using is best suited to the needs of your home.
The importance of a well-maintained roof cannot be understated. In fact, if you’ve specifically purchased a log cabin, your roof will be a vital player in maintaining your home’s charming facade for decades to come. Grab a ladder and do a thorough inspection of your roof’s tiling, keeping an eye out for lichen build-ups, grout, and any signs of leaks or cracks in your roof and gutters. If you believe that your roof has experienced significant damage from the elements, it may be a good idea to rethink its design and build entirely. Your log cabin may be better off with a sturdy metal roof instead of its pre-existing timber cladding.
If you are considering replacing your roof, it may also be a good opportunity for you to do some maintenance on your roof trusses as well as upgrade your insulation. That way, you can ensure that you’re thoroughly protected from the elements come moving day!
Revisit your interiors
Now it’s finally time to move on to the interior of your cosy cabin, specifically focusing on modernising your window coverings and light fixtures. Just because your humble abode sits in the cheery countryside, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to invest in privacy. Consider switching out your drapes for some more modern blinds or shades. And if you’re not a fan of blinds, blockout curtains can be a fantastic addition to any small, single-storey home, both as a means of controlling light as well as trapping heat.
As for lighting, a lot of country homeowners and Airbnb hosts alike are opting to include smart lighting and other smart home accessories in their properties to add an extra sense of modern living to even the quaintest of country retreats. The versatility of smart lighting and its ability to transform any space with the tap of a button packs a massive appeal in this modern age of curated feeds on social media. And why not make your property available for bookings? Renting your little cabin out for tourists and travellers is a great way of supporting a strong return on your investment.
Gardens and landscaping
Finally, no fixer-upper should be considered ‘fixed up’ if you haven’t shown your garden spaces some TLC. Get creative by building your own planters and setting up defined areas in both your front and back garden spaces, like a birdwatcher’s haven complete with a bird feeder, fountain, and native bird-attracting plants. You could tie a hammock between two trees and have some lawn space where you and any guests can feel free to have a picnic lunch.
If your property comes complete with a stunning view, you could also consider building or expanding on your decking to provide you and your guests with a nice spot to have a cuppa and enjoy every picture-perfect sunset. The options for outdoor living with country cabins are quite honestly endless, so be sure to really assess your property’s best qualities and work towards highlighting these qualities in your design plan.
Once you’ve put in all this hard work, all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the bliss in your very own country retreat. Take a nice, big breath of that fresh air, and start planning out the adventures that lie ahead of you!