Read before renovating

Your go-to guide for a successful renovation

Renovating your home is an exciting yet often overwhelming task. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin, especially when it comes to important decision making and planning. Rise to the challenge with our step-by-step checklist to a successful home renovation.

Phase one: before you begin

1. Renovate or detonate?

Before you do anything, it’s important to consider why you’re renovating in the first place, or if it’s the best choice at the present time. Many first-time renovators don’t realise that it can sometimes be costlier to renovate a home that might be beyond repair, rather than starting from scratch. Get a licensed building practitioner to assess the existing home before you reach for a hammer or paintbrush.

2. Get inspired!

It’s also important to have a clear vision of what you want and need from your renovation. Create Pinterest boards to collect and order your inspiration, or save images that you see on Instagram. From here, work out a wish list of things you want in your build and rank the items in order of importance. This will make it easier to chat through your needs and wants with your builder further down the track.

3. Work out your budget

Before any serious planning can begin it’s crucial that you have a realistic and clear budget set out for the entire build, including design fees, materials, furnishings and any unexpected costs.

The ‘golden rule’ is make room for a 10% contingency in your budget to cover these unexpected costs, such as delays, bad weather, or emergency accommodation. Once the budget is finalised, it’s time to get financed. If you need to apply for finance for the project, make sure to consult your lender before planning begins so that you can begin the building process as soon as possible.

Phase two: plan it out

4. Contact the experts

Ready to start designing? Meticulous planning from the outset will prevent nasty – or expensive – surprises as you go along. Seeking professional advice at the start of the renovation process will help to mitigate risk and is particularly important for first time or inexperienced renovators.

Phil Beeston from S Group suggests “a skilled architect or designer will understand the complexities and help you understand aspects you may not have considered.”

If you’re looking to save money, save your DIY skills for tasks like tiling, painting and decorating and bring in licensed professionals for jobs involving plumbing, gas and electrics.

5. Check local council rules and regulations

Before delving too deep into the design phase, it’s important that you consult a designer or architect regarding council rules and regulations. Not all areas are the same, so make sure you seek the help of a licensed surveyor to ensure your plans comply with Local Council laws.

6. Create a timeline

Mapping out a detailed timeline will help keep your renovation on track. Be careful with ambitious deadlines and always allow for time contingencies to cover unexpected events or delays, especially if you need the renovation to be completed in time for a special event or important date.

Phase three: time to start renovating

7. Consider livability

The big question is: will you be living in the home whilst construction is underway? There are several factors to consider before making this decision, especially if you have children or elderly relatives living with you. If you need to organise alternative accommodation, make sure you have a place to store your furniture during the renovation process and be sure to budget for any subsequent costs like moving or storage.

8. Choose materials that will last

Choosing the right materials will help you create a ‘forever’ home built to withstand the test of time. While aesthetics is important, always consider practicality and longevity. The materials you choose should enable you to achieve the desired look, but also be able to stand up to harsher environmental conditions.

9. Finalise payments

So, the hard part of the renovation is over and you have the house of your dreams, congratulations! The last thing you need to do is complete any outstanding payments to contractors and suppliers on time, and in full, to avoid any issues down the road. Plus, you never know if you’ll need their help with your next building project, so stay in contact and send out thank you cards – a little effort now may save you a lot a hassle in the future!