Don't get caught out when planning your renovation - follow this handy checklist to make sure it all runs as smoothly as possible.
A renovation can be a really exciting and fun adventure to embark on but it can also go downhill pretty quick. A simple kitchen do-over can turn into a kitchen nightmare. The outside entertainment area of your dreams can become a renovation disaster! Don't let your home renovation get out of control!
Take charge of your renovation - are you following the pre-renovation checklist?
What do you want, where do you want it, how much will it cost, how long will it take... The questions are honestly exhausting, but knowing the answers before you begin will make your home renovation go a lot smoother. You can't expect a renovator to be able to provide you with an accurate quote when all you have is a rough idea in your head.
Council approval, permits and certificates are the sort of things that will get sorted quickly if you have all the time in the world or take forever if you've left it to the last minute. Check with your council to find out what you might need permits for and make your applications early in the process.
Even a seemingly simple renovation still has to apply to the building code and other standards so it's always worth hiring a professional to help out. For example, if you're planning on modifying your kitchen or installing a gorgeous outdoor spa you will have to talk to an electrician specialising in renovation to ensure you're keeping your 'wet and dry' areas separate and aren't creating a potential safety hazard.
Kitsch may be cute, but it won't always sell well. If you think you might need to eventually sell your home then it's definitely worth putting some effort into ensuring that you aren't making any style faux pas. Research current trends; take into account the area your house is in and what market it's likely to attract; and even hire an interior designer to ensure that the final result will be both beautiful and sellable.
Depending on what your planning, your renovation could easily interfere with your daily life and that of your family. What will you do when the bathroom is mid-renovation? How will you prepare dinner when the kitchen is in pieces around you? Even the most organised, efficient renovator will admit that things don't always arrive when they should or have to be sent back for alterations...
Have a plan (and even a back up plan) for what you'll do while your house is partway renovated. If that means asking the plumber to install some 'temporary' solutions or moving back to mum's for a week then so be it. Just be prepared for the unexpected.
As tempting as it can be to cut corners and try to find a 'cheaper' solution (whether that's DIY or Joe Blow from the yellow pages offering to do it half price) be aware that it is taking a major risk with your home and your family.
A certified tradesperson will be licensed and have appropriate public liability insurance for if something goes wrong. They'll also be able to provide you with construction certificates that will add value to the house should you decide to sell. On top of that, if it's an appliance alteration such as a replacement stove top then you'll have the added advantage that it won't void your warranty either.
Ask your tradies to present their licenses and insurance certificates before they start work on your property. Alternatively, post your job with Service Central and our certification system will ensure that only certified tradies are given the opportunity to quote on your renovation job.
Renovation budgets can be pretty complex things to figure out - you have to factor in how much you have to spend, how much you'll need to spend on materials, how much the service providers will charge and then your research will probably reveal a myriad of other, hidden costs.
Then there's the unexpected - you should always add 10-20% on top of your budget for when the carpenter reveals stump damage or the plumber finds pipes that need replacing or if the electrician discovers asbestos. If you have money spare for the unexpected then would-be major disasters become minor inconveniences.
Whatever your budget comes to, make sure it's reasonable and also make sure that it's going to be worth it. For example, a $50,000 renovation that only adds $10,000 to the value of your house at the end of the day is unlikely to be worth it.
Always keep in mind that your renovation should add value to your home AND lifestyle. If you can do that within budget, then you'll definitely be smiling by the end.