Reasons for renovating are wide and varied. Maybe you’re thinking about renovating to accommodate for a growing family. Perhaps you’re renovating a recently purchased home to modernise it and make it feel a bit more like you. Or maybe you’re renovating simply to increase the value of your property.
Whatever your reason, we can all agree that the thought process behind renovating and visualising the final result is really exciting, but truth be told, the renovating process can be extremely stressful.
If you take the time to plan and approach your renovation with a realistic and positive attitude, some of this stress can be alleviated. So here are 7 helpful tips for first-time renovators.
1. Make a realistic wish list
In the age of Pinterest and instagram where inspiration is free, never-ending and completely addictive, it can be really hard to stay focused, understand what’s possible and differentiate between what you want and what you really need.
Sure, inspiration is important, but remember not to get too carried away. Start with the practical basics and what makes financial sense and then look at what else you can afford.
2. Educate yourself
Don’t ever walk into a renovation without doing some background research first. Do as much reading as you can and educate yourself on all aspects of the job at hand. If you do this, you’ll firmly place yourself in the driving seat and find yourself more adept at selecting materials, hiring the right trades and asking the right questions throughout the job process.
3. Work out what work you really need done
Tackle each room or area with separate research, notes and lists of what needs to be fixed, removed, added or replaced so you can start to put together a plan and budget.
There is absolutely no hurt in asking around, so speak to trades and speak to friends who’ve renovated before to get an idea of whether your inspirations are possible and if you have the budget for it. The last thing you want is to be undertaking unnecessary work that eats into your budget.
4. Set a realistic budget
You need to be able to actually afford your renovation. Make sure you get at least three quotes for any job in your home and account for the possibility of any job costing 10 to 20 percent more due to unanticipated work or blown-out timelines.
Remember that costs can change significantly depending on what materials and specifications you choose. One kitchen renovation can cost $10,000 while another of the same size can cost $20,000. This also applies to home extensions, bathrooms, decks and other renovations, so remember to take time to go over all the finer details, because not doing so can be extremely costly.
5. Make sure you pick the right trades for your job
Picking the right trade is essential in ensuring your renovation goes smoothly. Make sure that whoever you pick is licensed, insured, holds a current ABN and has the right experience to do your job.
Ask for examples of previous work and look at hiring trades with particular expertise for any specialised work that needs to be done. For example, an electrician who specialises in home automation compared to an electrician who doesn’t have that particular skillset.
Another important factor is professionalism. If your trades operate professionally and respect their clients than they’re more likely to work collaboratively with you to produce amazing results.
6. Review your quotes
Remember that a quote is by no means a legally binding contract, so study them carefully and make sure they include everything you need. While one quote might be cheaper, it may be because it’s missing something important that has been added to a quote that is a little more expensive. Don’t accept an incomplete quote, and if the quote isn’t itemised, ask questions. A trade that you’ll want to deal with will work with you to ensure that you’re both on the same page.
7. Make a plan
We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day, and same goes for your home extension, so keep in mind that it’s wise to plan ahead because your day-to-day existence is going to be disrupted by your renovation.
Make sure you speak to your builder or trade about the project’s scope and how much it will disrupt your day-to-day routine. Great trades will try to work with you and around your schedule, but for more complex jobs, you may even need to move out temporarily. So plan ahead and budget for these circumstances.
– Samantha Thorne is content marketer at hipages.com.au, Australia’s number one site to hire tradies and the perfect place to get quotes for your home renovation.