By Stuart Tucker
It’s never too early to start planning your next reno project and with material shortages as a result of Covid and many trades booked out months in advance due to the boom in home improvements, follow these top tips to give yourself the best chance of getting what you want, when you want it, and on budget.
- Decide your budget
It’s always important to know what your maximum budget is when you’re planning and then add 10-to-20% on top of that which can be reserved for any unexpected challenges that you might face during your project. You should then think of the remaining 80-to-90% as your maximum project budget for hiring tradies and organising any materials.
- Map out your timeline
Next step is to determine a realistic end date of when you want the job completed. From there you can work backwards on a timeline. Remember to always give yourself a buffer for any delays, especially given shortages which have been experienced for certain materials as a result of the pandemic. Always be clear on your timings when speaking with your tradie on the brief and ask for the agreed timeline to be included in the contract.
- Have your measurements ready
An estimated quote can’t be provided until you have the measurements and specifications of the area or space you want to renovate. It’s important to provide the clearest brief possible – a great way to do this is with photos. With tradies currently in high demand, it’s important to eliminate back and forth where possible.
- Begin talking to tradies early
Different renovation categories boom according to season so if your job is included in hipages’ Home Improvement Report’s anticipated top five categories, such as a deck installation, you need to brief a tradie as soon as possible. We’d recommend starting conversations with tradies now for any jobs planned for early next year too.
- Harness the power of technology
The positive side of COVID-19 is that it has accelerated how tradies are using technology, with 29% of tradies increasing their use of digital platforms in light of the pandemic. This makes it easier for you to communicate with tradies ahead of the job, sharing your budget and timeline. The lockdowns in some states have also inspired tradies to give video call consultations before coming out to your property.
Check out the hipages Home Improvement Report to find out which trades and projects are expected to be in highest demand for the next quarter.
-Stuart Tucker is chief customer officer for hipages, the online platform that connects Australia with trusted tradies to simplify home improvement, and proud sponsor of The Block Fans v Faves.