The Top Ten Tricks You Should Know for Your Next Renovation

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The Top Ten Tricks You Should Know for Your Next Renovation

1. Before you start – check structural, electrical and plumbing

Check that everything is up to scratch, you don’t want to be halfway through your renovation only for your builder to tell you all your plumbing has to be replaced.
So before starting your renovation, check that your plumbing and electrical are sufficient and if any structural works need to be done, such as rectifying water damage or rising damp.

It would be worth your money to engage a builder at the start and ask these questions before you start accepting any quotes.

They can outline for you if it is necessary to make replacements or upgrades, it isn’t the most exciting thing to invest in but it is a smart investment, as it helps you know what you’re getting into and to set the appropriate budget without fears of going over.

If this is a home you are moving into and want to renovate, get builders report. This will give you an idea of the condition of the house and what areas have to be updated and looked at.

2. Check to see if the renovation you’re doing needs council approval

Depending on your renovation you may need council approval, this is all dependent on the area you’re in and the extent of work you are doing; are you adding a pool or entirely changing the façade?

It is a good idea to check this before you engage a designer, this can simply be done through the NSW Planning Portal;

Search your property and see the council requirements for that particular zone. You could also look at the original plans of the home and see what restrictions they had to stick to.

Be sure you know these things before you start making plans and engaging a designer, you don’t want to end up paying for a design that can’t be built.

3. Get your neighbours on your side

Renovation can be a difficult and timely process, not only for you but the others on your street. No one enjoys the sound of demolition, electrical tools, and trucks constantly coming up and down your street. So, it would be in your benefit to approach your neighbours and let them know what your plan is.

Once you know what you’re doing for your renovation let your neighbours know so they don’t feel like they’re in the dark on something that is happening on their street.

4. Be Painfully realistic

Plan every detail! Be brutal.

Make sure you know everything about your builder, designer, council, timeline, and scope. Ask every question in the book, research everything, set a realistic budget.

To be truthful there is no such thing as a best-case scenario in the renovation, trying to make your dream home can come at a cost and you want to be sure you are prepared for anything.

It is in your best interest to have a safety net than not having one so it is worth taking the time to go through this step thoroughly.

5. Create a timeline

How long do you want this going on for? Don’t be afraid to tell your builder that you have an ideal timeline that you would like to stick too and the right builder will try and do everything they can to stick to it.

This will give you a better idea of what is happening, when it’s happening and how long it’ll take and it will help you stay on budget because it can reduce hidden costs.

Don’t be annoyed if in some cases it does take longer than expected, renovation isn’t always easy and at the end of the day there are multiple teams involved and sometimes things can take a while which delays the whole process.

Make sure you understand the work that is being done, if you can see that it will be a longing process you may want to look into temporary accommodation whilst the project is going on.

6. Where to start?

What will take the longest? Start there.

You want to set aside the most appropriate time for the timeliest part of your project because you want it to be ready when everything else is done.

Are you extending? This can typically take up to 3 to 6 months, depends on the size; is it just one room, or are you adding another story?

Kitchen renovation? You’re looking at 3 – 12 weeks, depending on how much you're changing and if you choose to upgrade or rearrange plumbing and electrical

The bathroom can be 3 weeks or significantly more. This process eats up a lot of time because there the stages of waterproofing, tiling, and plumbing that can all be unpredictable in the time it takes to finish them.

Are you choosing to landscape? Start this first because the duration of the rest of your renovation will give this time for your landscaping to adjust and be perfect when the work is done.

7. Determine the splurge worthy items

In order to know how to set an appropriate budget you have to learn which items to spend your money on, these two go hand in hand.

Think about what you will be using frequently; these are the items with a bigger price tag on them.

Differentiate your needs and wants, it can be easy to get carried away when browsing for inspiration but make sure you know what you need over what you want, are those heated floors a necessity? What part of the budget is this feature taking from? Have you considered the labor costs of this particular feature?

Looking into what is available within your budget and then cross off the things that aren’t necessary, if you do have money left over than you can come back and splurge on these luxuries.

8. Consistency is key

This is commonly seen in the design aspect of a renovation, when collecting inspiration it can be exciting and you save everything that meets the eye… but think about it, will that art-deco style bathroom work with your industrial style kitchen or contemporary façade? Obviously not, all three of these designs clash with one another because all three of them are three separate visions.

Pick every item to be true to your vision so that your fixtures and finishes complement each other, your designer can help you in this step but introducing general ideas of different designs that you can pick from and later build on to make It your own.

9. Storage

When renovating you can get wrapped up in the design of your kitchen and bathroom but in many cases an important element can be forgotten, storage.

Storage is essential in every residents and it helps you keep your home organised and easy to live in. Be sure that this isn’t something you forget in your design stage and try and fit storage elements in the spaces that you can.

10. Technology and Smart Home

The future is among us and smart homes seem to be in this picture.

If you are thinking about renovating think about technology and smart home concepts that are in the market.

Smart homes give you the ability to control electricity, air conditioning, heating, lighting, security… basically any appliance that can be connected to WIFI from your phone.
This is something we’re seeing more and more people incorporate into their homes, it is beneficial to you and your lifestyle but it also future proofs your home so it’s a valuable consideration.