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.
It is a good idea to check this before you engage a designer, this can simply be done through the NSW Planning Portal; https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/spatialviewer/#/find-a-property/address
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.