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Top tips before starting a Renovation

Renovating can be a scary and daunting exercise. The reality of investing your hard earned money may feel overwhelming! However, in most circumstances, renovating may be the only way to achieve your 'dream home'. There are many things to consider in any renovation, here are a few key elements to help you on your way.

Make sure this is the right choice for you.

When deciding on your dream home there are many options. Move, renovate or knock down and rebuild. All great options but you need to be sure you pick the right one for you and your family. Moving is expensive and stressful and limited by available homes on the market. Renovating keeps familiar surroundings of your home the same but you are also constrained by the building that already exists. Building from scratch allows you complete design freedom but will cost more. The key is to figuring out what works for you.

Getting the right help.

You need many services to help get you in to your dream home. Such as a Designer, Engineers, Certifier, Builder, Project manager, Interior designer, Landscape designer etc. The list feels long but it does need to be. If you have a Designer that can coordinate all these consultants you will only need to be dealing with one or two people through the process. Don't forget to check their credentials, insurances and references prior to signing them up.

Know what you want.

Really get to know what your needs and wants are. Get inspired by flipping through magazines and websites. Pinterest is a great tool to create a pin-board of all your ideas in one place that you can share with your Designer when the time comes.

Get a handle of your budget.

Probably one of the most important steps to renovating is knowing how much you can spend. Last thing you want to do is overcapitalise on your property. Also important to build in a comfortable contingency in case anything was to blow out through the build process.

Will you live through the renovation?

This will depend on the scope of work you hope to undertake and the length of time construction will take. This decision could effect your timeline and your budget so think carefully. Safety is also something to consider specially if you have young children - do you want them on a building site?

Understand the process.

There are many resources to help you get a handle on what happens and when. Your local Council always has great resources available online. Otherwise here is a quick rundown.

You need Preliminary Drawings from a Designer to get quotes from builders, engineers etc and even approach the bank for loans. Once you know your budget lines up with the works, your Designer can produce Working drawings and Specifications to build off. You may engage your Designer to project manage and do all other ancillary services there after. Its always best to keep the same Designer through the entire process so integrity of design is maintained.

For owners that wish to project manage themselves once the builder commences it is important to regularly check in throughout, as the process is fluid and decisions may need to be made on the run. Just remember changes cost time and money, so engaging with your builder is critical.

Advise your insurance company

Make sure you advise your insurer about any renovations you are undertaking as failing to do so may void your policy.

Renovating is an exciting and rewarding experience as long as you go in with your eyes open and don't have unrealistic expectations of timelines and how far your money will stretch. Its important to work with a team you trust and you know will give you the best outcome. You have worked very hard to get to the position of starting a renovation, make sure your money is spent wisely and sensibly.

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