First stages to renovate a home

To renovate a home is a very personal thing.  Before you do anything, you have to be aware of why you are doing the renovation. What is the reason for the renovation?  Is it purely for your enjoyment or is it a commercial decision?  Will this be your forever home, a house you will occupy for only a few years then sell on, or a home you are purely renovating for profit?  The renovation will differ depending upon your motivation. Careful planning and a budget are the most important elements.

Clarify your Reasons to Renovate

In the simplest of terms, a home remodel or renovation will be motivated by short to medium term profit or by desire to have a forever home.

Renovating for Profit

If you are renovating for profit, (in other words you will move the house on either immediately or in a few years) then the choices of your finishes will be more calculated for general appeal, probably a much more neutral pallet and the cost of finishes and appliances will be a major consideration.  Over capitalising will be a major concern for lesser value homes and making sure you have the expected high end surfaces and fixtures for the higher value homes is just as important.  You will have to work out what is the best way to get value for your buck with respect to the value of the home regardless of the value of the home.

Renovating for Passion

If you are renovating your own forever home, then what you do and what you choose will be totally personal. It will be all about what you love rather than what others will like and what is saleable.  The cost of the goods you choose will also have no bearing on the home value.  Over capitalising won’t be a major concern as you haven’t renovated for anyone except yourself.  Loving what you choose and getting the correct mood or atmosphere will be more important.

Allow the House Plan to Evolve

A new Floor Plan

Before you start any renovation stop, take time to look at the plan of the house, don’t rush into things.  Ask yourself if there is any way you could open up any rooms, or re-locate areas of the home to make it more functional?  Do you need extra bedrooms, bathrooms or a home office now, will a deck add to the outdoor living, and will this add extra value to the house when selling it? Remember that removing some walls will be easy and cosmetic while others will be expensive if they are structural walls, you have to weigh up the cost compared to the extra function of the home to see if it is worth the cost.

Ask others for Opinions

Show the plans to builders or designers to get their opinions, often others can see things that you can’t and might come up with ideas you wouldn’t think of.  It is cheaper to change things at the beginning rather than doing things after you have finished other areas.

Embrace Automationhome automation concept for home renovation

Automation within new an renovated homes has become normal. Technologies that were once the domain of science fiction or the very wealthy are more accessible and affordable that ever before. Now is the opportunity to consider the possible inclusions for your renovation. Make a plan of what you would like in the home in regards to automation.  Planning this from the beginning will be the most cost-effective way of wiring your home for the devices you want to install.   It is extremely important to have all this worked out before you call in the experts.

Questions to ask yourself about Home Automation

  • Do you want your home to be a smart home?
  • Do you want a security system with camera’s throughout the house?
  • Window opening systems with drape and blind opening systems
  • Door, garage and gate opening systems
  • Thermostat, heating cooling and all ventilation controllers
  • Appliances, switches and gadgets connected to central hubs
  • Intercom systems so people can talk to others or your front door monitored?
  • Think about where you would like power points for all the appliances and gadgets in these places.
  • Go through the rooms one by one and work out what you will need

Who is managing and organising the build?colours and plans to renovate a home

The more you know what you want in your renovation, the easier it will be to work out who will manage the project.  If it is a small renovation, you can probably employ the trades needed to do the work, but if it is a much bigger complicated renovation hiring a project manager or builder will be a much wiser decision, unless you want to apply for an owner builder license.

For larger renovation projects seeking out a builder, building designer or project manager will be a good idea.  They will keep the project moving, by organising drawings from a draftsman which will be used to submit to council for permits, they will co-ordinate the trades, check licenses, insurances and make sure the work is completed to Australian standards plus give you a seven year warranty on the work completed.

For major extension or structural work you may have to employ an architect who can put the job out to tender to builders who will submit applications for the job.  You will work with the architect to go through the responses so you end up with the correct builder to complete your renovation.  The architect can totally project manage the whole job, inspect the work and even make payments to the builder on your behalf.

Tips for Choosing a Builder or Architect

When you are excited about getting launched on your home renovation, the process of choosing a builder or architect can feel like it is really slowing you down. It can be tempting to sign on with the first one that you talk to, just to get the project started sooner. STOP!  Make sure you talk to three or four different builders to make sure you are on the same page and have the same outcome desires before you employ one.    Ask for a list of previous jobs and to speak to previous clients to check the quality of their work and how they worked with the builder and see that they went the extra mile to make the end result perfect. The time that you put into choosing a builder or architect is time well spent.

Talking about costs of your renovation

Discussing costs and time lines, so you know what to expect, is important. Builders charge for the amount of work they do for you. They add a percentage onto the totals of each of the trades they organise and supervise for you. Generally speaking, if you do more for yourself and the more you know about your project, you are more likely to be satisfied and happy with end result. It is likely you will also be charged less. Your particular taste and style will have a direct impact on the costs. Knowing your style, budget so you achieve exactly what you set out to achieve and allow an extra 10-20% as a buffer to cover unexpected costs and unforeseen delays.

Understanding your motivation is the starting point of a home renovation. Careful planning, including the use of a project manager and conversations about costs are the most important stages of a happy home renovation


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