We’ll give it to you straight. Planning is the most important step in any home renovation. Many home improvement projects result in undesirable outcomes (and drained bank accounts) due to poor planning. We’ve heard countless stories from homeowners who failed to meet their goal in terms of design, budget or date of completion, simply because they failed to plan properly. But you don’t have to make the same mistake.
Why you need a plan
A solid plan is crucial in home renovation projects because it defines your objectives and the steps you have to take to achieve them.
Do you want to redecorate your home interior because it’s outdated? If so, how do you want it to look? How much will it cost? Who do you ask for help?
Do you want to redo the kitchen and upgrade the appliances? How long will it take? Which appliances can you afford?
Planning lets you determine the specifications of and work things out with the contractors, suppliers and interior designer. It helps avoid problems with budget and deal with timeline issues beforehand, so the renovation will go as smoothly as possible.
The basics of renovation planning
A home renovation must start with a plan but… How do you start planning? Here is our step-by-step process in creating a renovation plan:
1. Set the objectives
Define the purpose of your renovation project. Is it to improve your living conditions? To achieve a certain aesthetic? Or to increase property value so you can maximise profit when you resell? Think about your house as it is and imagine the changes you want to see. Be honest with yourself and determine which changes are essential to your goal and which ones are nice but not necessary. Now, write down the changes that you’re left with and set a budget for it.
2. Plot a timeline
Some renovations are finished in a month or two, but major renovations may take much longer. In these cases, you have to prioritise which to do first. Will it be the kitchen, then the bathroom? Or the flooring, then the exterior walls? Setting different stages for the project will also give you more time to arrange finance for each stage.
3. Assess the property
Planning includes an honest assessment of the current condition of your home. You can arrange for a professional inspector to check for any structural problems, which you should fix first before proceeding with the renovation. If your objective for the home renovation is to sell the property in the future, a property assessment will also help you determine its current market value. The ideal renovation cost should not exceed 5% of the total property value.
4. Set a budget
Break down the cost for the individual stages of the renovation, allot a budget, and make sure that you stick to it. Find at least three different sources of materials and three different service providers so you can compare their quotes and get the best deal.
Permits, contractors and financing
The planning stage is also the time to file permits, find contractors, and determine your financing options. Don’t neglect the following steps:
1. Secure building permits & council approval
Renovating your property must meet the guidelines and requirements of the local council and the Building Code of Australia. Have your plans approved and have the necessary permits on hand before breaking any walls or adding extensions.
2. Market research
If you plan to sell or lease your property, you must consider the current house prices of neighbouring properties. Don’t overspend on a renovation that will drive your selling price way higher than other homes in the street. Conduct some research on the current property market in your area, as well as your intended buyers, so you can determine the right budget for your renovation.
3. Create a brief
This covers all aspects of the renovation, including the cost, design and construction methods. The brief should provide direction to the designers and will help separate the non-essential things for the project.
Funding your home renovation also falls on the planning stage. You need to determine how much you have to spend and where you will source the money needed for the project. Will you get it from your savings or will you apply for home finance? If you choose the latter, you will also have to shop for the best loan deals from different lenders. Make sure to consider all your options and choose the best fit for your current financial status.
5. DIY project vs hiring a builder
This is also the time to decide which projects you’ll do yourself and which ones you’ll hire professionals for. DIY projects will save you money, especially if you are skilled in home construction and design. However, if you have minimal experience in building, it’s best to hire the pros or you could end up costing yourself a fortune. And even if you have experience in construction, chances are you might need help at some point. There are tasks in a home renovation that require professional handling, such as mechanical and structural renovations.
If you take them upon yourself to accomplish and you don’t have any experience, you can end up with unsatisfactory results. Eventually, you will have to hire professional services to fix your mistake. This will add additional expense to your budget.
On the other hand, getting help from renovation experts like Renovare will ensure that you get the best results from the project. We have licensed builders who have extensive experience in providing quality home renovation services. With Renovare, you can just sit back and relax while we do the hard work for you and deliver the transformation that you wanted.
Plan your home renovation properly
Planning is indeed the most important step when renovating. When you have successfully planned and followed it all throughout the building process, you will achieve the best result for your home improvement project. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your renovation or extension, call the team at Renovare now. We have builders in Hervey Bay, Toowoomba and Mt Gravatt, as well as greater Brisbane (Chermside) and the Gold Coast.