Starting a home renovation project can be a bit scary but also quite an exciting process. For those who are feeling a little nervous about the process, keep reading to get a few insider tips for before starting a home renovation. Hopefully working through these will put your mind at ease and help you get on with your project with confidence.
RESEARCH RENOVATION PROJECTS
First thing’s first, do research and a lot of it! Start with the space in your home you’re looking to renovate. Answer the basics first, “what am I looking for?”. Some questions you may ask are:
- I want to increase my living space, what examples of other renovations are there?
- I’m thinking of selling, how can I increase the value of my property?
- I’m tired of looking at the same four walls, how can I change things up?
- My bathroom is old, what can I do to update it?
- I wish we could entertain in our backyard. What options are there for alfresco entertaining areas?
Whatever your wants and needs are… every renovation always starts with a simple idea and a little research.
For example, if you find yourself saying something like, “I wish my bathroom wasn’t so dark. There’s always mould on the ceiling”, the idea from this want/need is to renovate the bathroom so that it has more natural light and air-flow. So you start with the first problem and grow your ideas from there.
- There’s not enough light coming in through that small window.
- Because the window’s so small we have hardly any natural ventilation.
- While we’re at it, we should replace those outdated pink retro tiles that came with the house as well as that old bathtub because we never use it.
- I want more space in the bathroom and maybe two sinks so my partner and I can get ready at the same time.
So, now we’ve established your wants and needs, your ideas can start to take shape and this is where the research (and fun part) begins. Follow these tips for before starting a home renovation and you’ll be on the right path.
SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITES
The best place to start learning about what’s out there is social media and websites. Check out Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest as some great interactive resources where you can, not only, save ideas but also ask questions and get answers. Search for simple terms such as “bathrooms” or “outdoor kitchen” or “x space renovations” (where “x space” is the particular part of your home you want to renovate). Follow social media pages and bookmark websites you love so you can come back for more. Once you’ve done some simple, broad searches and have a few ideas together, get more specific. Start looking for tiles, flooring, paint colours for x space, tapware, cabinets, pantries, etc.
Hot Tip: If you’re using Pinterest, create a board for your renovation ideas and use it as a digital scrapbook. On that point, if you’re into more classic methods, why not create an actual scrapbook of ideas…
Let’s go old school! Whilst we live in a digital age, there are still plenty of great home design magazines for sale. Go to your local newsagent and find a few. Cut out images and pinpoint the elements of each image that you like. Stick them into your scrapbook and write a little note next to it. Again, start with overall spaces and get more specific. Break your scrapbook up into sections. For example, if you want to renovate your bathroom, you might start with a bunch of bathroom images then get more detailed with titles such as, “Tapware”, “Lighting”, ”Flooring”, Showers”, etc. Don’t worry if the images you paste in are wildly different. This process is about putting in ALL the ideas you like then whittling them down – often it’s a great idea to give your scrapbook of ideas to an interior designer and let them work out the best way to combine the right elements to give you a functional and visually cohesive space.
PLANS & APPROVALS
Let’s not be backward in coming forwards here – you ALWAYS need a written plan. No matter how big or small the job, not only does it ensure everyone’s on the same page but proper plans will always save money in the long run. The size or type of renovation will generally determine the level of depth your plan needs. Some small renovations can be simple and all that’s required are measurements, layout, finishes and fittings and (hopefully) a timeline. Other renovations will require a DA (Development Approval). This process always takes a lot longer than people expect, so it’s a great idea to speak with your potential builder about this as soon as possible.
The next part is your budget or at least a ball-park idea of what you want to spend. At this point, it’s definitely time to get a professional builder involved. Adesso Building Renovations will create a scope of works based on approved plans and be in a position to give you an estimate. If you have all your ducks in a row with materials, finishes, fittings, etc, the builder should be able to give you an even better idea at what the final cost is likely to be. “That’s all well and good”, we hear you say,”but how and where do I find a builder?”
FINDING A BUILDER
A great place to start is with the Master Builders Association in your state. This is an association for approved members of Master Builders. You can search for builders by their specialty and filter by location to find builders in your area. Once you have a shortlist, call them to get a feel for how they communicate and what their process is.
Look them up on social media. Facebook recommendations and Google reviews are fantastic ways to get an idea of the quality of their work. If you like what you read then ask your potential builder for a couple of references. Most good builders will have a list of past clients that are happy to tell you about their experience. Be wary of builders that refuse to do this. Often it’s because they struggle to find people happy enough with their service to willingly act as a reference.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with word of mouth – ask your friends and your neighbours for advice on builders they may have used in the past. Again, social media, particularly Facebook, can be great for this. Ask a question on your local suburb page – you’ll get plenty of responses!
Lastly, once you’ve got your short-list together, check out their websites. Look at examples of their work and organise a time to meet with them in person.
READY, SET, GO!
You’re pretty much all set to begin the renovation process! Don’t worry, you’ve got this! After doing all of the above, you can be confident you’ve taken the right steps to get a great result and our tips for before starting a home renovation have got you on the right track. If you need more guidance or just a reassuring person to talk with, get in contact with us. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you have.