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9 Tips for On-Time On-Budget Renovation

Brent Taylor

 

Renovating is a fantastic way to add value to your home or, make it the home of your dreams.

But we've all heard the horror stories of when renovations go wrong!

Here's our top tips for keeping your renovation on-time and on-budget;

1. Think about what you want

Before you call in the architects, think carefully about what you want out of your project. If its creating the best family space, consider how you live in your space now and what your ideal would be. And don’t loose site when the architect comes in. A good architect will work with you, instead of trying to impose their vision at all costs.

If you are renovating to maximise value for your sale, talk to some local real estate agents to get their opinion on what will increase the value.

2. Check out your local building regulations

It seems simple enough, but before submitting anything for approval, check your local environmental plan to see what can and can’t be done. Check out your local council website to get started.

If you think your plans are pushing the boundaries, it can be helpful to engage a town planner with experience of similar projects.

Many councils will also allow you to book a pre-submission meeting, where you can run your plans past a council planner who can guide you as to the likelihood of approval before submission.

3. Be prepared for opposition

If your project will significantly change the landscape of the area, be prepared for local opposition. If this happens, consider making yourself available for discussions with other residents. And consider a town hall meeting to discuss you plans and why they are important to you. The last thing you want is unhappy neighbours!

4. Define your budget

Figure out what you can afford to spend (and re-pay).

It can be tempting to go all out, but if you are financing, remember you have to pay that money back plus interest which, could hamper your enjoyment if you ultimately over-stretch yourself.

If you are renovating to maximise value, ensure the renovation cost is significantly lower than the anticipated value increase.

Homesales.com.au advises “A Good rule of Thumb is to spend no more than 5-10% of the total value of the property on renovations”, thus ensuring you don’t overcapitalise.

Allow wriggle-room in your budget for unforeseen expenses (isn’t there always something).

5. Ask for referrals

Architects, town planners, builders – no matter which industry, it can be hard to find the good ones.

There is nothing like a positive referral to give you comfort you have the right professionals helping you with your project.

Speak to friends, colleagues or family to ask who they have used. And, connect with other renovators on renovation forums like https://www.renovateforum.com or https://forum.homeone.com.au, two of the largest renovation forums in Australia.

6. Get multiple quotes

Get multiple quotes. Referral or no, it is always better to get multiple quotes. For comparison purposes and for piece of mind.

To help you make an informed decision, set a list of criteria that you can judge all options from.

Importantly, consider how well you feel you can work with them. You will potentially be spending a lot of time dealing with these people, so it’s important you can get along but more importantly, be open and honest without it feeling confrontational.

7. Remember: Cheap isn’t always cheerful

Whilst it can seem appealing to go with the cheapest option, be wary of any quotes that are wildly lower than others. This often means the contactor doesn’t understand the project and, therefore, will often lead to cost increases through the project.

In this scenario, challenge the contractors on what they know and, go with your gut – if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

8. Avoid making changes mid-way through through project

Tempting as it may be to move a wall here, or add a room there, changes midway through a project will lead to time-delays and cost over-runs.

If you have the budget and patience to support this, no problem. If not, be prepared!

9. Don’t get carried away with fixtures and fittings

It is easy to see costs blow out at the fixtures and fitting stage, so be careful!

Ask yourself whether there are lower cost ways to finish your renovation, like: 

  • Can you get the same (or similar) work top cheaper elsewhere?
  • Are there emerging materials you could use in place of traditional once?
  • Could you use secondhand or up-sold materials, fixtures or fittings instead of brand new ones?

We hope you found this article helpful and wish you all the best with your renovation. And remember, when it comes to skip hire, you can make your life easy (and save money) by getting in touch with us at Skip Hire GB.

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