Lifestyle

Your essential home renovation advice

Your essential home renovation advice

Renovating your own home can be a stressful and expensive process. Making sure you’re prepared for anything that might come up will put you in good stead for a smooth renovation process.

Your goals

While it’s easy to get carried away with all the changes you’d like to make to your house, keep it simple. Figure out what your goals are and focus on these. Do you want to make better use of the existing space? Extend? Modernise it? This will help you determine where to concentrate your efforts.

Assess your home

Decide what areas of your home need the most work, as this will have a significant impact on your budget. For example, kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most expensive areas to change. Also keep in mind that major work may require the help of architects and engineers.

Set a budget

Work out how much you can spend - and be realistic about what you can afford. Make a list of what you consider essential inclusions and research how much they will cost.

You can use also EnergyAustralia’s online estimate tool to work out how much electricity and gas will cost in your home. This quote can be factored into your final budget.

Contingency fund

Ensure you allocate money for a contingency fund. You should only dip into this should unexpected expenses arise during the renovation.

Research

Research will be key to a successful renovation. Seek advice and referrals from friends and family who have previously renovated. Read related websites and magazines. Chat to potential builders and tradespeople. Visit showrooms and expos. The more information and advice you have, the better prepared you will be.

Have a master plan

Once you have a clear and informed understanding of what renovations you want to undertake, create a plan. This should include what work will need to be undertaken, what this involves, approximate costs, timelines and materials.

Choosing contractors

If you plan to hire a builder or contractor to do the work, make sure you ask plenty of questions before you sign them up. Ask to see samples of their previous work and find out how long different renovations will take. Choose recommended and registered contractors, educate yourself about contracts and insurance, and know your rights and their obligations.

Renovating you home can be a time-consuming but rewarding process, so make sure you prepare as much as possible so you get great results at the end.