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9 tips to project plan your renovation

17 November, 2014 / Category: Blog

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If you’ve decided it’s time to renovate your home, it’s important to plan ahead. While each renovation is unique, there are some universal principles that every homeowner should follow to plan their project right. To make things easier, Infolio have created a checklist to get the decoration ball rolling.

Here are our 9 tips to project plan your renovation.

1. Know what you’re working with

There’s no point in designing a breakfast nook if your kitchen is already small. Assessing your surroundings before you make your plans will give you a clearer idea of what you can accomplish with the space you’re working with. Start by making a list of all the good features of your home, as well as all the bad. At this stage it’s also wise to recruit experts, such as engineers or builders, to help identify structural issues, particularly if you’re aware of warning signs like any cracking or rotting.

2. Write a wish list

Don’t be afraid of getting in touch with your creative side. Develop a wish list of the features you’d like to include in your renovation. In the process, consider the importance of each item. Is it something you need? Or is it something that’s not essential if there’s no room in the kitty? This stage of planning is about exploring design and product ideas while learning as much as you can about what’s available. When seeking inspiration, you should:

  • Read design magazines for pictures of decorating ideas that appeal to you.
  • Visit kitchen, bathroom and other retail showrooms, talk with salespeople and collect brochures on the types and brands of products you like.
  • Investigate local home shows held throughout the year. Renovators, designers and suppliers take part in these shows. Expos are a great way of finding out what’s new.
  • When in doubt, Google—the Internet is a great source of renovation info.
  • Explore Pinterest. This visual social media platform is a great way for home renovators to share their ideas and inspire one another.

3. Get advice on building requirements

For the majority of structural changes made to your home, you will need to comply with building laws. By checking these early on, you can determine what you can and cannot do before making costly mistakes. To make sure you have your facts straight, ask your local council for info on protocol you’ll need to follow.

4. Enlist a professional

Hiring a designer or an architect may sound extravagant, but it’s often best. If you’re planning a major renovation, you might need to hire experts such as these to offer guidance and advice. In the early stages of project planning, their knowledge and expertise may add huge value to your process.

5. Employ a builder

Where you can’t, a handyman can. Before commencing work, obtain multiple quotes to find a builder you can trust. If the builder is managing the project on your behalf, it may be up to them to book electricians, plumbers, and any other tradie your renovation may require. If you can’t trust your builder to take care of proceedings, consider employing a professional project manager to keep your plan on track.

6. Obtain the right permits

For each state and territory in Australia, there are different permit requirements relating to building and construction. To determine the specific rules that will apply to you, ask your local council for the up-to-date information. It’s important to educate yourself before commencing any work, as delays may inflate the total amount you spend. If permit approval becomes challenging it may be wise to seek help from planning lawyers or building surveyors. While their knowledge comes at a price, they may save you money if you can avoid unnecessary delays.

7. Secure your finances

It’s important to do your homework to ensure that you finance your project in the most cost-effective way. It may be that you have to refinance your current loan using existing equity in your home, or that you take out a personal loan from your provider. Other borrowing options—such as building and construction loans—may also be worth considering, allowing you to draw funds progressively. To familiarize yourself with all of your options, contact a bank to find out more.

8. Decide where you will stay

Depending on the size and the nature of your renovation, you may need to relocate during some (if not all) of the restoration work. If you plan for this early on, you’ll be better prepared when and if you need to vacate. It might be worth considering renting another property—remembering to factor these costs into your budget early on.

9. Pay attention to detail 

This is your project and your home, and so, you need to be the boss. If you’re anxious that corners are being cut or things aren’t running according to plan, it’s important to voice your concerns the moment they arise. This applies to work conducted on the inside of your home, as well as on the outside. Do not overlook peripheral matters such as landscaping and curbside appeal—these are important features to consider, and should be designed accordingly. If need be, consult a landscaping expert to advise you on the best look for your home’s exterior.

It’s important to remember that when you renovate, organisation is just as important as imagination. Whatever the size of your job, we hope that our nine tips can inspire you to get the project on its way.

Sincerely yours,


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