Every great reno starts with a plan
Renovating without a plan is like cooking without a recipe – you just never know how it’s going to turn out. And with so much time and money on the line, are you really willing to risk it?
We know how exciting it is to get stuck in, but before you start swinging that sledgehammer, it’s important to make sure you have a solid plan in place. A well-defined plan will help you maximise your budget, maintain your timeline and give you the best chance for your dream to become a reality (or as close as possible to it!).
Research is critical
You’ve probably clocked up a dozen hours scrolling through social media and skimming design blogs, but there’s more to planning a reno than a highly curated Pinterest board. Inspiration is just one piece of the puzzle. How you bring it to life – now that requires a bit of homework.
Arm yourself with the knowledge to run your job site like a pro. That means familiarising yourself with the style, age and history of your home, what type of trades you might need to bring in and what skills you might need to brush up on before taking the DIY route.
What’s the end goal? Work it out early on.
Giving your property a fresh look is a wonderful reason for a renovation, but is there a larger goal you’re hoping to achieve? Do you need more space for your growing family? Is your outdoor space falling short of your needs? Are you trying to add value before selling?
It’s important to decide whether you’re renovating to stay or sell. Defining your goal is a crucial part of the planning phase, so take your time with it. Otherwise, you may end up pouring money and time into elements that don’t add to your vision or address what you really need.
Avoiding a budget blowout
What is the best way to keep your spending in check during a renovation? For starters, don’t skimp on the details. When you scope your project, you should try to include as much detail as possible to give you a really clear idea of costs.
Most importantly, give yourself a buffer. Think of it like an emergency fund for your project. If your landscapers accidentally hit a water main or your electrician uncovers some dodgy wiring, you won’t have to sacrifice anything else to cover the cost. And if you don’t end up spending it, you’ve got a sweet little bonus to spend on some finishing pieces that take your space to the next level.
Don’t forget the boring (but important) stuff
Like any big project, planning a reno comes with a bit of admin. Fortunately, you can knock most of it over in an afternoon. A few things to lock down before you pick up any tools include:
- Insurance: do you need any additional cover for your renovations?
- Approvals: check with your local council if you need to submit a DA (development application) for your project.
- Waste removal: you may need to order a skip bin or plan a tip run to clean up during the process.
- Noise: if you’re expecting a lot of noise during your renos, drop a note in your neighbours’ letterboxes to let them know.
- Finance: need some help funding your reno? Know your options. You might consider using the equity in your home, look into refinancing or take out a renovation loan.
Planning is key – but where do you start? From defining your scope to securing finance for your project, here’s how you can plan your reno in nine easy steps.