5 Common Renovating Mistakes

May 30, 2023

I'm always trying to demystify the world of building for our clients. Information is key so I hope you find these blogs helpful

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 Our tips on how to avoid them

This article was originally published on Domian “Australians have renovated more – and spent more doing it – than ever before over the past few years.

Aussies splashed $12.3 billion on home improvements in 2021, up 33 per cent on the previous year and almost double the spend of a decade earlier.” As building materials and interest rates rise, home owners look to improve their existing homes in smarter ways. Here are our 5 tips to consider before you dive into your next home renovation.

1. Starting something without a proper plan thinking it’s a simple renovation and opening a can of worms. 

Tip: Get some professional advice within your capabilities and budget. There are a few integral parts of a project that will require licensed trades. There are also laws around making alterations to your home so being informed from the beginning is key.

2. Not having a clear schedule of work established from the beginning.

Tip: Front load your renovation with time investment to hash out all of the details before you begin. Decide your finishes and scope of works so that if anything unexpected pops up (as it often does with renovations) you can give it your full attention. 

3. Underestimating the cost. 

Tip: Get thoroughly researched cost estimates before you start, compare quotes from different trades and get a rich understanding of the costs involved. Be mindful of provisional and prime cost allowances as they can fluctuate, also take the time to read your quotes and pay attention to any exclusions. 

4. Trying to run a renovation on the side of working full time and having a family. It’s common that individuals and couples hit fatigue before the bulk of the work is complete just from underestimating how much is involved. 

Tip: If you work full time, have a family with commitments outside of hours, really ask yourself if it’s worth managing the renovation as an owner-builder. Builders are educated and experienced in how to project manage. Using only licenced trades, it’s their job to make sure renovations flow according to schedule and budget. Anyone who’s experienced an arduous never ending renovation will understand that there is a cost that the homeowner inherits by not employing a builder to manage their renovations, ask yourself what it’s worth to you? 

5. Not having a good team and micromanaging everyone.

Tip: Trust, you have to build a team of people around you that you trust and have faith in. You have to trust that the trades in your team will do their best work, then give them the space to shine. 

Fixing renovating mistakes – is it possible? 

Everything is fixable, but you often have to think outside of the box a little. An experienced builder can pre-empt problems and save clients a lot of headaches, time and money. But when the damage is done, there is a fine line between repair and rebuild. 

To avoid this situation, do your homework before you start.

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