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Renovation checklist: 7 things to do before construction starts

By ,| 4 min read

Any type of renovation can be stressful, so it’s best to plan out your goals and stick to a renovation timeline in order to achieve them.

Don’t know where to start? Follow these simple tips to make the process easier and avoid delays.

#1 Set a realistic budget

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#2 Have a renovation plan

design-plan Before commencing any renovations, regardless of the job size, you should get advice from an architect, designer or project manager. They can give you a rough idea of how long your renovation should take and the cost of your home improvements.

Having a pre-planned brief and proposal allows you to have a guide and something to work with. Your ideas, in turn, will help the experts visualise your desired outcome.

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Find examples of what ideas and trends you may like and consider how these could be achieved. Do you want a “U-shaped” kitchen? Do you want extra storage space for the kids? Do your research so that you stick to your timeline and prevent delays due to an indecisive state of mind.

Focus on the important things first like legal permits and obtaining quotes from the various contractors needed. Will your contractor be working on other projects at the same time as yours? In this case, discuss particular deadlines with them so they are aware of your time frame and you can avoid any unnecessary delays.

#3 Do you need planning permission?


Planning permission can take months to apply for and gain approval (pending any objections from your neighbours). If your project is big enough to require planning permission it's best to take care of this early in the process. You won't be able to schedule in a contractor until your development application (DA) is approved.

Thinking of building? Read our ultimate guide to construction home loans.

#4 Avoiding neighbour objections


Nobody likes the sound of jackhammers in the morning! If you’re building or extending in your backyard, you may need to consider the impact it could have on your neighbours.

Inform your neighbours of your renovation plans prior to any demolition or changes so they can be prepared.

Besides neighbours, you may also need to check in with your local council to make sure that there are no restrictions preventing you from completing your renovation. For instance, if you want to remove a tree, this may require council approval to avoid potential fines. Try to get this done early so you’re sticking by your renovation timeline.

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#5 Consider your living arrangements


If your project is a whole-house renovation or is big enough to impact your lifestyle, you may need to start looking for alternative living arrangements. One option may be moving in with relatives. If you have family living close by you may discuss temporary living arrangements with them, as it can save you money and still give you the convenience you need for work and other commitments.

House-sitting or house-sharing are two other options that are perfectly flexible for short duration stays. Also staying close by to your home renovation is ideal in order to regularly check in with your contractor.

Another option is to hire a temporary caravan to park on your existing property allowing you to live in the same location while checking up on your house. Your final option may be to rent a house or apartment. Ensure you have planned this prior to any demolition to prevent delays.

When considering alternate housing, always be prepared to make extra leeway for your finances, as the duration of renovation, as well as the choice of housing, can be costly and delays are common.

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#6 Stick to your budget


Being open about your budget with your architect or project manager will allow them to know who to hire and what materials to use. Don’t order marble from Italy if you're on a tight budget, plus you'll also need to wait for it to be shipped to Australia.

Also, ensure you know exactly what your contractors are charging you. They may ask if you want additional services but you need to consider any extra costs you may incur. Discuss this with your architect or project manager so they can stay on top of your finances.

#7 Order your materials early

tradesmen-van Materials that are custom-made and require more time to be delivered should be planned out and ordered earlier. Doors, windows or cupboards should be chosen early and have a clear arrival date so they are ready to be installed. Delays on certain fixtures can hugely impact your project's timeline.

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Tags: renovation, interior design, home, equity, home equity loan, construction loan

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