• Ash


Updated: Mar 11, 2020

You've come to the right place for tips and inspiration!

Renovating can be very scary! But it doesn't need to be. We have assembled some quick tips to make this journey more enjoyable for you and your contractors.

1. Get your plans organised first

Decide what you actually want to do. An architect will be able to give you a good idea of what you can and can't do and they'll come up with a design that works for you and your family.

Try to have your plans as final as possible before you begin. This will:

- save you time and money with your contractors

- make your job run smoothly and on time

- not blow out your budget with constant changes and confusion

“Try to have your plans as final as possible before you begin.”

2. Decide - will you do it yourself or hire a builder?

The advantages of hiring a builder are that they take the stress out of the job. They already have a host of trades on call that they can trust, who are licensed, do a good job, show up on time and get the job done in good time.

A builder will schedule all the trades in the correct order and make sure nothing is being missed during the project. As an added benefit, anything that happens on-site is covered by a licensed builders' insurance and warranty ensuring you are getting the protection you need for your most valuable asset.

If you do decide to do it yourself, some tips to remember:

- Make sure you're using licensed contractors. You can easily check a contractors' license in New South Wales by clicking here and entering their name.

- Be clear with what you want from which contractors and who is doing what

- Ensure you get a certificate of compliance from your trades once they have completed the work as council will ask for these to approve the project

3. Get council approval

Without council approval, you could have a lot of trouble if you decide to sell in the future. It's best to follow your local councils rules - this is something a licensed builder or your architect can also help with. Most builders & architects have a good idea of requirements in their field and can help you navigate the ins and outs of council applications.

Keep in mind that council applications can sometimes take a long time, sometimes months to pass through regulations depending on the complexity of the renovation or addition and the area you live in.

4. Pick your finishings

It can be helpful to keep a "mood board" that is relatively specific in regards to floor coverings, windows, tiles, splash backs, bathroom appliances, kitchen appliances, bench tops, light fixtures and wardrobes for example. If you have a good idea of what you want in design, it will help streamline the process for your builder.

Keep in mind that many items for the house need to be ordered in advance and could take several weeks to arrive. Products like tiles, bathroom vanities, kitchen cupboards, tap ware etc. can take a long time to arrive and this needs to be planned for by your builder.


Remember that renovations usually take longer and cost more than you originally thought. The last stage of the renovation will usually account for roughly 20% of your budget, so make sure you keep some money for the end! Having a quote from a licensed builder will help avoid any budget blowouts and they'll give you a good idea of a project completion date.

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