NAILED IT: HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR HOME WITH STYLE
So you’re the proud owner of a brand new (to you) home… but it needs some TLC before it’s ready for you and your family to fill it with love, laughter and lasting memories. There’s no doubt that the renovation process can be an overwhelming journey to embark on, so we’ve done some research to help you on your way. Here are a few key things to consider before you start knocking down those walls.
Where do I start when renovating my home?
Whether you're undertaking a smaller renovation yourself or doing a full-blown renovation with the help of a builder, the first step will be to design and plan your renovation. This planning time should include defining what you want the reno to look like, plus, more importantly, how you want to feel in your newly renovated space. Decide on the materials, fittings, fixtures and appliances you'll be installing. Pick out your colour palette and design features. A big part of the planning process will also be your budget (more on that in the next section). If you're planning a large renovation, you may need to get an architect on board in your planning. If you'll be making major structural changes, you'll also need to enlist an engineer’s help. Take a good look at what you want to achieve with your reno, and don’t be scared to reach out to the experts if any of it is outside your realm of experience. You’ll also need to check with your council before you start renovations. Are you doing any additions? Are you changing the use of any rooms (for example, changing a bedroom to a bathroom)? Are you planning a deck larger than 20 square metres and higher than one metre? Some areas require council approval for changes to the external appearance of the property, even changing paint colours. Make sure those approvals are nailed down before breaking ground. Bonus tip: Before starting a renovation, always check that the plumbing and electrics are all in order, and if there are any structural remedial works that need to be done, such as rectifying water damage. They're not the most exciting things to invest in, but it will help avoid costly repairs down the track.
How much does renovating a house cost?
This one is akin to the question ‘how long is a piece of string’. In other words, it all depends on what you want to achieve. The cost of your reno will be related to your design plans, whether you’re using savings or drawing on finance, and any number of other considerations. As a general rule of thumb - if you are looking to turn a profit, it's smart to devote no more than 10% of the value of your property to your renovation. What’s crucial is that you set a budget, prior to commencing work. When setting a budget, don’t forget to factor in these three often-neglected expenses: Rental costs: If you’re undertaking a large scale renovation you may have to move out during the process. Eating out: Knocking out a kitchen is a common practice, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of your meals eating out. Storage: With extensive renovations, you’ll need to store the contents of your home in a secure place. To really avoid breaking the bank, build a 10% contingency into your budget to cover unexpected costs or overspending. For example, mould removal, asbestos removal, poor weather delays, or a holdup in materials arriving. Having this buffer in your budget means you won’t have to compromise on other parts of the project, like that perfect chaise lounge or show-stopping dining table!
What areas should I focus on when renovating my home?
Make sure you put your hard-earned cash where it shows. Quality kitchens and bathrooms will always add value to your home. Indoor/outdoor flow is also a quintessential part of our laidback Australian lifestyle, so allow for a percentage of your overall budget to be spent on landscaping and outdoor furniture to maximise impact and allow you to make the most of your beautiful home.
What small things can I do to make the most of my renovation budget?
Often, it’s the little things that count. Renovating doesn’t have to be a mammoth, hugely expensive and stressful activity—small changes can make a big difference. For example, installing skylights can open up a room and turn even the most cramped corner into a bright, airy space. A fresh lick of paint can transform a poky, old-fashioned bathroom into something spectacular. Updating things like your door handles, light fittings and tap fixtures is also a surefire way to liven up your home’s overall look.