Home Renovation Dos and Don’ts

property finance

The things to include and avoid in your home renovation

It’s vital that you always keep in mind that a home renovation is a major project.

It doesn’t really matter if it is just replacing the shower or a full refitting of the house; there’s always more to it than many people realise or envisage.

That’s the first of the Dos when it comes to a home renovation – keep the bigger picture in mind and you will avoid one of the classic mistakes.

What are the other things to include or avoid in a home renovation Do and Don’t list? Let’s take you through the most important ones to help make things clearer.

Top mistakes home renovators make

Before you start anything with your home renovation, it’s good to see how things can turn badly.

The Don’ts to avoid include:

  • Not being realistic
  • Having no set plan
  • Forgetting the importance of a workable budget
  • Trying to do it all yourself
  • Getting the wrong Tradies
  • Not allowing enough time 

While most of these points seem to be common sense, there are several things that too many people ignore or forget, especially in the rush of excitement or under financial or time pressure.

With the right pre-planning and set timelines, you are already going to avoid the most fundamental mistakes in the renovation process. 

Doing the hard work before any of the work begins can save you valuable time and a great deal of money.

Plan as much as you can

With any size renovation project, your planning is the key to its success.

The more detail in your forethought, the easier it will be to factor in the budget and time required. Allocating extra funds and time for unforeseen circumstances (e.g. delays, product shortage, etc.) can give you valuable breathing space.

Being prepared on paper is the best start and removing as much stress as possible from the outset will stand you in good stead should something unexpected happen.

Let’s look at what is needed in your plan.

  1. A realistic idea of what you can achieve with your renovation: There is no point thinking that you have endless amounts of time and money with a renovation. Working out what you want with what is possible is crucial.
  2. Work with a workable budget. By setting and, importantly, sticking to a feasible budget will help you from losing track of what you can and can’t do. Allow for added costs but avoid going too far with your financial stress or you could regret the outcome for many years to come.
  3. Plan for what you can do yourself, but without going overboard. Again, your time commitment and energy levels need to be factored into the equation just as much as your skill levels to do any task. 
  4. Have your plan checked. Getting someone with the experience and knowledge of what is involved in renovating can give you valuable insight and avoid missing any elements you may have overlooked.
  5. Set a timeline of what is to happen when and allow for any last-minute changes. The tighter the timeframe, the more stress and pressure you are putting yourself under.

Having different options and a Plan B for certain aspects of a renovation can help you in a difficult situation. Maybe your dream kitchen, bathroom or extension won’t work as well as you thought with the product you initially chose. The alternative may actually be better in the long run.

Try to avoid making decisions under pressure as these can be costly mistakes.

Dying to do it all as a DIY

Even the handiest person can overstretch themselves with a DIY version of a home renovation.

They can take on too many tasks alone that are taxing mentally, physically and ultimately financially.

It may seem like a great idea to face the challenge of renovating yourself, especially if you think you can save yourself a large sum of money in the process.

People can go to extraordinary lengths and hire special tools, materials and work equipment such as a portable air compressor and generator, then come crashing back to earth because they try to do it all alone.

Something simple may go wrong with one of those air compressor parts or power tools and in an effort to fix it themselves, the DIY renovator only causes more damage. Suddenly there is a huge bill for equipment repairs. 

Being realistic about what you can and can’t do when it comes to your home renovation will help you stay on budget and relieve yourself of unnecessary stress. 

Ask yourself how much actual time you can devote to any task, even something as simple as cleaning up or disposing of rubbish. The last thing you need is for you to be the reason things are delayed and costs are mounting up.

Financing your renovation

The cost of any home renovation project needs to be double-checked. If you cannot be sure of what you can afford, then you may bring unwanted financial hardship into your life.

There are different property finance options available that may be beneficial to explore. Talking to a financial advisor will give you a much needed expert opinion.

If the renovation is part of a rental property management plan, then you can allow for special factors such as the loss of rent during the renovation, the impact on tenants as well as the increase in the value of the property after the work is completed.

If the renovation is for your own home, consider whether you will need to move out and where to during the renovation. There could be specific things that you may need to take care of, including removing furniture, art storage or keeping items in an airtight cabinet to avoid damage.

Many of these issues can prove costly but may be affordable with the proper time and budgetary planning.

When it comes to a home renovation, don’t be afraid to be brutally honest with yourself and as realistic as possible. Then you can think of the wonderful things you will do in your revamped home.