Renovating a home perhaps isn’t as simple as it may seem from the outset. There are many different things you will have to consider. From arranging your budget to sourcing adequate materials to partnering with the right builders, it makes sense to try and plan ahead as much as possible. It may be tempting to leap straight in – but the rules of renovating a house do need to be followed if you plan on making it a success!


In this home renovation basics guide, we will take you through the necessary steps you’ll need to consider when looking at renovating a home. We’ll look at your home renovation budget and well as some tips and tricks you can use to make things easier. If you’re utterly new to renovating, you should continue reading.

Outlining Your Project

Step one is, of course, making sure you have the basis for a project in place. Whether you are renovating your own home or are on the lookout for a local property to refurbish, there are a few essential steps you are going to need to keep in mind. We will go into more detail, throughout this guide.

These are all elements you are going to need to bear in mind as you tick off each box. Builders and home renovation experts will be able to support you along the way, but it makes good sense to have a roadmap of sorts laid out before you get started.

Always Hire Inspectors

It’s never advisable to undertake property checks on your own, no matter how confident you may be about what you are looking for.  To ensure that a potential property is safe and sound for renovation, you must insist on an inspection of sorts.  Many estate agency services will be able to provide you with surveyor reports which give you a little more detail on what to expect from a house. 

However, nothing is stopping you from ensuring an inspection takes place on your terms.  Once you are confident enough to buy a plot or property outright, continue to survey.  This will be essential for your budget and timescale planning. 

Your Home Renovation Budget

Before you do anything else, you must always plan for costs. This isn’t just so that you can add fees up as you go along. It’s important to get yourself fully prepared for any potential hidden or unforeseen expenses which may arise during the project. Here are the main costs – and some of the significant possible fees – you are going to come across during any home renovation.

  • The cost of a renovation project outright.
  • Valuation fees. These are very important if you are aiming to sell on.
  •  Council taxes and ground rent, where applicable. You must seek local authority permission to make changes to your property. Will this affect the amount of tax you pay?
  • Legal costs. You may need to pay for a conveyancer to act on your behalf during certain negotiations.
  • Reconnection costs. Are you working on an old property? You’ll likely need to pay for utilities to be, reconnected. That includes power, water, internet and more. If the property has a septic tank, that will need flushing out.
  • Insurance fees. You should always seek renovation insurance whenever you take on a project. This isn’t something you should ever negotiate on – make sure you budget for it.
  • Building Regulations. Fees for consultations start low but can escalate.
  • Warranties. Renovation warranties are recommended in most cases, as these will cover you extensively when it comes to problematic design flaws and other problems which may arise in the years to come.
  • General Building Costs. Of course – depending on the building contractor and design firm you hire, you’ll be given a quote as to what to expect for your project. Always make sure you budget.
  • Internal and external repair costs. These will vary from project to project, but if you need to repair a roof or windows, your costs will escalate.
  • Decoration and interior design. This may well be covered in your building and design costs, but if you want to tackle any of it yourself, you’ll need to factor it into your budget.

Overall, it can be difficult to say how much you’ll need to pay for a renovation project. It can differ from project to project. Therefore, our advice would be to look into the above based on your specific circumstances and needs. We’d then strongly suggest you add a few thousand more on top for contingency purposes, as you don’t know when additional work and emergencies will arise. It pays to have a financial safety net when it comes to renovation.

Finding Inspiration

Finding inspiration for renovating and redesigning a property can be exciting yet tricky in equal measure. There are a few great ways around getting the perfect plan down.

  • Once you have a property in place, look for inspiration online. Social media and online renovation guides can be a fantastic source of ideas and designs you may wish to bring into your project.
  • Discuss things openly with your project design team. A good designer or designers will be able to brainstorm your ideas and offer feasible, attractive plans which can help to bring your property to life.
  • Look for ideas that fit your budget. While it’s nice to dream, you are going to have to make sure you have your finances in order before you start window shopping for ideas.  Look for those that fit your needs and financial constraints.

Making Lists

The best way to organise and manage a home renovation project is to make plenty of lists. Consider all the various jobs and works which need to take place along the way. Consider chronological ordering, and do make sure you discuss your plans with your building and design team wherever possible.

  • Stick to a strict schedule. Identify the areas which need working on as a priority, and strive to stay firm to your list.
  • Some of the jobs and works you will need to schedule for can include:
    • Damp and rot inspection / removal
    • Building surveying
    • Utility reinstallation/surveying
    • Window renovation
    • Floor renovation
    • Door installation / reinstallation
    • Fireplace Renovation
    • Roofing repairs/reinstallation
    • Timber inspection
    • Internal structure changes and extensions
    • Decoration
  • With a team in place, which you should have hired before you start any physical work, you will be able to designate specific jobs and roles. That way, you can keep to a tight schedule from day to day.
  • It’s always worth staying cautious as to when works can be completed. Have a deadline in place with your team, but do be prepared for any additional work which may pop up in the meantime.  You never know if an emergency will occur which could set your project back by days or weeks.
  • Have a spreadsheet in place for all your outgoings if you don’t have personal accounting services.
  • Sub-sectioning and sub-listing will also work wonders, too. We strongly recommend you look at the minutiae of each task.  Your team will help you to break these sections down, too.

Working With a Team

You’re not going to be able to renovate a big house on your own unless you have unlimited time and resources available.  Therefore, the healthy approach is to always seek support with larger projects.  A talented design and build team will not only be able to tackle various areas of your renovation project for you but will also have specialist input into what may and may not work from design and structural standpoints.

A great way to prepare for working with a team is to plan ahead for any questions you may be asked as the project gets underway.

  • Have solid ideas in place for lighting, electrical fittings, interior design touches and extensions you may wish to put in place.
  • It’s important to consider your answers to significant questions you may be asked well ahead of time. Risking answering such questions ad hoc may lead to choices you may regret later on in the project.
  • Trust your designers and builders! If you partner with a team who is reliable and enthusiastic, there will be little need for you to micro-manage.  However, keeping track and making sure everyone is on the same page day to day is good practice.  Check in with your team daily.

Getting Started

Getting started with a renovation project may seem scary at first, but it’s hugely rewarding. It all starts with a great idea and a solid plan. Preparation is key. Prepare for renovation with a design and build team with over 30 years in the trade.

Call Period Extensions & Designs today on 03 9882 5255 to learn more.

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