How to nail your next renovation

Buyers, Investors, Sellers,  Buyers and sellers

From overblown costs to nightmare tradies, there are too many ways for renovations and remodels to go wrong. Reality television would make it seem near impossible to complete a renovation on time, but with the right preparation, it is certainly possible.

With that in mind, here are the four steps to take to ensure you nail your next renovation.


Whether out of necessity, or longing for something new, the very first port of call for any renovation is lots, and lots, of research.

Even for smaller scale projects, it’s important that nothing is overlooked. Measurements, wall studs, and aesthetically pleasing installations should all be taken into account – among others.

If you have the budget for it, augmentation and virtual reality technology allows you to see what potential renovations will look like, in a three-dimensional environment. For significant remodels, such as kitchen overhauls, extended rooms, or outdoor living areas, the chance to see the finished product in a computer generated space could avoid some serious design regrets.

Other things to research are design trends. Marble countertops are popular at the moment, but if they go out of season next year, you may regret the money you put into them. Of course, your home is yours alone, so if you’re not worried about trends, simply choose a style that appeals to you – but ensure it suits the space.


Once you know exactly what you want, including the materials you’ll need, it’s time to work out the budget.

It seems more often than not renovations goes over budget – especially if you’re a fan of design shows. Everybody wants to get their renovation done as cheaply as possible – not necessarily by cutting costs, but simply by not overspending.

It sounds great, in theory, but unless you’re a seasoned renovator, it’s going to be difficult to accurately estimate the costs, and in an effort to keep things affordable, many err on the side of under-costing, rather than over-costing.

It may be intimidating to look at the final figure, but by overestimating costs, you’re likely to be more accurate than if you underestimate them.

Additionally, if the final expenditure does end up meeting this bigger budget, you’ll be more prepared for it than if you kept everything as tight as possible. There exists also the possibility with overestimating that you’ll actually end up coming in cheaper than expected, which is always a nice surprise.

The right person for the job

When your budget is in order, it’s time to contact a tradesperson. Contacting the right one, however, is the tricky part.

Ask around your friends or family members who have done similar renovations in the past, and with any luck they’ll be able to recommend the perfect contractor. If not, you’ll need to do your own research.

Read reviews, contact previous clients, and look at their portfolio of previous work, if they have one.

When it comes time to start getting quotes, keep in mind that while you typically get what you pay for, the most expensive tradespeople aren’t necessarily the best – just as the cheapest aren’t necessarily the worst.

It all comes down to research and your own personal judgment.


You know what you want, you know how much it will cost, and you’ve found your contractor, so all that’s left to do is the renovations – after some final planning.

For smaller renovations, it might simply be a matter of emptying a bedroom or bathroom and living without it for a few days. If you’re remodelling the kitchen or knocking down walls, there’s the possibility you’ll need to find another place to live.

Before heading out though, it’s a good idea to put plastic covers over upholstery, furniture, and expensive flooring.

Even if the home is fit to live in during the upgrade or repair work, it may be a good idea to relocate your pet for the time it takes to renovate.

Dogs in particular can be stressed out by power tools, hammers, and other loud noises within the home. Add to this the general disruptive nature of renovations, and your beloved furry friend may really struggle to cope.

See if anybody you know can look after them for a few days, otherwise pet motels are relatively affordable – just be sure to account for that back in the budgeting stage.