Handy Renovation Planning Tips

Article By: Style Plus | April 2016

Handy Renovation Planning Tips

If you are planning a renovation, do not walk into it blindly. A little prior planning and preparation will go a long way to making your renovation or build an enjoyable experience, rather than a potential nightmare. Here are a few tips from the Style Plus team on getting started.

Whilst it is always recommended that using the services of an experienced and qualified project manager to provide a smooth and enjoyable renovation experience, budget constraints can sometimes limit that option.

If you are in that situation, here are a few tips from the Style Plus team.

Renovating your home can be a demanding and rewarding experience. Follow our Style Plus renovation tips to ensure a smooth process from start to finish. Take your time, do your homework, and try to enjoy the process!



-  Jan Antoni Glinkowski • Director • Style Plus

Before your start your renovation journey

In general, the Style Plus process starts with a review of your requirements. For example, would you like to achieve and the reasons behind the changes. Here are a couple of tips before you start:

• If you are looking at renovating your bathroom, visit a plumbing supply outlet near you who have experienced bathroom consultants that are able to advise on layout, products, trends and colour, going green, and introducing technology into your bathroom.

• Review the real estate websites and find a home that has been renovated and arrange to visit an open home. Show homes are also worth a visit.

• Gather ideas and pictures from magazines and the internet.

Book time with our Style Plus Interior designer. Our experienced and qualified Interior Designer can offer advice and inspiration on all aspects of interior design.

From your homework, you will be able to meet the Style Plus renovation consultant with your design ideas, your house plans, and will know of any restrictions or issues upfront.


Plan your budget

It is all in the planning! Calculate everything you will have to do to finish your project, and do your research to get a good idea of what it will cost you.

Set a realistic budget based on your desires and required outcomes. This may require some research into the cost of the materials and products of your choice. Once you have set your budget, add between 10-20% to cover quotes that run over and any unexpected surprises.

Cover yourself! Before starting the renovation, check with your insurance company that your house and contents policy covers you during renovations. Additionally, if you are not getting a building consent, ensure the work you are undertaking will be insured.

Topping up your mortgage is usually cheaper than getting a personal loan or using a credit card, because home loan interest rates are lower.

Do not forget that your project may also incur additional consent and compliance fees, insurance and architect’s fees. You need to work these into your renovation budget and finance calculations.

Quality v Project Cost

The risks involved in renovation projects make quality assurance of the utmost importance. So when it is time to decide which quote to accept, and quality is key to you, then keep in mind that the cheapest quote is predominantly not the best way forward.

Very early on in the Style Plus process we review the renovation at a high level and determine a “ball park cost to renovate”. This figure will evolve as we hone in on your requirements and produce a set of plans for building consent. From the final set of plans we are able to provide you with an accurate costing for your renovation based on our experience and the systems we employ.


Changes can cost you!

In general, during your renovation or build you may find that you change your mind on a couple of previously agreed items. Keep in mind that every time this happens, a change order/variation will be raised by your builder. Inevitably there is always added costs when things are changed from the consented plans.

A change may seem minor but it can cause a ripple effect throwing off scheduling and other subcontractor works that needs to be undertaken. Changes are okay and bound to happen but keep in mind that these have the potential to disrupt and delay your renovation or build.


Have a Contingency Fund

When renovating a home there are a number of things that can go wrong. Be prepared with a contingency fund and make sure to use it only in cases of readjustment due to unforeseen events or issues that require a cost solution. The amount allocated to contingency in a budget depends on the nature and complexity of the project, but it is usually somewhere between 5% and 15%.



Moving forward

Selecting the right renovation company for your needs and for the type of renovation you seek is one of the most important decisions you will make in your home renovation process. Here are a few pointers to help you:

• It is important that you look for a building company that will listen to you and your ideas. Good communication skills are essential when undertaking a renovation.

• Do they employ licensed builders? This is the first question you need to ask. Only ever work with licensed tradesmen. It may seem like an obvious point to reinforce but people either do not ask or go with an unlicensed builder to save money. The results can be disastrous.

• Does the building company have any current or past building disputes under way? This will let you know about the building company's general reliability and professionalism as well as the overall quality of their work.

• Who will supervise the renovation?

• Check that your building company has a valid insurance policy in place to adequately cover the project and personal liability.

And finally, if it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Look for real value in the building company who will undertake your renovation or build.

Whilst all information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information. The information may change without notice and Style Plus is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.

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