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8 steps to a successful renovation

Not sure where to start with your renovation? From planning to style and budget to expectations, here are our 8 steps to a successful home renovation.

8 steps to a successful renovation

28 July 2021

1.     Why are you renovating? Is it for lifestyle or profit?

If you're going to live in your home for the next 20 years, then make renovation decisions for long-term lifestyle. Think about what you really want and how you want to live in your home. Decisions for renovating a home you are going to live in can be more emotional.  

If you're not planning to live in your home very long and may sell it to move into something else, you may consider making renovation decisions that are focused on making a profit when you sell. You'll need to be more practical about your decision making in these circumstances. It could be a good idea to consult a real estate agent about what will increase the property value in the short term.

2.     Live in the house you want to renovate before starting any work

This will allow you to benefit from letting your lifestyle adapt to the home and local community. What you learn during this time can then be very beneficial for your renovation plans. 

3.     Start planning early

Build a scrapbook or Pinterest board of ideas and designs you like. Take note of all the finishes, materials and appliances for easy reference. 

Sketch your own ideas down using your floorplan as a basis. This will help you get a feel for what areas and spaces you might want to add or change. 

4.     Create a budget for your renovation

If you're borrowing funds for your renovation talk to your lender about how much you can afford to spend on your plans.  

Local real estate agents may also be able to give advice on how much other home owners have spent on renovating in the area. They will also be able help with property values in the area so you do not over-capitalise on your renovation (spending more than the final house is worth on the market). 

5.     Work with an architect from the start

Architects are both professional designers but also creative problem solvers. An architect could help expand on your ideas with their professional experience to create something special. Bringing them in early maximises the value of their input and the ideas they bring

How to find an architect:  


  • Word of mouth - a good recommendation is worth a lot.
  • Researching architects whose work you like via magazines and articles then making contact with them.
  • Contacting specialist bodies such as Archicentre who have fixed-price concept design 'starter' services. 
  • Check that your architect is registered under the appropriate Architects Registration laws in your state or territory, and preferably use an architect from the Australian Institute of Architects


6.     Don't forget - it's your money

Architects, builders, tradespeople etc… are all there to help you achieve your renovation dream. They will be spending your money, but it's still your money so be strong and confident about your decisions.  

7.     Find a reliable builder you can work with

Similar to finding an architect, word of mouth is a great way to find a builder you can trust. You could also check out builders doing work in your area and assess their work or contact the Master Builders Association for a recommendation. 

When you have short-listed a few builders, be sure you ask for references and interview them to ensure you can have a successful relationship with them. Remember, the builder is going to be spending a lot of your money so developing a good, strong relationship is critical when difficult decisions need to be made.  

Don't forget to check that your builder is a registered builder under the appropriate laws for your state or territory.  

8.     Don't underestimate how complicated and difficult renovating is

It will be emotional as well as practical, and this can be challenging. But if you've done your research, leap in and get started.

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