Renovation Checklist: Everything you Need to Know

Before you pick up the tools - double check you've got these things sorted.

Renovation Checklist: Everything you Need to Know

Deciding to renovate is a massive decision because there’s so much to consider like planning, finding trades and costs. We all have lots screenshots of beautiful homes and a dream-like Pinterest board that we love, but let’s be honest, most of us will also be working with within budget. So with all this in mind, it’s important to create a renovation checklist to avoid becoming overwhelmed or going over budget.

So let’s get started and go through what should be on your renovation checklist.

Planning and researching your renovations

Narrow it down
When you’re looking to renovate your home, you need to think about whether you’re going to be truly ok with all the noise, dust and not to mention being without a kitchen or bathroom for a while. You can either narrow it down to smaller areas so that you can move to different rooms as the renovation progresses, or if it’s a knock down you’ll have no choice to move in with family or into an Airbnb (which let’s face it, you don’t want to do that longer than you absolutely have to).

If you’re budget renovating, the best way is to try to do as much of it yourself and conquer smaller areas so that you don’t have to move out and can save costs.

Collect ideas
Gather all the ideas you love and order by room via a Pinterest board, on your phone or even a magazine clippings folder. This will help you think about what you want to do and also develop a consistent theme that will flow throughout your home.

In your room-by-room considerations, collate a list of the specific issues (e.g. dampness), recommendations and options you have considered.

Once you have all of your inspo, pick up sample paint colours that you can try on the walls, carpet clippings and timbers to see how it works with the paint colours, and also look at the different permanent fixtures you want such as lights in person. You might decide to go with a different look as you’re inspired by other ideas in store.

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Finalise renovation budget and priorities
Calculate what your maximum spend is but also put an additional budget together for any extras that you initially forgot – you might think you’re fine but all renovations tend to go over budget. Next, prioritise the areas most important to you (or that need the most attention) and that you use the most (such as the bathrooms and kitchen). If you can afford to renovate those rooms, they should be the first you look at.

Decide who will complete your renovations
Finding a tradie who can do a great job and isn’t going to hurt your wallet is tough but personal recommendations from family or friends are your best starting point.

Arrange to meet with a few different builders to run them through your plans, so that afterwards they can give you a quote and also possible start dates as many of them are booked out months in advance.

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Material quotes
Get quotes for your all of your materials to know what the end cost will be. Don’t forget to shop around and also haggle to get a better price. Your tradesman might also be able to help with discounts or industry connections.

The renovation begins!

Read the fine print
Make sure you carefully review the paperwork (i.e. contracts) supplied by your builder and other tradesmen. Iron out any ambiguities before you sign the dotted line.

Before you get too far into the renovation process, don’t forget to also avoid these top renovation mistakes.

Get the home ready
If you’re living at home during the renovations, you may need to re-jig your living arrangements during this time. Think about the best way to manage this. If you are having your bathrooms renovated, you may need to hire a portable shower and toilet unless you have some lovely neighbours!

If you’re moving out during the renovation, think about your options – including living with family or friends, or short-term (hopefully) leasing.

Renovation complete

First, Sigh with relief! Second, go through your house and contract thoroughly to make sure that everything has been delivered as initially agreed.

If anything is missing, simply make a list and go through it with the person you contracted. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you keep all your documents, agreements and contracts in a safe place just in case anything happens down the track.

Don’t forget to celebrate your renovations and enjoy your amazing new space.

Budget renovating – a ‘how to’ guide

Want a new kitchen, bathroom or an entirely new home but looking to save money where you can? Budget renovating "Budget renovating – a ‘how to’ guide"

Budget renovating – a ‘how to’ guide

Want a new kitchen, bathroom or an entirely new home but looking to save money where you can? Budget renovating can be tough, but not impossible! Whether you’re about to embark on a budget home or apartment renovation, you want to ensure maximum impact for minimum spend.

Renovations start to get expensive when structural changes need to be made such as knocking down walls and mixing up the floor plan. Yet even cosmetic renovations can become pricey if you’re not thinking about budgets in the planning phase.

To help you get started here are a number of handy tips and tricks to help you pull off your DIY and renovation ideas.

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DIY renovation

When looking at DIY renovations it’s important to consider three things; budget, timings and skills required. We’ve all seen House Rules or The Block and thought, sure – we can do that too. Some people find things like knocking down a wall or the art of painting very cathartic or even fun. However, it’s a lot harder than it looks and there’s a huge crew behind the cameras that help out. So, it’s often worth hiring professional tradespeople if you’re taking on larger projects and worried that something might go wrong.

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Renovations can also be a stressful time. The more you decide to do yourself, the more pressure you’re under. However, when approached realistically, DIY renovation is an excellent way to stretch your budget further. So it’s important, to be honest with yourself and decide what you can and can’t do when you’re initially planning the renovation.

Whilst you might be able to get all the painting done yourself, there are some things you can’t skimp on and shouldn’t tamper with – particularly plumbing and electrical. You can hire skilled tradespeople via Airtasker for your plumbing, electrical and handyman odd jobs.

Have a friend who’s a tradie? Make sure you have a chat to them and walk them through your ideas and get their opinion about if you should look at hiring a professsional or have a go yourself. They might be able to give you a few cost saving renovation tips too!

Budget kitchen renovation tips

It all starts with the planning and looking about what already exists. Think about what can be salvaged, keeping the same layout and budget friendly items.

You might want to get rid of everything in the kitchen, but, there could be some great bones under vinyl flooring or simply keeping existing cabinets and only changing the doors or repainting the existing ones.

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Keeping the same layout is likely to save on those expensive plumbing and electrical labour costs. Think about it, if you change the where the sink is or put your new kitchen in a totally different spot, all the plumbing would have to be re-done. Is it all really worth it?

There are so many great budget kitchen substitutes via IKEA and Bunnings, that would cost you a lot less than a bespoke cabinet maker. You (and some lovely friends) could even put a lot of it together yourself.

Budget bathroom renovation tips

Bathrooms are the most expensive room per square metre to renovate. So similarly to your kitchen it’s important to think about what may be salvageable, the layout and only updating the cheaper pieces in your bathroom.

There might be more than you realise that is salvageable in your bathroom, such as tiles, which you can always modernise with tile paint. Again, if you change the layout of where your shower, basin or toilet is, it will require a plumber and/or electrician.

As the bathroom is so expensive to update, consider small improvements such as replacing the vanity, mirrors, and tapware – these small things can make the world of difference.

Outdoor budget renovating tips

Landscaping can be quite expensive if you need retaining walls or tree removal, however, a neat entrance and backyard that is tidy and green, is what counts on making a great impression.

Street appeal is crucial when selling your home, so look at adding a new fence or giving your current one a lift with fresh paint, and adding some new plants or a hedge. Without spending a fortune, a nice lick of fresh paint on a weatherboard home or rendered bricks can make a huge difference.

It’s all in the details

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Just like fashion, interior design goes through cycles about what’s cool and what’s not. So before you jump into a total renovation, take a step back look at what’s there and currently dating your home.

It could be as simple as updating old tapware, light fittings, skirting boards, blinds and light switches.