renovation, landscape, hipages

Let’s face it renovations are not all sunshine and smiles. A dream home doesn’t come easy – especially when you are dealing with a bunch of different tradies. Most of us brace ourselves for a fair amount of sweat and tears – it comes with the territory, right?

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Well, yes and no! There are ways to help minimise the pain – even though you may still encounter a hiccup or two, it is possible for it all to run to budget and on time. So how do you ‘get it right’ and make sure it is a (mostly) sunshine filled experience?

Well, being organised is undoubtedly a good start – think timing and coordination – otherwise these 6 pointers should set you on the right track…

renovation, landscape, hipages

© Outside In Landscape Management

1. Planning

Planning is all about considering every aspect of your project and what it involves. Here you need to think outside the box and work out:

  • Scope of your project
  • Budget for your project
  • Materials to be used
  • Who is going to carry out the work?
  • Timeframe for all stages of your project

2. Budget

Budgeting is a crucial aspect of any reno – and goes hand in hand with a thorough project plan. If you don’t take every single cost into account, you are likely to encounter some nasty surprises down the track. That means itemising every material and labour cost down to the last nut and screw. Then add a 10% – 15% contingency – for anything unforeseen, quite a likely scenario.

3. Regulations and red tape

If you are doing any structural (building) work to your home, it is very likely that you will need to get the relevant permissions from your local council. Even a relatively small project like building an outdoor deck may require this. So it pays to research this beforehand. The tradie who is carrying out your work may also be able to assist in this process.

4. Hire the right team

Getting the right team to work on your project is another must. Besides having all the right licences and insurance – tradies should ideally also come recommended by other homeowners. Don’t take anything for granted! Personally inspect their licences and insurances to make sure they are valid. Larger projects may also require you to enter into a formal contract with the tradie. All this may seem like a hassle, but it is your best protection in case anything goes wrong during (and after) your project.

Standby Electrical Services, renovation, home design

© Standby Electrical Services

5. Schedule

Having a schedule helps to keep your project on track – and is especially useful for larger, more complex jobs. Here a calendar or spreadsheet can help you keep on top of it all – including your expenditure and the timing of the various elements of your job.

6. Get inspired!

Last but not least – and definitely the fun bit – collect ideas and inspiration for your project. Besides the obvious sources – blogs, magazines, TV and forums – I also get cool ideas from these three sources:

  • Commercial and industrial buildings often have innovative materials and design solutions which could look awesome in your home.
  • Hotels and spas are full of inspiring ideas to take back home – so take note when you are on holiday.
  • The homes of your friends, family and neighbours may have reno ideas you can ‘borrow’
    :)

Bottom line is to have fun and try to think of any obstacles as stepping stones to the greater goal!

By Craig Gibson, the online editor of hipages.com.au, Australia’s largest network of trade professionals. Helping more Australians complete more jobs everyday. Why don’t you let us help you find the best tradie for your job.