Renovating your home can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming. Staying organised and taking the time to plan out your renovations before you begin is the best way to ensure things go smoothly. To help you get started, here are 6 essentials every renovator should think about.
Set a realistic budget at the beginning
Setting a budget can be tedious, but it’s really important to ensure you don’t end up spending more than you should. A good renovation budget should be specific and realistic. List out everything you’re planning on doing, and ask around for quotes rather than guessing how much something will cost.
You should also add a buffer to your renovation budget because as many renovators learn the hard way – renovating always costs more than you think. Increase your costs by 10 – 20% to account for unexpected costs that crop up along the way. If the renovation is looking too expensive, you may need to do it in stages. Creating a priority list will help make sure your money goes towards the most important things.
Create priorities – first things first
Renovating your home can be a huge undertaking, so it’s important to know what your top priorities are before starting. Many homeowners consider the kitchen and bathroom to be the most important, and renovating these will often increase the value of your home. Knowing what’s the most important will also help you assign your budget appropriately, rather than spreading it too thin.
You might not want to skimp out on your kitchen benchtops or the jarrah deck out the back, but there are probably areas of your renovation that you can save on. Consider what jobs you should hire contractors for and which ones you can do yourself. Are there elements of the house that you can reuse such as cabinets, hardware or appliances?
Renovating experts recommend starting with one or two areas of the home and finishing these before moving on to the rest of the home. This is especially important if you plan on living in the home while renovations are underway. Renovating in order of priorities will also make sure you stick to your budget and are able to deal with any unexpected costs along the way.
Check if you need council approval
Before you start making any changes to your home, make sure you check with the local council if you’ll need their approval. Small changes that don’t affect the structure or services of your home probably won’t need approval, but it’s best to check anyway.
When you work with a building contractor, they’ll likely handle the paperwork for you but if you’re doing the renovations yourself, make sure you do your research.
Consider your heating and cooling
If you want your newly renovated home to be as comfortable as it is good looking, you need to consider heating and cooling at the beginning of your reno. It’s most cost-effective to install an air conditioning system during the renovation phase as it often requires access to walls or roof spaces.
When considering what type of heating and cooling is right for your home, consider factors such as:
- Climate – how hot or cold does it get where you live?
- Home size – bigger homes may need a more powerful system.
- Home design – open-plan homes will take more energy to heat or cool than small, boxy rooms.
- Lifestyle – do you want to heat/cool the entire home, or just the main rooms?
If you want a system that can heat or cool the entire home, consider ducted refrigerated air conditioning. Ducted systems are installed in the ceiling cavity, and hot or cool air is delivered via ducts in the ceiling. The rooms that are heated or cooled can be controlled by a zoning system.
Ducted air conditioning installation tends to be more expensive than split wall systems, but it gives much more precise temperature control. If you’d rather just heat or cool a single room, such as the bedroom or lounge room, a split wall system might be more appropriate for you. Speaking with an air conditioning expert can help you make the right decision for your renovation.
Insulate your home
Much like your heating and cooling system, insulation is best done during the renovation phase when the wall and ceiling cavities are exposed. Once the plaster is hung, you won’t be able to install insulation in the walls, so it’s important to think about it from the beginning.
Insulation will help make your home more energy efficient by regulating indoor temperatures better. The higher the R-Value you choose, the more effective the insulation product will be at slowing down heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer.
When insulating a home, prioritise the ceiling and walls. If it’s an older home with raised floors, underfloor insulation will make a big difference too. While you’re at it, consider investing in acoustic insulation batts which will help make your home quieter.
Don’t neglect the landscaping
When renovating their home, most people focus on the inside and forget to create inviting outdoor spaces too. Landscaping experts will tell you that outdoor and indoor spaces should flow together for a harmonious result.
Make sure you consider landscaping at the beginning of your project and leave some of your budget for the outdoor spaces. Don’t forget factors like irrigation and plumbing in your planning. If you have the budget, it’s worth seeking expert advice about your landscaping as they can help you select plants that are ideal for your climate and environmental conditions.
Over to you
Watching your home transform is exciting and a little planning at the start will go a long, long way. Make sure you do lots of research and take your time over the planning stages – after all, it’s half the fun. Good luck and happy renovating!