Managing A Renovation

October 25, 2017
Graham Evans

Key Issues To Watch Out For In A Renovation


DIY vs Paying for a Tradie

Let’s face it how many people have the right tools, time, equipment and knowledge to replicate the work of an experienced trades person. Many DIY jobs come out half finished or looking like you wished you had called in a specialist. Poor workmanship can devalue your property and be a constant reminder that “that project” didn’t quite work out.


Let’s Start From Scratch

Before you rip out the kitchen or demolish the bathroom are there any cupboards, fittings, doors etc can be re-used? The cupboards may be in good condition and a sand, paint and new door handles may be the answer rather than bringing in all new goods.


Get The Timing Right

The plumber is coming Monday but you haven’t even ordered the new bath yet. Sounds familiar? Think through the whole project and work out when materials and trades are arriving and be prepared. The best tradies are in constant demand and if you mess them around there is always a chance they won’t come back and then you are scrambling for second best to help you out.


I’ll Manage It Myself

If you are organised, have the time and understand the flow of the project (ie when does the electrician need to be brought in?) then maybe, just maybe you could handle the project management role. The option is to pay an expert and do what you do best and minimise the stress and maximise the outcome.


Who Needs Labourers

Take 3 weeks off work and help out the builder should reduce costs. Do you really know what you are doing? Are you fit enough? Does the builder really want you there? Often the preparation work can be handled by the owners ( ie removing trees, shifting dirt around, removing old sheds) but once the builder turns up it is probably best to leave them to it.

Design On The Go

I have watched enough “Grand Designs” to know that this never goes smoothly. It either costs a small fortune or you just upset everyone (actually both are valid). Take the time to get the design right the first time and stick to it. You can always renovate in 10 years time or sell and try again at the new place.


Untested Budget

You have established a budget but have you really stress tested it? Have you allowed for the quality that you really want, what guidance did you get for labour costs (ie good source or just an educated guess?) and have you built in a contingency for when things go wrong or you have cost over runs. Don’t be afraid to challenge the architect or builder what the true costs will be rather than just a firm indication.


Do your research, stick to the plan, know your budget back to front and leave it to the experts. Renovations are stressful and you don’t need to unnecessarily add to it.


Posted in: Renovating

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