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Planning your renovation

09/04/2019

Planning is the key to a successful and stress-free renovation.

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Planning is the key to a successful and stress-free renovation. Thorough planning can also help keep costs within budget and the project on time. Here are some of the steps you will need to consider to plan your renovation: 

Draw up plans

Engage an architect or drafts person to draw up the plans for your dream house renovation. Ensure you have a clear brief when discussing your designs with them. Make sure you know how many changes you are entitled to before you start incurring additional fees with extra changes as some architects will charge for extra changes to the plans. 

Set budgets

Know your budget for renovating and ensure you stick to it. Be sure to factor in elements such as council fees for lodging your reno plans, GST as well as all the trades you will require. It can also be wise to factor in a 10-20% allowance as renovations generally tend to go over budget and there could be some unexpected surprises along the way. Imagine the additional costs if you found one of your walls was full of termites or asbestos…

It will be tempting along the way to choose the more expensive options, so try to keep your dreams in line with your budget reality, asking yourself whether the more expensive bathtub (or tap, or light fixture) is really going to change the outcome of your home renovation (most likely not!). 

Seek planning approval

Most large renovations such as an extension or building a deck or shed will require local council approval. Your renovation plans may need to be submitted to council and go through the planning approvals process, or they could be a complying development and eligible for fast-tracking. It’s helpful to check this early on to understand a realistic time frame for your renovation.

Where possible, let your neighbours know you are planning to renovate before they receive notice from the council. This can reduce the surprise or alarm for them and help ensure a smoother consultation process. Even if council approvals aren’t needed for your renovation, letting neighbours know of planned work can help them prepare for and be understanding of accompanying noise and disruptions. 

Check your insurance policy

Before building work begins, it’s wise to check your insurance policy to understand what your policy covers during the renovation period. Your insurer can step you through what’s included in the policy and also any additional checks you may need to do with any trades that come to your property. 

Hire trades

Hiring trades is important as you want to ensure that their work is high quality and they will complete the job to your expectations. The best way to check this is to ask for a reference from their last renovation job and contact that referee yourself, to ask any questions you may have. 

Commence renovation 

Congrats you can now start work on your renovation! 

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Before you act on this information, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. Applications subject to credit approval and fees and charges are payable. Terms and conditions apply and are available on request.

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