Your home is one of the most important and valuable assets you
can own. So it’s important to maintain that value or help increase
it by making improvements to the property as it ages.
• The first step to renovating is understanding why you need to
• Has your family grown in size and you need more space?
• Or is it because your kids are getting older and you need a
parents retreat to give you a private space to unwind or just
breath without the kids and their friends on top of you everyday?
• Is your kitchen just not coping with your master chef abilities
and the family functions you cater for every second week?
What ever your reason is to renovate, you need to plan your
project properly from the start to get the most value and effect
out of your renovation.
• It can be confusing and daunting at first as there is so much
choice and products available that it can be overwhelming to
someone that may not have renovated in the last 10 or 20 years or at all.
• Gone are the days where you only had 3 or 4 choices to choose
from. You now are presented with a rainbow of colours, a range
of sizes and a range of functions, but not only that they also come
in the choice of gloss, matt, satin, lappato texture, rockface finish,
honed or sandblasted…just to name a few… and what does all
• Hiring a professional who works in planning and design can ease
the confusion and fast track the process so you are not spending
hours and hours going through showroom after showroom and
feeling like you are going around in circles.
• But before you hire a designer, do your homework and shop
around. Find a designer that you feel comfortable with and that
you feel understands you and what you want to achieve. It’s
important that you click together and can communicate well so
that there is no confusion or disappointment down the track.
• Put together a scrapbook of images. Don’t worry if there are
many different things in your collection. The scrapbook will give
your designer a good insight into your taste & style and help them
achieve the look & feel you are after.
• Remember to specify what you don't like or want as well.
Designers are not mind readers, so provide a list of likes and
dislikes to ensure you’re on the same path. That way you'll avoid
disappointment and wasted time and money redesigning plans
again down the track.
• Space planning is an important element of the remodelling
process. This is an area where trained professionals will be of most
use to your project. Space planning can maximise the best use of
your space and a designer may present to you a layout that you
would not have seen as an option at first. Often it is hard to
conceptualise a new layout or design if you are living in the space
everyday and cannot see past what you are used to.
• Allow for enough storage. Perhaps look at custom made joinery
that is designed to look like furniture or can be used as a feature
to give you the extra storage space you need.
• Decide if you are going to extend or work within the parameters
of your existing house. Your architect/ building designer or interior
designer will be able to assist you with this decision if you are
unsure of which path to take.
• Work out a budget and allow 10% extra as a contingency for
• How do you determine your budget? Do you know how much
your ideas will cost? One option is to have all your ideas and wish
list documented into plans and then send it out to tender to see
what prices come back from various builders. This can sometimes
prove to be a time consuming and expensive exercise. Another
more preferred option is to involve a builder early in the planning
process to discuss approximate costs up front so that the design
can be tailored to suit the preferred budget, rather than paying to
make changes to your design plans later if the building costs
come in too high.
• Finally do not underestimate the amount of time it's going to take to
renovate, especially if you’re going to do it yourself.