Project Planning: A No-Nonsense Guide to Renovating or Building Your Home

You may be feeling slightly nervous about building or renovating. And, it really is no wonder, as there are quite a few things that you need to be aware of and prepared for. However, if you have a basic understanding of what happens from start to finish in the renovation and build process, everything can run smoothly, free from pitfalls and untimely delays. Follow our steps and it won’t be long before you are celebrating your successful project and enjoying the first day in your home.

Embark on a fact-finding mission

Consider yourself a bit of a detective. It is your job to know all there is to know about your home through existing drawings, plans, diagrams and service information. Take the time to understand the council and building rules for your local area in terms of both the planning and building approval.

Consider your likes and dislikes

 When you chat with people in the industry, they are going to have some pretty clear ideas about the possibilities that lay ahead. To ensure you don’t end up with a plan you are not 100% fully committed to, know what you like and what you absolutely dislike. And stick to them, budget depending. Once you understand your design goals you can then set your budget, adding a contingency in case things go a little over.

 Write it all down

 At this stage, you may know exactly what you want, but you need to write it down to communicate your ideas with the designers and builders. Consider this your brief which you can add to as things spring to mind. Focus on your primary goals and other things that would be nice to have if your budget stretched that far. Make it as expressive and as detailed as possible including areas such as the garden and home office as well as windows and lighting to minimise heating and cooling expenses.

 Find your dream team

 Brief in hand, you and your design and build team can help to complete your vision. Source quality designers and builders and check their licenses and references. Ultimately you want someone who is on the same page as you, so you don’t feel like you are at loggerheads every step of the way.

 Fine tune your ideas and budgets

 Your team will be able to provide you with precise estimates of how much things will cost. Together you can develop your design and come up with estimates based on the back of plans and drawings. Remember, it’s a collaboration process, and the experts may have some great ideas on approaches to cost savings and budgets.

 Finalise approvals and contracts

 Nothing can get done without the necessary approvals from the council. As soon as this is achieved and you have the nod to begin the work, then you can move ahead unimpeded. Once the contracts are drawn up, make sure you understand everything, including the fine print. Source legal advice before you sign to ensure that everything is to your liking.

 Keep an eye on the process

 In an ideal world, things will go according to plan. But in real life, you will need to monitor the time it takes to get things done and the budget from which you are spending. Find time to visit the site of your future home as regularly as you can, or alternatively, get someone else to do it for you. This will enable you to deal with inquiries as they crop up and ensure that everything is happening as you would like.

 Move in

 Once the renovation or build project is finished, you will be able to move in. Make sure that all the finishing touches have been completed according to contract, so you don’t have to spend additional hours chasing down the builders to finalise the work. Note down any defects or problems as soon as you notice them so they can be sorted immediately.