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Building your dream home is the ultimate goal for many Australians – however it isn’t always financially feasible for everyday wannabe-homeowners. While we’d all love to design our home from scratch, factoring in all our wants and needs like a walk-in robe, scullery and more, the cost of building brand new prices out many Australian couples and families.
Buying a brand-new home can be a great option, but someone else has designed and built it to their own specs and preferences, not yours. So, you may find that while you’ve paid top dollar for a brand-new house, you need to spend several thousand more to get it exactly how you want it.
A better place to start is buying an older home and doing the renovations yourself, if you’re up for the challenge! This can be a much more cost-effective way of building the closest thing to your dream home, while deciding all the specifications yourself. It will take a lot of planning and hard work, but the results are more than worth it in the end.
Here are 14 steps to renovating your home:
1. Find the Perfect House
The perfect house for renovating is usually far from what you would typically describe as perfect. It can be as run down as you can manage, old kitchens and bathrooms are not a concern, and peeling wallpaper is absolutely fine! The main considerations when purchasing your starter house that you will renovate is if it is located in a good area, if the house has good bones and sturdy foundations, if you can envisage its potential, and if the section is easily accessible. Bring a builder friend along to check out the house to make sure it’s an ideal house to renovate, or if it’s just a big mess that should be avoided at all costs.
2. List Your Must Haves
Before you engage with an architect or builder, you should consider the things you definitely want to include in your renovation. Obviously, most of the house is going to undergo some kind of transformation, but it might be super important for your growing family to have two bathrooms, a massive pantry, and a large deck. Alternatively, your requirements might be more about the quality of the renovation and the materials used. Agree on these before talking to tradies and architects.
3. Make a Budget
This budget can change throughout the renovations, but it is essential that you are tracking all costs to make sure you do not blow your budget entirely. Renovations can often end up costing more than what you’ve planned for, but a structured budget will help reign costs in.
4. Finalise Your Design
If you’re planning a major renovation, you can start to work on your new house design yourself, and then engage with an architect to share your ideas and get it turned into a proper plan for your builders to work off. They’ll be able to determine if your plans are achievable, realistic and how much it is likely to cost. If you are not needing to perform massive transformations (removing walls, adding extensions etc.) and are simply refreshing the interior and exterior, you’re unlikely to require an architect.
5. Get Your Plan Signed Off
For big renovation projects, you’ll need to get the designs checked over by the council to ensure they meet regulations. The council may also need to visit the site before, during or after the renovation to make sure it meets requirements.
6. Decide on a Project Manager or DIY
If you’re taking time off for the renovation, you can project manage the renovation yourself. If you’ll be working at your usual job throughout, it’ll pay to hire a project manager to run the site for you. They will be responsible for the flow of work, and the flow of tradies coming in and out completing work in your house.
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7. Choose Your Tradies
You could need anything from builders, electricians, drain layers, plumbers, tilers, painters, joiners and more! Ask around for recommendations to ensure you get the best tradies for the job. Be sure to ask them about other work they have on that could limit their abilities to complete the work on your house in time.
8. Decide on Timings
Agree on a timeline with your tradies, as well as check in points or milestones throughout the renovation to keep everyone on track.
9. Sequence Your Projects
It pays to start from the top down. For example, if you need to re-do your roofing, do that first before you start anything else. Walls should be painted before flooring or carpet is installed, and so on. Work with your tradies to best plan and manage all the work that needs to be done.
10. Review the Work
As each major piece of work gets finished with each tradie, you should review the work with them before they move on to the next project in your home or finish up with you for good. This is to make sure you are happy with the level of finish.
11. Check in with the Local Council as Needed
Some tasks may need to be reviewed by the council, for example waterproofing your shower cavity. Make sure you have these appointments locked in, and the work ready for them to come by and sign off.
12. Decide on a Colour Palette
When walls are up, ceilings are in, gib stoppers and plasterers have come and gone, you can start thinking about what your new colour palette will be. This goes for both the interior and exterior of your home.
13. Install the Finishing Touches
Paint, furnish, style, accessorise and do anything else to bring the whole renovation together.
14. Enjoy Your New Home
Revel in the amazing transformation you’ve achieved! Now you can move all your belongings in and enjoy your new home. For help moving in, chat to the friendly team at John Ryan Removals, the leading furniture removalists in Melbourne.
John Ryan Removals have over 40 years’ experience in house removals, with countless industry accreditations and certifications, making them the Australian removalists you can trust.