Organising a renovation is a mammoth task and it’s all too easy for your budgets, timelines and scope of work to get out of hand. One of the keys to keeping your renovation under control is to do your homework ahead of time. Here are seven crucial things you should tick off before you even think of lifting a hammer.

1. Scope it out
Before you begin any building works, figure out the changes you want to make. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of ‘scope creep’ where you do (and spend) more than you intended.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you going to be completing a cosmetic or structural renovation?

What needs replacing, and what can be repaired or restored?

Also, if you are renovating the bedroom, bathroom and/or kitchen,  you will need to consider where will you sleep, bathe or cook during works.

2. Find out if you need approval
Are you putting in an addition? Sprucing up your exterior? Changing your exterior paint colours? Swapping some rooms around?

It’s important to remember that some renovations will need planning and building approval, so check with your local council before work commences.

3. Budget
We’d all like to have unlimited funds at our fingertips to renovate, but let’s be real – most of us have a budget and we can’t afford to blow it.

Before you begin works, sit down and add up the costs for everything you will need to pay for during the renovation, including trades, materials, labour, site inspections and clean up. And don’t forget to include a buffer of at least 10 per cent in your budget – this will give you some wiggle room to deal with the unexpected costs that can (and inevitably will) crop up, such as finding ancient and dangerous electrical wires inside your walls.

4. Plan
With your budget set, you’ll now have a clear idea of what you can – and can’t – afford. With this information to hand, research and hire trades, figure out renovating timelines, and choose your fixtures and finishes.

This is the time to really plan out the entire renovation. Thorough planning means you’re less likely to make mistakes or have a change of mind regarding details such as materials, fixtures, finishes or other decisions, which can waste time and end up being very costly if they’re not properly thought out.

5. Get reno-educated
Want to save money on trades and feel confident that you’re making the right choices? Before works begin, do your research and learn as much as you can from the experts about how to renovate successfully. This can be particularly advantageous if you’re looking to add value to your home.

6. Let your neighbours know
With some smaller renovation projects, you are not required to inform your neighbours about your plans – but either way, you should tell them out of courtesy. By letting them know about your upcoming renovation and the estimated time-frames, they are more likely to be understanding if there is a lot more noise and mess coming from your property or if parking is affected.

7. Don’t forget insurance…
You should always check with your insurer or broker to see if you need additional cover for your renovation (your home and contents insurance will generally cover renovations up to $50,000). It is better to be safe than sorry – the last thing you want is to be left seriously out of pocket if something isn’t covered.

You should also ensure that your builders and contractors have the appropriate insurance too. Be sure to ask to see a copy before work commences.

…now start renovating
Ticked off these seven key points? You’re ready to go! Renovating can be hard work and stressful, but it will be worth it in the end to enjoy the finished product. If you need help or advice on demolition or excavation for your project, including disposing of any harmful materials, DIG IT would be happy to help, get in touch for a free quote today.