Key steps to planning and starting your renovation

Home renovations are an exciting adventure where you can make your dream home come true and make improvements to enhance the functionality and aesthetic of your spaces.

Like anything successful in life, it requires a bit of hard work, commitment, and most of all good planning.

Here are our top tips on the steps to help your renovation go as smoothly as possible.

Step 1 – Get a builder ‘s appraisal

Seek recommendations for a good builder (we can provide recommendations) and use a Licensed Building Practitioner or Registered Master Builder. A builder can advise if you need an architect or draftsperson to draw plans for the project. Plans may not be needed if you are not altering building structure. Builders and architects can advise on building consent and latest building code requirements.

They can also recommend if you should use a kitchen company if you are doing a kitchen renovation.

Step 2 – Book your builder

Once you have checked out a few different builders, book your preferred one in! They may need six months or more lead time.

Step 3 – Get plans done

If you need plans get these done now by an architect or draftsperson. As above, plans may not be needed if the work does not require consents and is straightforward.

Step 4 – Start shopping for your materials

With a renovation you need to buy many products and this takes time. You need to decide colours and textures before ordering product. Visit shops and research online widely to help you make decisions. An interior designer is a good idea if you need inspiration and help to tie a look together.

Examples of products you need are for a bathroom: flooring, tiles, vanity, bath, tapware, shower box, lighting, heating, fan, heated towel rail. The architect/builder will need measurements of products to ensure everything fits with the building plan.

Step 5 – Communicating with your builder

Keep your builder advised of progress with your plans, consents and supply of product for the build.  Meet with the builder a few months before the build is due to start so that they can plan for the job. Keep in touch with the builder by email incase timelines move.

Step 6 – Booking in sub-trades

We recommend using licensed and registered trades, and using a Master Electrician.

It is time-consuming and specialized work to project manage a build because it involves lining up a production line of trades to team tag in and out of your build at exactly the right time. Trades involved include plasterer, painter, plumber, tiler, glazier, electrician, kitchen installer and builder for example.

If you are managing sub-trades, advise them about the work at least 5 or 6 weeks before the job is due to start. Ensure they have all the information they need and be on site to introduce them to the builder if they don’t know each other. It is a good idea to communicate detailed pieces of information by email with tradies so you both have a record.

Need to know

  • Builders and architects usually give a free consultation
  • You need a designated project manager from the beginning – whether it is you or your builder
  • Project management by builders is often more efficient, saving you time and money
  • Builders often have a team of recommended sub-trades they work with
  • Delays due to poor planning cost money and add to your renovation bills

Good luck with your project!

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