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Author: Greg Hancock

A straightforward guide to renovating

Now more than ever, a lot of my customers come to me to talk about improving their home. The first thing I ask them is what the reasons are behind wanting to renovate. Are they looking to fix up a place to flip it for profit? Or are they looking to make changes to make their living space more comfortable?

We’ll talk about renovating for profit another time – today we’re focusing on renovating for keeps.

Create a budget

You should have a basic timeline in mind for how long the job will take, which should help. If it’s a big job, you’ll need to factor in Development Approval or Building Application, but even if it’s a smaller job it may require council approval. Next, you’ll need to calculate the cost of the job in terms of tools, materials and any time off work. A great tip is seeing if you can borrow tools from friends, re-use whenever you can, and get some trusted recommendations when it comes to any tradies you may need to get the job done.

Managing your project

Being your own project manager doesn’t just mean deciding when you down tools for lunch. You have to be aware of all aspects of the job. Be respectful of your neighbours, taking into account fumes, noise, dust and interruptions to traffic. Make sure you’re up to date on the current energy and water efficiency standards required by law, and finally, be mindful of your actions regarding waste management and disposal of hazardous materials.

Your safety plan

Even a first-time renovator would know about the hazards of asbestos and lead-paint, so I’ll run through my quick crash course to setting up your home improvement safety plan. If you can consider and manage these risks as a minimum, you’re on the right track.

  • Leave all work involving electricity and gas to professionals – no exceptions.
  • Get yourself the proper safety gear for the job, and don’t cut corners on price.
  • Constantly be aware of trip and spill hazards when on the job.
  • Think about containment if you’re working with dust, heat or fumes. Keep pregnant women and children separate from all active worksites.
  • As well as wearing safety gear, make sure you’re providing proper ventilation when working with fumes and dust.

Don't be afraid to ask an expert

Kudos to you for taking on your reno project on your own – in many ways it’s a rite of passage for Australian men, women and couples. It’s important to remember though – pride cometh before the fall. If there’s something you’re not sure of, ASK! Get advice from a tradesperson, get online and connect with the DIY community, or even head to your local hardware store for one of many free DIY demonstrations. With so much free advice available, there’s no excuse not to get it right!

At The Greater, we’ve been helping Australians reach their property goals for over 70 years. While we’ve seen plenty of changes in this time (think much less orange and brown shagpile carpet and much more earth tones and tiling), we still consider ourselves the experts when it comes to home finance. To start a conversation with us about your renovation goals, make an enquiry online today.

If you found this blog helpful, why not check out our full guide to renovating here, or connect with The Greater on Social Media for regular financial hints and tips.