Renovating your home can seem like a SCARY feat. Especially if you don’t necessarily come from a background of trade experience or this is your first time renovating. That was us! So from a first time and now novice-ly experienced renovator, here are your tips to get started, get going and finishing that reno! Note: they all kind of happen concurrently, so be sure to time things as needed.
Okay, so where to start? When it comes to different rooms of the house, there are of course professionals that you need to engage with. Whether that be your bathroom, kitchen or living areas!
Map out what you want to change/renovate first
Is it a total bathroom or kitchen reno? Are you changing the flooring Painting the walls? Do you need to redo the electricals? These are all questions to ask yourself as you move through each area of your home. Write a list of the things you want to achieve in each space so you can work out who you need to call.
Who do you need?
Alright, so this isn’t a DIY take on renovating, if you’re wanting to utilise the pros, then contractors are what you’re after. It can be challenging to know who you need exactly. You can go one of two ways: a project management style builder who organises, executes and manages all of the trades for the entire project (i.e. renovating an entire bathroom from the foundation level) or engaging with individual trades yourself and managing each stage (i.e. a contractor to demolish existing bathroom, a plumber to ‘rough in’ your new plumbing, a tiler/screter to set up the foundation, an electrician for your electricals, a painter to finish off etc.). We opted for the first, a company who could manage the job for us! You might find yourself spending that little bit more, but for first time renovators, it was weighing up making an expensive mistake out of inexperience or paying for and trusting a company to guide and manage it for us.
Finding your professionals
Either route you decide to take, it’s important to find professionals you can trust. There are many many out there, so the best place to start is by asking your friends and family. Have they ever built or renovated and can recommend someone? Find out and get them over to quote. You always want at least 3 quotes from each contractor. It can seem time consuming to do so, but it’s a must. You need to ensure you feel comfortable with the contractor, that they have your vision in mind and that you are receiving a competitive quote. If you’re stuck on where to find your contractor, Google is a great place to start! Then utilising platforms like HiPages can be really helpful too.
Picking your finishes
PINTEREST, I repeat, PINTEREST! Walking into a tile shop with 1000s of different options can be a little overwhelming if you’re not sure what you’re after. Once you wrote your list from step one, start creating your Pinterest boards of the vision you have for each space. Use Pinterest to really find your style and inspiration. Alternatively, check out Instagram pages that fit your style and pull inspiration from them! This will help guide all of your choices for finishes.
Ensure you receive your approvals
Whether you need to seek council or strata approval, it’s always worth getting this process underway as soon as possible. Reach out to your strata manager to find out what approvals you need (we needed to engage a Strata Lawyer for our bathroom reno since ripping up the tiles and only found out once we were ready to start) prior to commencing your projects. The same with council, are you renovating a certain area of your home that needs approval? Get this admin done early so you aren’t held up later one!
Once you’ve chosen your contractor, you’ll work with them to get their guidance in when you need to have your finishes (tapware, tiles etc.) chosen and delivered. My biggest tip when working with your contractors; NEVER assume! You might think they know where you want your tapware to go but they really don’t. They know what they are doing, but they need to know what you want. This applies to every part of the reno! Have trust in them but over communicate your wishes because once tiles are laid, they can’t be rearranged.
Patience is most definitely a virtue when it comes to renos. Yes, it can get messy and seem like a lifetime but trust the process and keep your vision in mind. Time passes and it will come to an end.
Renovating can be both super fun and exciting but incredibly daunting and overwhelming at the same time. Allow enough time in your day to be on the phone with contractors or attend site visits (if you’re not living at the property). If you need a hand, ask for help! Utilise those around you who have renovated before and can provide some handy tips or find yourself an Organise.Curate.Design. To help you manage your time and communications.
Above all, enjoy the process and the outcome.
Pictured: Our bathroom reno from the 50’s to the 21st century. Unfortunately our after is still on it’s way but keep across our Instagram for its reveal.