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You might have found the ideal property and confirmed the design blueprints, but rarely does any renovation go perfectly to plan the first time around.

First-time renovators often take missteps before any of the actual renovations begin. Walking into a project without knowing exact costs, the projected value added to the home after modifications or renovation timelines can leave you in the lurch later on.

Before you turn your dream home into a construction zone, here are the common mistakes you should avoid as a first-time renovator.

Letting your emotions make the decisions

Whether this is your dream home or an investment property, no renovation plan should be so set in stone that you cannot make any necessary changes as the build progresses. Unplanned problems in the home, such as with plumbing or structural issues, could affect your budget, project timeline or encourage you to overcapitalise in areas that will not add value to your home. Remember, being married to your initial design plan is not worth blowing your budget.

Not understanding market pricing

Every suburb has an average housing sale price, which should help shape your design budget. Consider the homes in your street – are you the best house on the worst street or the worst house on the best street? The types of homes in the area, recent sale prices and the types of people who buy in the area will impact on where in your home you should renovate and for how much. Family-dominated areas might appreciate a large backyard and open-plan kitchen, while other features will rank higher in areas populated by professionals or singles.

Not researching your builder

Assuming you don’t take the DIY approach, the builder you employ for the project will become your right-hand man. For this reason, it’s important you are entering into a partnership with someone who has a proven track record for timely and on-budget renovations. Builders often ask owners to sign a building contract prior to the renovations beginning. Check that these contracts don’t include huge fees for any changes made during the renovation project, as these will quickly mount up.

By having a clear idea of your budget, researching before the build and keeping a level head, you’ll be on your way to becoming a seasoned renovator.


Posted by Abbey Ford – Domain Blog on 18th June, 2015