New year, new renovation?

Has a renovation of your home been on your mind? Make 2018 the year you finally start your project! If you aren’t sure where to start, then we may have some useful info for you. Below, Dale Alcock has answered some of the most common questions asked by home renovators.

How do I choose the right builder?

Word of mouth is always best, so talk to friends and colleagues and find out who they used and if they were happy with the results. In my opinion, it is crucial to look for a builder who has been around for a long period of time, who has maintained a good reputation, and who specialises in renovations and extensions. And remember, you’re looking for a builder that will look after absolutely everything, with genuine care and expertise.

How do I understand what is involved in my renovation?

It’s important that you understand what you are paying for and what to expect from your home improvement. Choosing a builder that explains the process in a logical and straight forward manner is also important, and will ultimately make a big difference to your peace of mind and how much you enjoy renovating.

How long will it take and how much will it cost?

Make sure you know from the outset exactly how much your home improvement is going to cost and how long it will take. Reputable builders will offer a fixed price and guaranteed completion time, as well as a complete specification document. This ensures there are no surprises, no hidden extras and no need to worry about cost overruns.

What do I need to think about when designing my renovation?

When planning your renovation, keep in mind the home and your neighbourhood, not just a particular room. Try to think about what you will need from your home over the next 10 years. Also remember that a seamless renovation adds value, so matching colours, materials and the overall character of your existing home, your street and your suburb is important. Again, an experienced and professional builder can be immensely helpful at this point.

Can I live in the home during the renovation?

Yes you can stay and live in your home while you renovate. There will be some disruptions along the way, which are unavoidable, but renovating can be exciting – especially when you begin to see the transformations taking place.

Is my property in safe hands?

With homeowners living on site, it’s important that tradies work to a strict code of conduct that’s tailored to ensure they treat your property as a home, not a building site. Your builder should enforce a no smoking, no loud music policy that mandates respect for you, your family and your property at all times.

What else do I need to be aware of?

Understanding your local council’s regulations can seem daunting, and you may risk a hefty fine if your renovations don’t adhere to what has been officially agreed. Of course, you still have to observe council regulations if you engage a builder, and most extensions must be approved before work can begin.

But an experienced and professional company can liaise with your local council on your behalf and ensure your home improvement meets all regulations. A good builder will also obtain all relevant planning and building approvals, taking the hassle out of the process for you.

Finally, they should also look after your neighbours and notify them that works are being carried out, to ensure everyone is fully informed and knows what is happening.

If you can dream it, you can do it. – Walt Disney