6 tips for a successful renovation

It's not hard for renovations to slip into a state of chaos. Here are six essential tips for you to stay on top of things. 

bernadette janson

Blogger: Bernadette Janson, The School of Renovating

So you have taken the plunge and have launched into a renovation.

Your head is spinning with measurements and prices and daydreaming about paint colours and kitchens.

It’s not hard to slip into a state of chaos. Here are six tips to help tame the beast!


1. Upgrade Your (Smart) Phone Plan.
Your phone will definitely become you’re right hand man for ordering materials, communicating, researching and storing information.

Don’t wait for the nightmare bill; it’s easy to chew through a few hundred dollars once you are over your quota. Instead upgrade your plan to cover the increased use in data and calls.

2. Keep track of your purchases
Dedicate a credit card to the renovation so that you get a clearly itemized account at the end of each month.

Alternatively if you don’t want to get a new credit card you can apply for an additional card on your account (say in the name of a partner) to dedicate to the renovation. The purchases on each card will itemize separately on the statement making reconciliation easy.

Make sure you have the best reward system available so that you can have a well-earned holiday on the points when the renovation is over.

Many credit cards offer buyer protection, which comes in handy for paying deposits on supplies. If the supplier goes belly up before you take delivery of your order, you are then able to recover the loss through the credit card.

3. Buy yourself a laser measure
This will mean you can measure up quickly, accurately and easily on your own. (You don’t need someone to hold the tape!) It is particularly useful for height measuring such as ceilings and rooflines.

A quick tip when purchasing; make sure the device is laser and not sonic. The sonic versions are nowhere near as accurate or reliable.

4. ALWAYS have materials delivered by the supplier
It may cost a little bit more but it will save you a lot of time.

Time is not a renewable resource.

More importantly, the time saved is not just in the initial delivery but when things are supplied incorrectly or damaged on arrival it will be up to the supplier do the running around to rectify the problem, not you.

5. Select colours upfront
Indecision is the renovators enemy and paint colours in particular can be a source of anxiety.

Best to do this early so it doesn’t hold up proceedings.

Decide on the look you want, collect photos to help you formulate your ideas then call in a colour consultant to translate them into paint colours. This will save you weeks of deliberating and test pots.

Dulux provide a colour consultant service for less than $200, most of which is redeemable on the paint purchase.

6. Photograph critical stages
It is a great idea to keep a photographic record of progress. In particular the plumbing and electrical first fix (roughing-in) in the kitchen and bathroom walls before they are sheeted over.

This means you are able to avoid drilling into them when fixing joinery and accessories later on.

It also helps diagnose plumbing problems in the wall, long after the reno is finished.

Renovating can be both a joy and a headache all at the same time. Implementing a few simple measures up front will help your project will run smoothly and you feel in control and organized. In short, more of the joy and less of the headache!!

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