The renovation rules

Obey our ten commandments to make sure your home gets a great makeover!

Obey our ten commandments to make sure your home gets a great makeover!

Thou shalt have objectives
Define what is important for you and the building before starting the project. Write a list in order of importance of what you’d like repaired, conserved, restored and introduced.

Thou shalt self-renovate
During the building work, make sure you take at least one weekend a month off to relax with your loved ones for the sake of your health and sanity!

Thou shalt honour thy budget
Set a realistic budget for your project. The next step is to get a few quotes from various contractors and then work out what you can afford to do. Remember that budgets have a habit of blowing out!

Thou shalt do thy research
Flick through lots of home decorating magazines before you embark on your project so that you’ll know exactly what style you’re going for.

Thou shalt be a green builder
Reuse and recycle any material on site. If you can’t find a use for it, follow the rule that one person’s rubbish is another’s treasure and advertise them on a recycling website. Also, talk to your contractor about a site waste management policy.

Thou shalt cover thyself (in paperwork)
Make sure you have a proper contract drawn before renovations begin, as well as proof of your contractor’s insurance. Have your plans and budget close to hand at all times.

Thou shalt talk to professionals
Chat to an estate agent before renovations kick off and ask how much they think your property is worth before and after the work so that you know how much it is worth you spending.

Thou shalt have a project manager
Do not underestimate how much time and effort goes into being a project manager. If you think you can keep control of various tradesmen and wrangle with the schedule yourself, take on the role. Otherwise, seek professional help from a surveyor or architect.

Thou shalt chat to thy chums
Consult friends who have done renovations themselves – they might be able to offer a great contractor, a tip-off about a homewares store or just some good advice.

Thou shalt be realistic
Understand that most building projects go over 15 to 20% with both time and money. There are always unexpected delays and unforeseen costs.