Pre-Reno Checklist : 3 Tips to Get Yourself Prepared Before Renovating | Vellum Interiors | Sydney Interior Designer and Decorator

Pre-Reno Checklist : 3 Tips to Get Yourself Prepared Before Renovating

Before you do *anything* to start the renovation process, you’ll want to read about the top 3 items to get in order prior to doing any works on your home. Give yourself the time and space to prepare mentally, emotionally and financially and your renovation will be much smoother, easier and happier!

Are you looking to renovate your home? Whether you’re thinking about adding an extra level or extension, or renovating your kitchen or bathroom, these three tips will put you in great stead for what lies ahead. Here are my top 3 tips to prepare yourself for a renovation:


1. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally

Doing any sort of significant work to your home can be really stressful and overwhelming for many. Especially if you work and/or have a family. I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories — sleeping in a tent for months with no cooking facilities (then everyone gets food poisoning!), the builder goes broke half way through the job, costs blow out beyond belief… Stuff of nightmares!


The fact is, things will likely go wrong when you’re doing any sort of work to your home. And my advice is — the sooner you accept this the easier your renovation will be. This could be something as minor as the wrong tap ware being delivered, or as major as a ceiling caving in (I speak from experience here). These things will happen, and they’ll be dealt with. What’s important is how you react emotionally to the issue, and this can often come down to being prepared and having realistic expectations of what happens on a work site. This is why the number one thing to do before you commit to renovating is to ask yourself if you are mentally and emotionally prepared for what lies ahead. Without being dramatic, I really believe that this can make or break not just your renovation but your significant relationship too.


If you’re experiencing any sort of high-stress situation at work or at home, I would recommend waiting until things cool down to commit to renovating, as these situations can be exacerbated by having to deal with a renovation as well. Be kind to yourself and know that it will all work out when the time is right!


(Hiring a team — like us — to handle all the ins and outs of the work can alleviate a lot of this pressure too!). See how we can help you here.


2.  Be on the same page

Tying into the first point — it’s also important that if you have a partner or significant other, you are 100% aligned in what you want as a result of the renovation, how much you’re willing to spend and also what level of spec you’re after. In fact, the more the two of you can communicate your wants, worries and expectations, generally, the better the outcome.


These decisions tie in with your long-term plans as well, and you may want to consider things like how long you’re likely to live in the property, and what your non-negotiable items for the renovation are e.g. if you’re looking to have children or more children, you may need extra bedrooms / bathrooms, or alternatively if your kids will be moving out in a few years you may want to re-purpose their old bedrooms.


If you’re working on your renovation on your own (or you’re the primary decision-maker in your household), being aligned with your renovation team — interior designer, architect, landscape designer and builder — is just as important.


3. Sort out your financials

Many of my clients find it difficult to come up with a budget, because they really don’t know what to expect their renovation to cost. And while there are items that you can save on (I like to call this high / low or splurge and save in my projects), 9 out of 10 times, the wish list exceeds the expected budget so it’s important to have a buffer.

When deciding on your budget, my advice is to make sure the number you come up with (including 10-20% contingency) doesn’t scare you. You want to feel comfortable with what you invest, and you also don’t want to feel like you’re sacrificing your livelihood (or your kids’ livelihood) because you’ve spent all you have on the renovation.

I also find that if something has cost more than what you’re comfortable with, it’s so much harder to enjoy the finished product!   

One thing that can help in figuring out a budget is to write a wish-list — and dream big! Then sort it out into negotiable and non-negotiable items. This will give you a good starting point for when you engage your trades and design team.


If you’d like help on your renovation, we love taking care of every detail, and acting as an advocate on your behalf with builders and suppliers. Get in touch here or see how we can help you here.

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