If you're looking to add extra space and don't want to leave your neighbourhood, renovating can be a worthwhile option to avoid selling and moving elsewhere.
There is no doubt that renovating a home can be a big endeavour, and you might not know where to begin. Here we have put together a few tips to assist you in the renovation process.
1. Plan and design
Start by assessing your homes condition, establishing your goals and making an accurate budget of how much you are able to spend. Create a list outlining how you would like to improve your home, making sure you identify the 'must-have' features! This will create your brief to take to a designer or Architect.
2. Meet with Architects
Once you are happy with your brief, it is important to find the right Architect. Ask to see previous work to establish if your styles are a good fit, and seek recommendations from friends who have had experience renovating or building. Plan to meet with two or three Architects, to make sure you like their style and are confident that they understand what you need. Architects fees will vary and will be calculated on their level of involvement within your project.
3. Consult with Council
If you are planning major works in and around your home - for example adding an extra story, knocking down walls, building an extension or anything that will effect your neighbours - you will need council approval. With the Architect's plans complete, you or your Architect can now lodge your plans with your local Council for Development Approval. It is common for your Council to suggest amendments be made following their DA consideration, though this can be minimised through pre-lodgement meetings with Council to discuss your proposed works. Prior to commencing your renovation, a Construction Certificate is required for Council.
4. Request builder quotes
Again do your research! Talk to friends and colleagues and find a Builder that has a great reputation and suits your style. With DA approval you can send the plans to potential Builders for quoting. Building quotes will vary in price. Detailed quotes showing what has and hasn't been included will make it easy for you to compare. Similar to Architects, it is recommended that you meet with two or three Builders. Pay particular attention to how variations, if any, will be handled and the time allowed to complete the project.
For further information on choosing the best builder, see our earlier blogs: Choosing the best Builder and 5 Key points to consider when comparing Builders quotes
5. Source a temporary residence
Something that is often overlooked when renovating is that you may have to find alternate accommodation during the building works. A major renovation will leave you without power and water. Talk with your Builder about starting times and project duration, so you can make alternative living arrangements.
Best of luck with the transformation of your home! Here are some extra links to further information on renovating: