Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Renovation tips for first-timers:

Renovating is more than just construction.
By Expert Tips
Date: June 07 2019
Editor Rating:
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Finally, you’re in a position to make your existing home one step closer to your dream home. With excitement filling in quickly as ideas start bombarding uncontrollably in your head, from tasks on how to renovate the kitchen strategically for maximum efficiency to designing the laundry room so that everything looks neat and tidy with lots of storage, feeling overwhelmed can pretty much be second nature.

And truth be told, behind every awesome, beautiful idea is a harsh challenge of staying within your budget and doing things correctly. From choosing the right contractors (your renovation builder, plumber, electrician, and so on) to getting your design and floor plan right, there will be a lot on your plate especially for a first timer.

Hopefully, these essential renovation tips will help clear your cluttered mind a little and help you focus on the important things.

Set a realistic budget and stay within it

When renovating, it’s important to always remember that money comes first. Set a realistic budget and timeline so that you won’t be surprised or stuck with a cash flow problem as the renovation progresses. Start by researching on the estimated typical cost for your kind of renovation followed by getting quotes from builders beforehand.

Some builders charge for their builder quotes while others don’t so it’s also important to factor this cost into account. To make sure your builder quotes are accurate, provide them with as much information as possible to help them not underestimate the actual costs of renovations. Ask yourself questions like “Does your renovations involve a complete do-over of the flooring and wall?” to help you establish whether major remodelling is involved as this may require structural changes that will set you back even more due to the professional involvement of an architect or engineer in the project.

Choose the right contractor

Do your due diligence when trying to find the right contractor. Ask your family, friends or even neighbours to recommend a few contractors and don’t be shy to ask the contractors for references to their latest projects and a few questions before making your decision. While the lowest bid may not be the best, beware not to overpay for empty promises. Start off smart by sitting down with the contractor before they lay the hammer to go through important issues such as the timeline, contact details, update meetings, payment schedule, site supervision, and so on.

Saving is better than borrowing

You don’t have to get it all done at once. Do your renovations one room at a time once the savings add up as not only is it financially wise, you’ll also feel at ease knowing that you are not in debt and won’t have to pay a substantial amount of your hard earned monthly earning to service the bank’s interest. Stretching the renovation is also ideal for those who are fickle minded as it gives you more time to consider and be confident about your renovation decisions.

Start with the essentials

Don’t compromise safety for the aesthetic appeal of your home. After all, you and your loved one are the ones staying in your home. Safety-related repairs such as security enhancement, roofing repairs and structural damage must be your top priority. You can then move on to cosmetic renovation if your budget allows.


Given that this is your first renovation, it is understandable that the process can seem daunting and quite overwhelming. However, always remember that there is light at the end of every tunnel, and the outcome will often be something you are proud of. By following the tips above, you will hopefully be able to approach the renovation process with a clearer mind to minimize stress and anxiety during your house renovations.

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