Avoiding project fails: what to know before starting your next renovation

THE ART OF THE TRADE: Behind every great reno is a tradie who created the transformation. Photo: Shutterstock
THE ART OF THE TRADE: Behind every great reno is a tradie who created the transformation. Photo: Shutterstock

Renovating is a highly emotional experience, and one fraught with danger if you're not sure how to best navigate each step.

Matthew Menichelli, builder and owner of Elevate Building Group and hipages tradie on The Block, has a wealth of renovating knowledge and shares the following advice.

Always have a clear vision of what you want to create. We have plenty of inspiration around us nowadays, from renovation reality TV shows to Instagram 'before and after' posts. The important thing to consider is how this inspiration fits into your reality. Behind every great home you see, there is a tradie that has created that transformation. Just ensure that your transformation will also be practical for your lifestyle.

Set a budget and remember to expect the unexpected. It is really important to have a clear understanding of the desired spend for a project upfront. Think about your maximum budget and then pop 10-20 per cent to the side. That money should be reserved for any unexpected challenges that you might face along the way.

The remaining 80-90 per cent should be considered your maximum project budget and you should be looking at jobs that sit inside of this. Make sure you receive multiple quotes from tradies for comparison. hipages gives you up to three quotes so you can select tradies that fit your budget and timeline.

Create a detailed scope so all tradesmen and industry professionals understand their role. If you're tackling a bigger project, I also recommend assigning a project manager. You can take this on yourself, but remember whoever has this role must have a clear plan that they communicate. You should then go over your scope of work with your builder and tradies from the outset. Let them jump in with any insight based on their experience.

Hire the right tradies. Knowing what trades to hire for which elements of a renovation is also where some homeowners struggle. Understanding that this is an area where homeowners are seeking greater support, the hipages app allows users to upload information and images about the job with the platform helping to match you with the right tradie for the job, available in your local area.

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Detail quotes to keep everyone accountable. Having everything in one place is a good way to keep on track. You can also ask for a clear contract to include detailed quotes and a timeline.

Outline a schedule with allowance for delay days. Weather is unpredictable and unfortunately so are some onsite delays, and that's without factoring in COVID-19 restrictions. Always factor in buffers to your timeline and if you're planning to vacate your property, ensure there is flexibility in where you can stay or have a plan B if things run over.

Select fixtures, finishes, and appliances early in the project. It's important to make sure you have all the materials you need onsite before your trades arrive. If you plan to save money by ordering directly yourself, make sure everything is ready for the job to commence so people aren't standing around - or worse, they go to another job and push your job till later.

This story Avoiding project fails: what to know before starting your next renovation first appeared on The Canberra Times.