A home renovation can be stressful. Anything related to changing or altering your home can bring a lot of stress, especially if you have not gone through a house renovation before. As long time home renovation builders here in Newcastle NSW, we see and hear all the time the concerns that homeowners have when it comes to renovating that home. Particularly when it’s large-scale structural renovations.
While you guys have a lot of concerns, there are five main ones that we hear all the time. Read on to find out what these concerns are and our expert tips on how to manage home renovations to make the whole process less stressful, and even enjoyable.
1. Can I afford home renovations?
Hands down the number one question we get all the time is about the budget and the cost of home renovations. The main concern for nearly all homeowners when it comes to renovating the home is can I afford it?
This would be our number one concern if we were renovating too.
Many homeowners are worried that they’ll be halfway through the renovation and run out of money. Do you have this concern? Does it keep you up at night with worry? Does it hold you back from actually going through with renovations? You are not the first person to be worried about this and you won’t be the last. But it’s a concern that can easily be managed with the right advice and the right builder on your team.
The best way to make sure you can not only afford your renovation is to have thorough preliminary work done at the beginning. This means creating a realistic set of plans drawn up for your renovation that align with your budget and having a detailed cost outline created so you know what is included in your budget and that you can actually afford it.
We highly recommend you speak to the builder first before you do anything else. A common mistake is homeowners will approach an architect or draftsperson to have plans created. But often these plans don’t take your budget into account.
A good renovation builder will come out to your home, go through your renovation ideas with you, assess your property and give you personalised advice on what they believe is achievable for both your property and your budget.
A good renovation builder will also give you an extremely detailed quote. And when we say detailed, we mean including the actual model, make and style of each individual product. Your renovation quote should outline absolutely everything that is included and not included in your project so you have a clear and accurate indication of what you can afford and what you get for your money.
Without specific advice relating to your home and a detailed quote, there is always going to be a lingering concern that you may run over budget and not actually get what you expected.
Specific advice and a full breakdown of renovation costs is the easiest way to remove any concerns that you have about whether you can afford your home renovations or not.
2. Where do I even start?
Where do I even start? Another very common question that we get from homeowners about their home renovation. And the answer? Well, it’s very simple. You start at the beginning.
Okay, that’s not really going to help you, is it? Where even is the beginning?
The best place to start is to call a renovation builder and book in for a renovation consultation.
And when you are in the consultation, ‘where do we start?’ is a great question to start with. Even if you have somewhat of an idea of the renovation process. The response you receive will help give you an idea of how organised the builder is and if they have a clear process when running renovation projects.
Just like giving a detailed quote a good builder will take the time to run through with you the actual process of renovating your home. Where it starts, what happens next and how the process happens at each and every stage.
Every bit of information here should be clear and make sense to you. If it doesn’t, it’s time for you to keep asking questions until it does make sense or to move on to another builder.
3. How are renovations going to affect day to day living?
Another great question that we commonly hear is, how are the renovations going to affect our day-to-day living?
This question is particularly relevant for families who have young children or families. If you’ve got toddlers or babies, just the thought of having construction workers in your home will probably keep you up at night.
We understand this concern completely. Power tools and young children definitely do not mix and just the thought of it can instantly put your renovation in the ‘no’ basket.
Or on the flip side, some homeowners underestimate the work and disruption a renovation will make and they think they can just carry on with their day-to-day living as normal while their house is undergoing major change. it’s simply not possible.
The far easiest way to mitigate the hassle and the concerns of having home renovations affect your day-to-day living, especially with young children, is to simply make plans to accommodate your family elsewhere while your house is being renovated.
We understand that moving out of your home can affect an already tight budget but it will greatly benefit your stress levels if you move your family out while your house is being renovated.
It’s also a great idea to try and pack up large areas of your home as well during the process. Moving furniture, documents and other items that you will need day-to-day will help make life easier for you, the homeowner, and also for us the Builder.
Keep in mind that your house insurance may also be affected while your house is under construction. So even though we the builder will do everything within our power to make sure that nothing inside your home is damaged and your property and possessions are as secure as they can be, you the homeowner also need to take responsibility and steps to secure your property as well.
The more organised you are for both your possessions and your family throughout the home renovation process, the less stressful it will be for everyone.
4. How does access to my house work?
This is a great question and something that is relevant to all house renovations. How does access to our house work?
If your home is undergoing major structural renovations, ideally you want to move your family out completely and give full access to the Builder. This way it’s their responsibility to make sure your house is secure and they’re able to move around and complete work without having to worry about anyone or anything getting in the way.
During the preliminary process, your builder will go through the motions of checking not just your property but your site access as well. The builder will communicate with you what access will be needed for both the house and the site and also inform you if there will need to be any other access requirements.
You may have to speak to your neighbours about your renovation work or there may need to be extra permits from your local council to block off street access. All this information should be included in both your proposal and your contract.
Again we cannot stress enough that if you engage a good renovation builder, they will run through all these questions so there’s no doubt in your mind about what is going to happen throughout the process.
5. What will communication be like?
Communication with the Builder throughout your home renovation can vary significantly from builder to builder. And one of the biggest industry complaints we hear is the lack of communication that homeowners get when their house is under renovation.
Honestly, it’s our biggest frustration as well. As a reputable Newcastle renovation builder, it frustrates us when other businesses in the industry give the industry, on the whole, a bad name simply by not communicating effectively.
But the reality is that we are all individuals, and each and every business owner has their own communication style and communication processes when running their business.
And, it’s also fair to say that each homeowner also has their own communication style. Some homeowners like to be kept up to date at all times while others take a more relaxed approach to communication. Not every communication style is going to match.
To reduce stress when it comes to communication on your home renovation project, it’s important to go through the interview process thoroughly with each builder before engaging one.
If the builder does not explain their communication processes early on, ask them how they handle communication. You can also get a feel for the builder’s communication style throughout the preliminary processes. If they say they are going to do something, do they follow through and do it? Does the builder take the time to listen to your questions? Do they answer your questions directly or not answer the questions at all?
If you feel frustrated with communication while you are researching and interviewing renovation builders, chances are this frustration will continue throughout the project.
On the other hand, if the builder has taken the time to run through their processes around communication, how you will get updates, who will be your primary contact source, what is expected of you regarding communication, then this can help to alleviate any concerns you may have and reduce your overall stress in relation to your home renovation project.
Home renovations do not have to be stressful
Remember, that all the concerns you have about undertaking a home renovation are generally common concerns that every homeowner has. And finding a good home renovation builder will not only give you outstanding results with your home, but they will go above and beyond to make sure all these concerns and more are put to rest and you have a stress-free renovation experience.
Have any questions about your renovation project, finding the right builder or understanding the renovation process? Get in touch and one of our team will be happy to answer your questions and run through the process with you.