What Homeowners Can do to Prepare for a Major Renovation

So you have decided to Renovate....  Sounds great right??  You are super excited about having the home you have dreamed of for years.... you love where you live so it makes sense to stay where you are and give your home the facelift it so badly needs!  What you haven't thought about are all the elements that go into undergoing a major renovation, so here are some tips below on what you can focus on to make the process as simple as possible for yourself and your Builder.


1.  Set your budget.  Be realistic with your budget.  You can't have champagne taste on a beer budget, lets face it, we all love what we can't have.... or can we!  Great looks can still be achieved without an enormous price tag but you still have to be sensible.  Certain design styles can put your budget through the roof, such as Hamptons and French Provincial designs that heavily focus on intricate cabinetry, classic tapware and very definitive styling.  If your budget doesn't permit you will need to consider increasing your spend or changing your design style to reflect your budget.  Everything comes at a cost.

2.  Put together a Wish List.  Giving your Builder a wish list prior to entering into Preliminary stages will allow him to ascertain to what extent your wishlist can be achieved based on your budget.  A great Builder should be able to determine if your hopes and dreams can be met within or close to your allocated budget. 

3.  Do your research.  Determine what design style you are hoping to achieve in your new home, so putting together a Pinterest gallery or scrapbook will help the Builder with your overall desirable look which will assist in the Comprehensive Quoting Process.

4.  Look for Accommodation.  An average Renovation in our experience will take between 4-6 months depending on the size of the home etc so its best to do your research and know what Rental Homes are around for what weekly cost.  This will assist you when having to move out and will also allow you to include these costs in your overall Renovation budget.

5.  Think about your layout.  When working on your Renovation, ensure you have thought about your new layout and how it will work.  You should consider this when the draftsman is preparing your preliminary floor plans to avoid changes after construction has begun.  Think about if you want to change the layout of your bathrooms or kitchen, how will that affect where your bathware, sinks are positioned?  Also think about furniture placement... that's a big one!  Its all good having those big windows in the space, but where will the entertainment unit, tv or lounge suite be situated?  Is there something you don't think works now in the home, that could be reworked in the new design to be more functional or practical?  Do you have an abundance of space that could be utilised better?  All these things should be considered now.

5.  Choose a Builder you Trust.  Don't ever choose a Builder because he is the cheapest!  Biggest mistake you can ever make... lets be honest we all know someone who has done that and most often than not things don't end up as expected.  The old saying goes along way "You Get What You Pay For".  If the Builder is cheap, its for good reason.  Choose a builder because he is well known for being the best at his craft!  We have had clients in the past who have gone with the cheapest builder to save some $ only to come to the realisation after they commenced work that things were amiss... alas we then get a call begging us to come and fix the work and continue with the build...  costing the owner more $ than if they had gone with the right builder in the first instance.  Your Builder should be able to provide you with as much information as you need giving you the confidence in working with them and their team.  Also being able to comfortably communicate with the Builder is a must.  Just like we do, if you see Red Flags do not work with them.  Most of our work is through Word of Mouth which we think is great because people who have used us can vouch for our work, they live with it everyday!

6.  Enlist the help of an Interior Designer.  Interior Designers are very visual beings, and offer alternative perspective when it comes to interior design.  If you are unsure about your vision, get their opinion.  We often see the overall balance of a space, whether it be its practicality, its functionality, the overall colour scheme, the cohesiveness in design elements and how things work together in the overall design style.  You might love certain products/designs but how they work in the overall design together can be a whole different thing, it can be the difference between a successful renovation project and a mish-mash of conflicting finishes.  Its your home at the end of the day, but sometimes allowing an Interior Designer in to give an opinion can open your eyes up a little :-).

7.  Be a Decision Maker.  Be prepared to make decisions before and when you are Renovating.  You cannot be a fence sitter or indecisive.  Time is of the essence when the project is underway so always try to make as many decisions as you can prior to the works commencing.  Our experience over the years has been quite simple, the woman is known to make the decisions and the man nods his head in agreeance (after all happy wife, happy life right! LOL).  In all seriousness though, its helpful to assign one person to the overall decision making.  If you can't do this and are both going to be decision makers ensure that you are both on the same page and both want the same things.  It can be very tedious if both parties like different things, as decision making will slow and cause delays in the process. 

8.  Emotional Detachment.  Emotionally detach yourself from your old home and look forward to the new one!  Although we have never experienced this with any of our past clients, I have heard stories of people that have, so wanted to ensure this made it on the list!  If you have an attachment to something ie a door that has been etched with lines from where your kids have grown over the last 10 years, then ensure you let the Builder know so he can save the door for your memory.  Most clients are that excited that they are getting their dream home they automatically detach themselves from the home in anticipation for the new fresh abode but it can sometimes hit without warning.  Prepare yourself for this and ensure you 100% want to renovate.

9.  Remember there's a Team.  Just because your dealing with the one person being the Builder, please remember there is a whole team behind him.  So when you decide to make a change, its good to remember that one change can potentially cause a kink in that chain and with deadlines.  Builders will put together a schedule once the start date is announced, so all his trades for the project will be given an allocated start date which will get confirmed closer to their requirement.  This allows them to schedule this project into their own schedules.  If a deadline is not met, then delays will occur with the trades with us having to wait until they are able to do the work.  Just great to keep in mind when you consider making BIG changes or when you are finding it difficult to make a decision.

9.  Enjoy the process.  Yes Renovating is stressful, noone ever said it isn't, but doing your research and preparing the best way you can will certainly alleviate alot of the undue nerves that come with it.  Relax and look forward to the miriad of changes that are going to happen!


Undergoing a Major Renovation is an incredibly rewarding experience not only for us but for you the homeowner!  I love hearing homeowners who are completely floored when they see how quickly the initial stages progress, one minute they are looking at their empty house they have just moved out of and the next minute its been completed gutted ready for the new life its about to take a hold of.  Renovating isn't just about having a new home to live in, it gives its occupants a new lease on life.  It creates positive vibes, happiness, often a fresh start, and a comfort second to none.  Make your memories with a family that you love, in a home that you love.


Lets Get Renovating!   Lise, Brad & the Fusion Reconstruct Team.

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