The Federal Government is giving eligible Australians $25,000 to build or substantially renovate their homes, and that’s why a lot Australians want to take advantage of this chance and dive into the renovation process straightaway. Whether you’re planning on renovating for more property value or are aiming to transform your house into the dream house, any type of renovation is a monumental task and can be really stressful.

Without preparation, the renovation process can be full of mishaps and disappointments. To help make the process easier, we’ve pulled together the ultimate renovation planning guide to make sure you have equipped yourselves with all the nitty-gritty. Here are the 5 essential things you should know before you start remodelling.

Set a renovating goal

It’s important to know what you want to achieve with your renovation and why. If you are renovating your home to give yourself and the family a house of the dreams, you should be specific about design ideas. Think about how this house will service your needs in terms of the functionality and the design style in the future. When it comes to adding value in the property, talk to a local real estate agent is a good way to find out. Even if you are not planning to sell the house, you should still consider how a renovation could increase the property value.

Set a realistic budget

It’s important to know how much you can afford on the renovation. Your budget should be based on what are the renovation results you want to achieve and whether it’s a big project or just renovation some rooms such as the kitchen. You should get quotes from at least three builders and be clear about what is included, then you can decide if you have enough cash on hand to pay off this renovation. If not, you should talk to a financial expert in terms of extending your current home loan, refinancing your home loan or getting a construction loan.

Organize your development application

Generally, most extensions of property, and sometimes renovations require a development application/assessment (DA). You should be aware that planning permission could take months to apply for and gain approval. Although depending on your local council, sometimes you can gain fast-tracked approval. If you are aiming for a major renovation, it’s recommended to take care of this development application early in the process, because you can proceed no further without the DA approval.

Engage with a registered builder

Whether you’re building a new home, adding an extension or carrying out structural renovation to your house, it’s likely you’ll need to engage a building practitioner to do the work.

According to the information provided on the VBA website, “to ensure your project is completed by someone with the necessary qualifications and experience, make sure you always use a registered building practitioner. If you engage a company to do your project, make sure the company is registered as a building practitioner.”

All registered building practitioners (except companies) are issued with a Photo ID card that lists the category of registration for the work they are eligible to complete. Before engaging a building practitioner, you should check their ID card to ensure they are suitable to undertake the work. You can also check if a building practitioner or company is registered using VBA Find a practitioner directory.

VBA ID card

If you use an unregistered builder or tradesperson to carry out work valued at over $10,000, you are at risk of having no protection from poor quality work. In addition, the work won’t be covered by domestic building insurance.

Information provided on the “engage a builder” is a selection of information taken from the Victoria Building Authority website. It may not contain all the information relevant to you. 

Expect the unexpected

Each renovation brings unique twists, and that’s why you should expect the unexpected by allowing extra time in your renovation planning and set up a rainy day fund within the renovation budget to prepare for the unanticipated mishaps along the process. It’s always recommended to prepare yourself both emotionally and financially.



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