In previous helpful articles, we’ve given you all some help with communicating with your builder when building a new home, and it’s just as important with a renovation.
We know renovating is a huge expense and one that can weigh on you logistically, financially and emotionally. Done right, a renovation can also be a fantastic investment so communication with the people you choose to make it happen is essential.
Read on for the questions we recommend you ask your builder before your renovation begins. And remember to go for a builder who’s licensed and insured, if not, then show them the door.
“A renovation can be significant enough to create a whole new home at the end of the process and they are becoming an increasingly popular option across Australia.” - newhomesguide.com.au
Who’s the boss?
It’s important that you understand who is in charge and where responsibilities lie for opening and locking up each day, site supervision and who to contact with smaller, every day queries. Make sure this is all clear upfront so you know who’s responsible for what and who to contact when.
Establish the concerns, if any, your builder has before construction gets underway. They’ll be able to help you prepare for any potential worst-case situations and you can plan a contingency budget accordingly. This will make a huge difference in how prepared you feel and will help manage unrealistic expectations.
Shielding your home
The last thing you want to come home to is a house full of dust so ask your builder to run through the measures they have in place to prevent dust, debris and contaminants from entering the rest of your home. An upfront discussion will clarify protective measures and give you peace of mind.
This is especially important if you have pets who’ll be temporarily displaced. You’ll want to disturb their routine as little as possible so this will help you plan accordingly.
Knowing the schedule means knowing when things are slipping so you won’t want to start without a clearly defined schedule. This will help you gain an overall perspective of how each stage of the project will run, from walls being knocked down to cabinets being installed. It’s also a great way of making sure the whole project is staying on track.
“A major renovation is very much the same process as building a new home. In fact, renovations can be even more complex as the challenges associated with existing structures and materials have to be worked around.” - newhomesguide.com.au
Being on top of the schedule will allow you to make prompt decisions that can help keep your renovation on track. It’s worth asking your builder to provide a list of materials upfront, even if you anticipate the process taking months.
Having time to research, plan and make smart purchase decisions will keep keep your project on track and on budget.
Let’s talk talking
Most builders have a preference as to how they communicate with you and it’s important you understand the way they do things. Email, calls, calendar schedules, make sure you and your builders are clear on how you’ll be in regular contact. Meetings are a great way of staying in touch without detracting from your builder’s time with daily questions.
Contracts usually list what paperwork to expect upon project completion but there may be other items you’ll want for your records, e.g. names, contact information for subcontractors etc.
Review and confirm these requests with your builder before starting to ensure you’re left with all the info you’ll need.
Ok, that's all for now folks. Hopefully, if you're planning a renovation, of whatever size, you now have some helpful things to consider and are in a better place to take action and take control.