We’ve all heard stories about things going wrong in renovation projects. We also see it on reality TV shows. But recently my builder and I finished a Southbank apartment project two weeks early. Another client in Glen Iris (same builder) told me they haven’t lost sleep over the renovation. So here are my three best tips for a stress-free renovation.
Planning for your renovation
I’ve been working with my builder for about three years now. I think the reason why our projects go well is because of the level of planning we put into the project before it commences. I work with a client for a considerable amount of time before even bringing my building into the project.
In the brief, design, and specification stage all the interior design documents crucial to a successful renovation or build are developed.
Interior design documents, such as mood boards, specifications list, floor plans and an interior design rationale. I think the specifications list and floor plan, are the most important documents for a builder.
For some projects my specifications list can be forty pages long for a full house renovation, new build or extension. But in there are all the details the builder needs.
With the floor plan and specifications list the builder can move through the build easily and with little input from me.
While the planning stage of a renovation needs to be robust there are issues that come up. Some issues are bigger than others.
The key tip to dealing with these problems is being solution focused. Every problem can be resolved and it’s about having the right mind set to find the right solution and keep moving forward.
Sometimes a compromise is necessary. Some clients find compromising a challenge because they want a perfect space but perfection is not the ideal end goal.
Instead, the aim is for a highly functional space that is also beautiful, and these two things can be achieved with the right planning and a solutions mind set.
Clear communication with lots of visuals are important for a stress free renovation. It helps all the people involved from the client, suppliers, to trades people understand the end goal.
When people know what they’re working towards a renovation, new build or extension can go smoothly.
It’s important to take the guesswork out of the project. For example, a client recently said that ‘in her head’ the kitchen splashback would be one continuous piece like engineered stone instead of large format tiles.
Even though I showed her what the size of the tile was, and that the specifications list also indicated the size of the tile. Never was stone for the splashback mentioned. Somewhere in this line of discussion there was a communication breakdown.
Another example was a tiler not reading the specification sheet and installing the tiles in a straight pattern not a brick pattern. In this instance the tiles had to come off and be re-installed.
Is it possible to have a smooth running build with my top three tips for a stress free renovation. These include robust planning, a solutions mind set and great communication amongst all the stakeholders.