Home Renovation Planning Checklist

Posted by Brad Porteus on 3 December 2014

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Summer is coming; the warm weather is here, and that means it is the perfect time of the year to work on the house. Are you ready to start a new home renovation project? Whether you have done one before or not, there are several things that are important to keep in mind during the planning stages of your project.

Do it Yourself, or Hire a Contractor?

For some people, the answer to this is obvious, one way or the other. Consider your options by asking yourself a few questions and getting quotes from professionals you may consider hiring.

  • What renovation skills do you have? If your project includes plumbing, electrical work, adding walls or windows, painting, or insulation, how much experience do you have in any of these areas?
  • How much time or money do you have to spend? Hiring a contractor can, in some cases, be faster. You will spend less of your own time, but a contractor may not be immediately available, and you may need to be around to supervise the contractors. Contractors will likely be more expensive than doing the project yourself, but doing it yourself requires your time spent working on the renovation.
  • Do you have the required tools? Consider what tools you will need to do the project, whether you need to buy tools, rent tools, borrow tools, or if you already own the tools. If you do, or plan to do more related projects in the future, the cost of purchasing tools may factor into those projects as well.

After considering your skills, tools, time and money, if you still have not come to a conclusion, remember that you can do some of the renovation on your own and consult professionals for parts of it. If you know how to do windows, walls, and floors, but struggle with plumbing and electrical, consider only hiring professionals for those systems.

What is your Renovation Budget?

Many details of your project cannot be finalised until you know your budget. Consider both time and money that you can afford to spend on your renovation project.

Factor in all of your costs. Renovation costs include the cost of hiring professionals, tools and materials needed to complete the project, any insurance needed to complete the project, and the cost of time spent away from work or family to complete the project.

The more you do yourself, the more time and less money you will spend. The more you leave to professionals, the more money and potentially, less time you will spend.

If you’re working on a big reno project like a ‘fixer up’ home you’ve purchased it can help to get a professional building inspection before you begin. This will unveil all the absolutely necessary fixes that are needed to make the home liveable, and you can take the building report to a contractor so they can give you an accurate quote for each item – perfect to start planning your budget.

What Permits or Insurance do You Need?

Whether you choose to do your renovation project on your own, or you are hiring a contractor, it is important to check with your local building or permit office to make sure that your renovation is up to code, meets all inspections, and that you have the required permits to complete the project. The renovation will need to be structurally sound, and things like supporting walls and safety features will need to be considered. You may need a permit before you start, and an inspection after you finish.

Depending on who is completing your remodeling project, you may need insurance to cover premises liability, contractors who are injured, errors, disasters or vandals who damage your project before it is completed. Discuss insurance with a local insurance agent, or with your contractor if you choose to hire one.

Asbestos Inspections

In Australian buildings, asbestos is common – particularly in buildings erected before 2000. While we know today that asbestos is unhealthy and it is no longer used in construction, a renovation project in a building that does contain asbestos can be a danger to those doing the renovation, and those living or working in the home after the renovation if the asbestos is unburied or disturbed.

If you think you may have asbestos in your home, or if you’re unsure whether or not your home was built before the year 2000, it pays to get an asbestos material inspection. This will let you know where the asbestos is located in your home, how much there is and in what state the asbestos is, if it needs to be removed and how removal can happen, and advice on how to remove it.

If you have asbestos in your home, you can either have it removed, or you will need to make sure that it is not disturbed during the renovation process.

Once you’ve covered these areas and made all relevant decisions you’re ready to start on the more fun aspects of the home renovation – choosing designs, colours, decoration and finally enjoying your new addition or remodelled room!


Do you require a building inspection or asbestos inspection in preparation for your renovation project? Contact us today to book one in!