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Design and plan your renovation before getting started, and you can add value to your home both now and into the future.

When thinking about home renovations, many of us will dream about what we want our home to look like. We think about the features we will add and how great our home will be once it is renovated.

However, without careful planning there are many factors that can be overlooked that can have a huge impact on your home and your family. These factors can make the difference between a great home renovation and one that can become a disaster.

So, if you’re looking for home renovation tips you’ve come to the right place!

This article is brought to you by Suzanne Burke, one of the co-authors of Nail Your Renovation Without Getting Screwed  – a riveting read packed with helpful advice and inspiring ideas for your next home renovation.

Find out if your home has asbestos

Many older homes have asbestos,  a dangerous product that when disturbed can release small fibres into the air. If/when these fibres are breathed in, they can cause serious and deadly health issues down the track. Before you start a renovation it is extremely important to find out if you have any asbestos in your home.

Even if you just want to drill into asbestos to hang a picture, you are putting yourself at risk. Before you do anything, get a licensed asbestos removal professional to visit your home and provide advice and organise removal if required.

Check your home for asbestos BEFORE you do anything else and keep yourself and your family safe.

Create a masterplan and get rid of the crappy bits

Before you start a major home renovation, make sure that you have a masterplan in place first. Even if you can only afford to build in stages, at least you will do so with a vision in place.

When deciding on a design, it is important to recognise and remove any poor handyman work that may have been done previously.

Steve Burke from Amerex Renovations and Additions has been renovating homes for over 20 years and says ‘I have come across countless homes that have had small home-handyman renovations done in the 1970s or 1980s that were done on the cheap. The first thing that I do before starting is to remove any poor workmanship.’

Adding onto any poorly constructed areas is really a case of throwing good money after bad.

Have a renovation budget

You absolutely need to know how much money you can, or want, to spend on your home renovation before you start. There is very little point in producing a grand design only to find out that it will cost far more than you can afford.

Talk to your bank, talk to your family/partner, and talk to a specialist renovation and addition builder early in the planning process. Make sure you know how much money you will need to achieve what you want.

There is nothing worse that starting a major home renovation and having to stop half-way through when you have run out of money.

Do it right and thank yourself in the future

For most people, the single biggest investment they make in their lives is buying their family home. It follows then, that the next biggest investment is making home improvements to their primary asset.

When renovations and additions are done to a high standard, the alterations will stand the test of time, and add value for many years to come.

At some time in the future, when the time comes to sell, a quality home renovation is likely to have increased the resale value.

On the other side of the coin, a poorly built home with poor quality finishes will degrade over time, and may cause unforeseen issues that are difficult or costly to fix further down the track if not done right the first time.

Will you be living in the home during construction?

If you have small children, it may be advisable to move out if your renovation involves major construction such as a large home extension or second-storey addition.

Construction work involves power tools, generates dust, is messy and is considered to be a high-risk working environment.

If you are going to live in the home while renovating, think about how you are going to ensure the safety of children and pets. How will you close off the construction areas? Perhaps you will need temporary fencing or will need to temporarily board up access doorways.

Plan ahead of time and keep your family safe. If you are engaging a builder, these are important questions to ask before the project commences.

Before and After comparison showing the external makeover by Amerex Renovations & Additions. It includes a complete re-roof and rendering of all the external walls.

Image by Amerex Renovations and Additions

Be excited! A home renovation is an exciting time in your life.

Some people embark on a major home renovation holding their breath and crossing their fingers. RELAX! It does not need to be stressful.

My best tip for making a renovation stress-free is to engage professionals with solid reputations where possible.

There are building designers that specialise in renovations and plenty of builders that are renovation experts too. Ask around and get referrals.

If you get a great designer and a quality builder on board you will be able to put your trust in them, and relax and enjoy the process. And, more importantly, enjoy the end result!