Our guide to successfully planning your renovation- follow our 5 steps!

Planning a renovation can be very exciting, but let’s be real, no matter how big or small your project is, it can be really overwhelming and stressful with the endless decisions to make. From setting a budget, knowing what to plan for, employing the right team…… phew…. Just breathe!!

To help overcome that overwhelm, we’re sharing our top five tips to follow so you feel informed and empowered to successfully plan your renovation.  Remember that saying…

    “In failing to plan, you plan to fail”

Well that is very true when it comes to renovating…. So here we go….

1. Get clear on your goals for your renovation

Understand what your plan is for your home in both the medium to long term

  • Is this your forever home?
  • Are you planning to sell in the next 3-5 years or 5-10 years?
  • Are you flipping the house and selling it once your reno is complete?

These goals are very different and will change the way you approach your renovation. For instance, for a forever home, you will want to address the long-term needs of you and your family, and the investment will span the years that you live there.  Whereas a flip needs to focus on renovating for profit, and understanding what to invest in to deliver the greatest profit.

Renovation forever home
Wollstonecraft Project | McMillan Design

2. Set your renovation budget

Be very realistic and clear about what you can spend on your renovation

  • Include a buffer we recommend a minimum 10% of the renovation budget. It’s inevitable that some costs will blow out or that unexpected challenges will arise that you need to allow for.
  • Be savvy with how you spend your budget – focus on the spaces and items that will add the most value to your lifestyle and property. Use quality materials that will last the distance, and spend less on cosmetic items and seasonal trends.
  • Be open to the budget not covering everything you’ve dreamt of for your home. If your budget doesn’t allow for the whole renovation to be completed in one go, consider breaking it down into stages.
Floor plans McMillan Design, high impact renovation

3. Bring in the experts

It’s essential that you put the time into finding a great team of trades and other professionals such as an Architect, Interior Designer and Builder to plan and execute your project. It’s your hard-earned money that is being spent on this reno, so you want the best team possible! Tips to finding the right team are:

1. Ask friends or family for recommendations. Key questions to ask…

  • Were their trades reliable? Did they turn up when they were meant to and on time? Did they deliver what they promised?
  • Were the trades good to work with – pleasant and professional?
  • Did they get along with the other trades?

2. Do your own research. Read client reviews online and check out websites to view their previous work.

3. It’s worth getting a few quotes for each trade as it will give you a good sense of costs.  Always ensure you are comparing apples with apples though, and that the quotes offer comparable quality and service.

This quoting process will also help to give you a good sense of who is a good fit for you. Beware of simply basing your decision on cost alone, as skill and attitude are so important too. Don’t underestimate the benefit of having trades with a positive ‘can do’ attitude as it makes a huge difference when it comes to resolving any challenges that may arise on the project. It’s also important that you feel a good connection with your trades because they are often intimately involved in your life when your project is in progress.

Anna McMillan reviewing interior design samples

4. Get to know your design style

Having an overall vision for the look and feel you want for your home will help your team – the architect, interior designer and builder – to bring your home dreams to life. So, it’s important to have an idea of the style you’d like in your home from the beginning of the project.

Not everyone can define the exact design style they like, so the best place to start is to collect images of homes, rooms or finishes that you are drawn to. Check out Instagram, Pinterest and Magazines for inspiration.

For further help, check out my previous Blog articles – Defining your design style and Interesting sources of interior design inspiration.

Design Style Renovation
Mosman Project | McMillan Design

5. Be realistic with timing

As with budget, add a buffer for timing because renovations always take longer than expected due to unforeseen challenges that might arise – and trust me, they always do! Even the simplest things like bad weather or items being out of stock at the supplier can slow things down.

If you’re doing a major build, ensure that you allow time (and budget) for building applications and approvals.

McMillan Design
McMillan Design

Well there it is, 5 critical elements you need to think about when planning your renovation!

We hope that’s given you some direction to get started and ultimately helps make your renovation process simpler and smoother. Starting off on the right foot with good planning will give you momentum and confidence throughout the entire project.

Of course, if you’d like some support with your renovation and making your home dreams become a reality, then I’d love to help!  You can book in for a complimentary 20min Discovery Call by simply clicking here. Or enquire about working together here, and we will be in touch.


Anna x