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    Renovating your house? Here’s where to start

    7 things to know before you renovate your house

    Hannah | Oneflare

    So you’ve decided to renovate your house. Maybe you’ve just purchased a “fixer-upper”, or perhaps you’ve been spending the last few years dreaming up your ideal home.

    It can be an exciting adventure once you’ve made the decision, but also a daunting one. Whether you’re tackling one room, looking to purchase a kit home, or transforming an entire abode, you are going to have the home you’ve always wanted. There are many things you need to figure out, like your budget and timeline. But there are some big things you may not have considered yet.

    Taking some time to learn about the renovation process can help you in the long run, so you don’t run into any big surprises. Armed with the knowledge of these tips can help make any renovation process run smoother and cause you less stress along the way.

    Renovating your dream home can be exciting, but daunting / Source: In Design International Pty Ltd

    1. Know what you like

    If you’re going to spend the time and money to get the home you’ve always wanted, then make sure you’ll be happy with the final product. Unless you are renovating to sell your home and making it a standout real estate listing, you should choose elements and designs that bring you joy.

    For instance, if you don’t actually love the look of granite countertops, then you shouldn’t spend the time and money installing them. There are many kinds of counters to choose from, as you’ll discover as you begin making choices.

    Avoid feeling rushed or pressured by contractors by having a vision of your renovations before starting the build, and stick to your guns. If you only want to update your bathroom, that’s okay. You’re the boss of the project so choose what’s important to you!

    If you just want a cosmetic upgrade to your home that’s also fine, not all renovations include tearing down walls and changing the floorplan of your home. Having a general idea of what you like and dislike, including a mood board, will give you a better chance of ultimately loving the results of your home renovation.

    Try creating your wish list using the below questions:

    1. What do you want to achieve from your proposed renovation?
    2. What are the considerations of achieving your renovation?
    3. How do you want your home to look at the end of the renovation?

    2. Prepare for anything

    As you are about to begin the renovation process, it can be important to realize that the timeline or your budget might have to be flexible. In fact, you can pretty much count on it. While certain renovation shows are notorious for dramatizing those unexpected mishaps, those things do actually happen during renovations. It isn’t uncommon to hit an unexpected snag, so being prepared for it will lessen the impact.

    While you can have specific timelines laid out with your professionals, even ones with generous leeway can fall prey to equipment problems or shipping delays. These uncertainties cannot be completely avoided, but you can get ahead of the game by having a complete inspection and try to identify any red flags before the work begins.

    Hiring reputable professionals can help cut down on potential problems, so choose your renovation team carefully. Get recommendations from your friends and neighbours, read online reviews, and don’t be afraid to check their references and their Better Business Bureau status.

    You can also avoid delays by making sure you understand what regulations or permits your project requires. Every city and state code is different, but following the laws in your area will ensure your renovation will go as smoothly as possible, with no load-bearing walls coming down without a plan in place.

    3. What kind of flooring do you need?

    It may surprise you to learn that not all floors are created equal, and that there are many different kinds of flooring to choose from. While you can certainly have an idea in mind of what kind of floors will look great in your home, you may want to talk to your contractor about what variety may be in your best option.

    Some floors require more upkeep than others, so make a flooring decision that will work with your lifestyle. If you have small children or large dogs, you will also want to figure in the potential wear and tear to your floors and choose a more durable option from the range of flooring. Ask a flooring expert for their recommendations on what will work best for you!

    Having a professional measure your floor, and evaluate your subfloor and flag any potential issues is worth the time and effort. Other considerations such as your area’s climate may also factor into your choice as some floors don’t work well in extreme temperatures or humidity.

    Flooring is just one example, it’s also worth discussing with your contractor about all the materials and paint choices. Should you consider specialty drywall contractors to work in the bathroom? Will the hard water in your area leave your sink stained or hazy? Making sure you are happy with a design is one concern, but making sure it stands the test of time is equally important.

    4. It’s all in the detail

    Hopefully, your contractor will be able to walk you through what needs to be ordered to complete your project. Feel free to ask as many questions as necessary to make sure that you’re getting all the right things. You don’t want to order a toilet that doesn’t fit in your space, or not enough tile for your backsplash.

    It isn’t a bad idea to think about the big picture, and how you are going to use the room when it’s completed. Don’t get so carried about the important earlier steps that could derail your timeline. It’s great to be excited about the finished product but remember to stay focused on the different stages of the project and the role you play in its completion.

    It might be useful to create a renovation checklist that oversees the entire process before the actual renovation begins. Create a comprehensive checklist that includes sections for materials, budgets, tradespeople, inspections, council requirements and the design of your home renovation. Tailor your checklist to suit your renovation needs and add to the list as you go. Keep a copy of your checklist to avoid overspending and preventing forgetfulness.

    Create a mood board to effectively communicate your vision with contractors / Source: Archisoul Architects

    5. Be prepared for mess

    No matter how well you think you’ve taped off the area under construction, remember the rule of thumb that dust will be everywhere. As you prepare for your renovation, it’s a good idea to pack away any items that would be destroyed by excess dirt.This means your antique area rug should disappear for a while to avoid complete ruin.

    Try to cover all carpets, as your feet can track dust whenever you pass through, and it can be a real pain to clean. Sealing off rooms with zippered plastic can help keep down the dust, but nothing is foolproof. Be sure to cover air vents and try to keep the dust contained. Cover up as much furniture as possible during the remodel.

    Getting an air purifier can help keep the dust manageable during the renovation process. You will still probably have to clean and remove the dust from your home when it is complete. Dry dusting is the safest way to clean and make sure the particles don’t damage your walls or your lungs. If you want to avoid getting your hands dirty, hiring a professional cleaner when the work is complete is a safe bet for you to start enjoying your house renovations quicker.

    6. Before construction begins

    Check with your local authorities to see if building permits are needed for your building project. They may be necessary even if the project is minor renovations. This is important because if a building permit is required and construction begins without it, you could face heavy fines at best. At worst, you could be required to demolish any work that was completed without a permit.

    You may need either a planning permit, building permit or both. An accredited building surveyor can walk you through the requirements. You can also check with the local building board or department to see if you need to register your project. The requirements may increase as the project’s budge goes up. Make sure you and/or your builder has the correct proof of insurance for the project.

    A building permit application may need to include:

    • Professionally-drawn plans;
    • A copy of your land title or deed;
    • A copy of your planning permit;
    • Building specs, or specifications; and
    • An analysis of the site.

    7. Pay first, build second

    While filing for your permits, you will oftentimes need to pay certain fees. Typically these fees are required when submitting building permits. Again, your building surveyor can help you navigate the fees. The possible fees you will need to pay include:

    • A building permit fee. This will be in proportion to the total cost of the building project. The fee also varies depending on the project’s complexity.
    • A government levy or tax on the building permit.
    • Local filing fees.
    • You may also need to pay a bond against possible damage.

    Some special issues may require you to obtain additional permits. Your drafter or architect can help advise you. Some issues that may require special permits include building on land prone to flooding, on an easement or close to surrounding homeowners’ property.

    Once all the necessary pre-building procedures and permits have been filed and the fees are paid, you will be able to begin construction confident that everything is in order not only on your construction site but in the local government offices as well.

    8. Tools

    • Power tools
    • Sharpening tools
    • Hand tools
    • Cutting tools
    • Toolboxes

    Should I do a renovation course?

    Lots of people enjoy a spot of DIY or home decorating and dream of fixing up a property, either for their own use or for re-sale. TV home make-over shows often make this look easy and fun, and it can be if you’re properly educated and prepared. You can teach yourself some things from a book or the internet, but the best way to get the know-how you really need is by taking a course.

    What you’ll learn

    There are different courses available, naturally, so you’ll want to choose one that suits your needs the best. If you’re intending to do a lot of the work yourself, a building course might be more valuable than a renovation course, which generally teaches you the best way to go about hiring other people for the job.

    You’ll learn things like how to find the ideal property for renovation, how to source materials and how to sell the finished property for the highest profit. In addition, you’ll learn important skills in negotiating with builders and other tradespeople who you’ll need for your team. Another essential part of a renovation course is learning the logistics, such as planning, budgeting and scheduling. A good course should also have information about the administrative side of things, including planning permission, licenses and taxes.

    Choosing a course

    If you think that you could do with learning or brushing up on some of core elements of renovating, look at the available courses in your area and choose one that suits your specific needs and interests as closely as possible. Any time and money spent now on the course will save you so much more in the long term. There are some other things to consider when choosing the course, such as the teacher, the aims and the qualification you’ll receive. The teacher is perhaps the most important of these factors, and should ideally be someone with a lot of experience, perhaps even someone who has written a book on the subject.

    The aims of the course detail what exactly you should be able to do when you’re finished, what skills you’ll pick up, etc. Some courses will offer a certification, which can be nice to have, but is really a secondary consideration unless you’re thinking of turning professional. So, if you’re thinking of doing some renovation work, no matter the size of the project, don’t rule out taking a course or some kind of workshop. The skills and insider knowledge you’ll pick up will help considerably in both the short and long term.

    Power tools to consider

    Starting a home renovation project can be overwhelming, but having the right power tools can make the process smoother and more efficient. When it comes to starter power tools for a house renovation, there are a few essential items to consider. A cordless drill is a must-have for drilling holes and driving screws, while a circular saw is perfect for cutting straight lines and angles. A jigsaw is also important for cutting curves and intricate shapes. Popular brands in Australia include DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Certa, Ozito, Dynalink, Ryobi, and Mitre, all of which offer quality power tools that are durable and reliable. By investing in these starter power tools and choosing reputable brands, you can feel confident in tackling your next home renovation project.

    Sharpening tools to consider

    Sharpening your tools is an essential step to maintaining their cutting-edge and prolonging their lifespan, and of course, efficient renovation jobs. When it comes to choosing the right tool sharpener, you want to be sure that it can handle the specific types of tools you own. The Bunnings drill sharpener is a great choice for anyone with a collection of dull drill bits that need sharpening, while the Ozito multifunction sharpener can tackle a variety of tools, including knives, scissors, and chisels. With the right sharpener, you can rejuvenate your tools and get them back to functioning like new again.

    Hand tools

    Hand tools have been a staple of construction work for generations, and while power tools have certainly increased in popularity, there is still something inherently satisfying and reliable about using a good old-fashioned hand tool. Innovative designs have brought new features to the market, like the Renovator Better Grip tool, which has proven to be a game-changer for those working on DIY projects. Additionally, the Auspex crimping tool has made wire crimping faster and more efficient. These two tools are just a small example of how even seemingly simple hand tools can provide improved performance and convenience. Whether you’re a professional tradesperson or a weekend warrior, investing in reliable hand tools is a must.

    Cutting tools

    When it comes to home renovation, having the right cutting tools is essential. Choosing the right tool can make all the difference when it comes to completing your project quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the best cutting tools for home renovation: 

    1. Ozito Jigsaw – This lightweight jigsaw offers an efficient and reliable way to cut wood, metal, plastic and even ceramic tiles! It features a high-speed orbital action that results in clean cuts even on thick materials. Plus, its dust extraction port helps keep your work area clean while you renovate your home. 

    2. GMC Chainsaw – This powerful chainsaw is designed for comfort and efficiency with ergonomic handle grips and anti-vibration technology that lets you finish projects faster with less fatigue or strain on your back or arms making it perfect for use in DIY renovations. It also boasts a quick-stop chain brake for added safety during operation! 

    3. Bosch PKS 1500 – With this highly efficient circular saw you’ll get perfectly straight cuts every time – ideal if you’re replacing floorboards or working with laminates during renovations! The PKS 1500 works at up to 5500 rpm and has an adjustable depth stop so you can be sure of precise results each time! 

    4. Aldi 4 Stroke Chainsaw – This powerful yet easy-to-use chainsaw is perfect for pruning or trimming branches that may have grown close to walls or outside window frames during renovations as well as larger jobs such as cutting firewood by providing longer run times due to its low vibration four-stroke engine design that reduces fuel consumption and emissions too! 

    No matter what sort of home renovation tasks you have planned, these tools will help make them easier so you can finish quicker and enjoy your beautiful new space sooner rather than later!

    Tools boxes for starters

    When it comes to carrying and organizing tools, having the right equipment can make all the difference. Two popular options for storing and transporting tools are toolboxes and tool bags. A toolbox like the Geelong Toolbox is a classic choice, providing a sturdy metal casing and ample compartments for different types of tools. 

    On the other hand, a tool bag like the Tusker Tool Bag offers a more flexible and portable solution, allowing you to easily pack up and take your tools on the go. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, making it important to consider your specific needs and preferences before making a decision.

    Wrap up

    Once you’ve considered these elements of your renovation project, you can take your new knowledge and apply it to creating the home you’ve been dreaming of. Stay on track, on budget, and with a design you love to enjoy your renovation process – or at least the result. Don’t forget to have fun, you’re building your dream home after all – and remember to document the process with plenty of photos to remind yourself of the progress you’ve made.

    The key to a great renovation is preparedness and a plan, and now you have more information to make that happen.


    When should you triple grips?

    Triple grips, also known as three-pronged grips, are a type of tool used in various industries for secure fastening or gripping of objects. These grips feature three toothed edges that firmly hold onto the object being gripped, ensuring that it does not slip or move. They are commonly used in the electrical, automotive, and construction industries, among others. 

    When to use a v grip in shade cloth installations?

    A V grip is one of the most important components when it comes to installing shade cloth. It is typically used around the edge of a tensioned fabric or netting system and provides superior strength and stability by creating a secure connection between two pieces of material. It helps ensure that it will remain securely fastened, even under high winds or other extreme weather conditions.

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