House on the water

Renovations require planning; Waterfront ones even more

As a home renovation expert, it’s easy to forget how complicated the renovation process can be for homeowners. Whether you want to build a granny flat, add a parent’s retreat, build a home office or expand the kitchen and laundry, there’s so much to consider that it can make your head spin! We have seen homeowners spend months investigating design ideas and colours for their renovations and then skip over some of the most essential steps in the whole renovation! 

So if you are ready to renovate your home, here are four essential steps that will help you to successfully renovate your home with the minimum of stress.

Building and renovating waterfront homes requires design and construction expertise. Water, the very thing that draws us in with its relaxing waves, can also cause misery. Extreme weather, like high winds or flood-inducing rains, must be taken into consideration. Coastal homes should consider the cost of flood insurance, and any requirements to bring the existing home up to current standards before purchase. Sometimes it can be less expensive in the long run to lift the home than to pay increased insurance premiums.

You need a design

Every successful renovation starts with a design plan! It’s so important that if you hire a renovation expert to help manage your project, one of the first questions they will ask you is – do you have a design plan? This isn’t just the back of an envelope plan or your mood board, to successfully complete your renovations on time and within budget, you need a high quality and accurate design plan. One of our biggest tips is to engage a draftsperson to draw up your plans, which you can use then to obtain accurate quotes from builders.

You need a budget

You don’t just need a budget, you need a realistic budget! If you don’t cost everything correctly, you either won’t be able to complete your renovations or you will have to borrow money. With a design plan to hand, you can do your own research and obtain a fair idea of the overall costs involved, before asking builders for quotes. To be fair, it’s a waste of time paying a draftsperson to draw up your plans if you don’t have a realistic budget, so you might want to do this research before having your plans drawn up. 

Sometimes it can be less expensive in the long run to lift the home than to pay increased insurance premiums.

You need a builder

The best builder for the job isn’t the one that gives you the cheapest quote, it’s the one that is a renovation expert – with the best experience, awesome reviews and a solid reputation for their work. You also want a realistic quote for the work, which any builder who makes a living out of repeat customers does automatically anyway. If you have done your research and you have a plan of your requirements, the builders’ quotes shouldn’t be a big surprise, instead they should confirm your own costings. Hopefully, this means that you only need to select a builder that you find easy to talk to and work with during your renovations, because all the quotes are fairly similar.

Do you need council approval?

Whilst most builders will submit all the necessary documents for any council approvals that are required, it’s always a good idea to check with your builder that this box has been ticked. Once your builder tells you that approval has been granted, always ask to see this approval yourself, just to be on the safe side. The last thing you want to happen is to complete the build and pay the builder, then find out 12 months later that you don’t have council approval! If your builder is a renovation expert, this won’t be an issue, but all the same, always make these checks yourself.

With these four tips, you shouldn’t have any problems finding the best renovation expert for your project and completing your project on time. Get an elevation certificate to determine limitations in permitting, and the cost of flood insurance.

Max Francisco