Regardless of the scale and cost of a renovation there are Several Stages to achieve your dream.
Most people enjoy a good cut and paste session and even the children can get involved!
Firstly, find yourself a good-sized piece of card (min A3) for each area you are planning to renovate.
Go through all the old magazines, articles, advertising etc you may have collected, go and get some free paint colour charts and try and get some freebies of fabrics, wallpaper, flooring, carpeting, tiles etc if you don’t ask you don’t get!
Now let the fun begin …….. get the scissors and paste out and start creating!!
So where do you begin… everyone has a different method. Some like to just put everything on the board in no particular order and others like to be really organised with their thought processes and put everything in boxes i.e. colour, fabric, tiles, flooring etc but it is good to do each area separately to start with and then when you try to make a final board for the complete renovation you can then see what flows and what doesn’t, what style works and what doesn’t but always remember whatever you feel is right is right.
You might like to start with the style so perhaps you like Hamptons, Classic, Mid Century Modern, Ultra-Modern, Boho, Country, Metro, nothing is off limits. The only limitation is your imagination.
Sometimes colour just pops out at you and creates the theme and other times it could be circled around a piece of furniture that you really MUST HAVE!
Once you have a good idea of what you would like then go in search of pricing so that you can work out a rough budget and make sure that you have a 10-20% buffer for each zone you are creating. The problem with most renovations or new builds come to that, is that the budget gets blown out once you search the market and see what wonderful finishes and styles are available.
Majority of homeowners do not have several $K of spare money sitting in the bank so the next stage before too much excitement sets in is to go to a lender and see what your “Real” budget is going to be. This will determine your next stage which is getting your design ideas on paper.
DESIGN ON PAPER
Getting the right person to take over your design process is very important and like most things in life our first reactions are often the right ones. People can try and persuade you to go with a certain person or a certain company in a certain location. This can be a daunting decision. The best tip is to make sure that you have written down a list of questions and don’t get derailed during your first meeting, as there is nothing worse than after a designer has left you have not covered half of the questions. Feel free to show them your mood board and if you have a rough idea of how you want the reno to be planned out, however rough a sketch is, this is incredibly valuable to the designer. One good tip is to think about your current property layout with regards to plumbing, electrics and wall positioning. If budgets are limited back to back plumbing for example can save a huge amount of money in piping and drainage.
Once you have employed your Building Designer you will then receive Concept Drawings and this is where your feedback really is so very important. This is a glimpse into your future functionality of your home be if for the next 2 years or the next 10 years. Think about what your needs and wants maybe and how easily the renovation can be adapted as the years progress. So, for example you are planning a family. Can the bedrooms you are thinking of adding will be adequate for a growing child? If you are aging will the design cope with any disabilities you may encounter? You have extended family that just “pop in” and need accommodating, will this design work? The questions are never ending but they are your questions to answer not the designers. A designer can suggest changes if they are aware of your needs and wants. This is a very special relationship that will be responsible for your future happy home environment.
GETTING APPROVALS THROUGH CERTIFICATION
Most Building Designers will arrange this on your behalf by liaising with structural engineers, soil test and town planner and ensuring that all designs whether within the current roof line or an extension comply with the relevant building act and associated standards and then forward all related plans and documents to a Building Certifier. If you are curious you can do your own homework by going onto the local council website to get an idea of what will be acceptable within your local planning scheme.
GETTING THE BUILDING UNDERWAY
You may already have a builder in mind and by this stage your Building Designer and builder would have met to discuss budget requirements, finishes, timing schedule etc. If you have no builder sourced, then your Building Designer can contact builders and put the plans to tender to get the best price possible. Always remember that during a reno or extension your home will become a building site. If you are prepared to go with the upheaval that’s fine but if not, you need to seriously consider whether you should find alternative accommodation for the duration of the work. Make sure that you take this into consideration in your budget and allow for a period of delay due to weather if an extension together with product supply and trade availability. Be realistic is the best advice we can give you, however, your builder should also take this into consideration when you enter into an agreement with projected weeks expected to complete your project.
We have compiled another leaflet on this matter and something that you should consider. Having a Project Manager on board takes the stress away from homeowners as all aspects of the build will be managed and any issues you may have can be raised directly with the Project Manager who will then liaise with Builder.
The fee for employing a Project Manager is a small percentage compared to the total project budget. Most industries have Project Manager’s and construction is no different. PM’s are experienced professionals and often as in the case of SSB Design Studio, our Principal Designer is also a qualified PM. A one-stop-shop makes the process seamless and the PM and Builder would have already met probably on several occasions, therefore the relationship has been built prior to commencement of the project.
If EVERYONE could do EVERYTHING, then NO-ONE would need ANYONE!
NO-ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING, SO WE ALWAYS NEED SOMEONE!
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About the Author: Simon Scott Principal Designer and Owner of SSB Design Studio