Avoid these Common Renovation Horror Stories

31 October 2018


Home makeover shows make it look so easy – an entire house renovated in the space of a one hour episode, but in real life, renovating is a huge undertaking with boundless potential for disaster. Here’s how you can prevent your home transformation from turning into one of these common renovation horror stories.

Majorly blowing your budget

Renovation cost blow-outs can usually be blamed on poor planning. When defining your budget, you have to account for your plans… well… not actually going to plan. With projects the size of renovations, something will inevitably go wrong. If you fail to account for possible setbacks, you could find yourself coughing up more money than you had set aside to fix problems quickly. Allowing yourself wiggle room in your budget will help absorb the cost of any issues that will come your way.

Discovering your plans aren’t compliant

Speaking of the unexpected, not accounting for the cost of making your renovation compliant with council regulations can bite you in the budget. This is especially important when renovating outdated older homes. Minor alterations to your home exterior or interior generally don’t require council approval but changes to services like plumbing, drainage, gas, or electrical need to pass an inspection by the relevant authority. You can check with your local council for relevant information and find out if your proposal requires planning approval by consulting a building certifier.

Your house becoming unliveable

Weeks into your renovation, the entire place is a mess and you barely have room to walk for the tools and materials cluttering your floors. You can make your renovation more manageable by doing one room at a time. Tackling more than one area at a time, especially functional areas like the kitchen or bathroom, can ensure you’ll be suffering through months of showering with a hose in the backyard or washing your dishes in the bathtub unless you have somewhere else to stay in the interim. Renovating a single area is also a good way for you to test out any tradespeople you hire before committing them to renovating the rest of your house. If it you insist on renovating the whole place at once, consider renting alternative accommodations to live in during the process.

Your contractors going M.I.A.

Renovating is expensive, so if you have to spend money on contractors, you want to be sure you get someone reliable. This is why vetting contractors before you hire them is so important. Ask friends or family for recommendations. Research reviews online, ask to see references, licences, and insurance policies, and take note of their communication in the initial contact stages. Communication is essential to making little problems known before they become even bigger issues, so make sure your contractor is responsive to calls and messages. Whatever you do, don’t just hire the lowest bidder or the first contractor you come across.

Need more advice on avoiding renovation horror stories? Step into your nearest Andersens store and talk to our friendly team members.

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