March 27th, 2020 in

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Featured Renovator – Becky Marshall from “Flipping The Flip”.

Today we are catching up with featured renovator Becky Marshall. Becky shares her renovation and home improvement adventures over on her blog Flipping the Flip.

I have been following Becky’s adventures for a while now, and apart from being jealous about how often she posts her blogs (something I suck at), I also admire her give it a go attitude.

Becky has tackled all kinds of projects herself such as kitchen modifications, painting projects, electrical modifications, shelving, pocket door installations and much, much more (some pic’s below). If you need some DIY inspiration I suggest checking out Becky’s blog.

I thought I would ask Becky a few questions about her renovation journey so that she can share her story with us.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your renovation project “Flipping the Flip”.

Long story short, my first career was theatre in Chicago for many many years as a prop master and scenic designer. Eventually I went back to graduate school and earned an M.F.A. in Interior Architecture. Recently I’ve been working in the television and film industry as a set designer which has included stints at Chicago Fire, Sirens, Jupiter Ascending, and most recently a pilot episode, The Exorcist.

Flipping the Flip came about as an upshot of my various careers making and designing things melding with the latest target of my attention, the house my husband and I bought from a flipper.  That flipper, it turns out, made many a questionable choice and his workmanship left a lot to be desired. The stories of all the work I was doing began piling up in my head so I decided to start a blog with the hope that others could learn from my adventures.

Finn inspecting the renovations.

 

How long have you been renovating your house, and was it always your plan to make the modifications to it?

We bought this house in June 2013 and the pace of working on it, the list of projects, has ramped up over time. We had always planned to remove some trim and repaint every room. Things mushroomed after we moved in and discovered all the things the house flipper had done, or didn’t do, or should have done. Some of his decorating choices and “fixes” were so bad no human should be subjected to them so it became my mission to undo, fix, and improve just about everything he had done.

A photo of Becky's renovated dining room

 

What inspired you to get on the tools and have a go at tackling some of your own projects around the house?

I’ve always been a handy person, a designer type, and a power tool lover so it was a natural progression. It began with the repainting initially, getting up close and personal with the house, seeing all that was done or not done. As I was painting I’d think, well, I best fix that while I’m here. Things rapidly eroded from a “hey, wouldn’t it be nice if…,” to becoming a “I bet I could do that if I tried…” thing. Part of it stems from the desire to be self-sufficient, to learn things and be able to take care of them myself, and part of it comes from the desire to be budget-minded with such a lengthy list.

Becky's renovated kitchen splash back with tiles and grout.

 

If you had to pick one thing in relation to your renovation that you are proud of what would that be?

Boy, that’s tough. As I move from project to project and I see things taking shape around the house, it’s hard to pick just one. I don’t mean to sound boastful; in a simple comparison of the house as-bought to how things are to date, the difference is definite and vast. If pressed though, my latest one, a pocket door to our master bathroom, is the biggest project I have ever undertaken and probably the one I’m most proud of lately.

Becky's custom install of a pocket door.

 

Have you found any of your remodelling tasks stressful, if so how do you go about problem-solving some of these tasks?

Oh my gosh yes. Yes! I tend to un-smartly plow head-first into projects, so I need to first slow myself down. If it’s larger like painting our kitchen cabinets or installing wallpaper or the pocket door, I take time to plan and write out all the steps, how I want to accomplish each task, and how I want the end result to be before even lifting a finger. I find that helps keep the stress tamped as I’m then able to take the project one single step at a time, one small goal at a time thereby feeling less overwhelmed. In the case of the pocket door, I ended up taking several days to plan, prep, do math, write down every single step in order, even draw it out on the computer. That was my most stressful project to date and I found I needed to really parse it down to finest detail.

Pantry Pallet Wood Floor Project

 

If there was one piece of advice that you could give someone about to start on their own DIY renovation journey what would that be?

Don’t be afraid. Ok, be a little afraid as that’s a healthy reminder to be careful and take your time but do not be afraid to try something. Be smart and know your limits but fear of trying something new is squashed by the rush of accomplishment. The worst that can happen is you make a mistake but I think mistakes are not mistakes; they are a golden opportunity to learn and try again.

A Photo of Becky's library renovation

 

Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us Becky, and we look forward to following along with the rest of your DIY renovation journey as it unfolds.

Are you hands on like Becky when it comes to getting things done? If so tell us about it in the comments section below, we would love to hear about it.

Thanks Guys, take care.

Cheers,

James Mason

 


 

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June 12th, 2020 in

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Cost to renovate a house: Interior, Exterior and Room wise split-up

The cost to renovate your house can range from $20,000 to $300,000 or even more if you are willing to burn cash to ready your home.

Don’t panic the 6 figure, your renovation project might not require that big a budget. In fact, most renovation projects in Australia costs around $100,000 for a 3-bedroom house.

So here is a complete guide to finding the budget for your dream home. If you don’t have a renovation idea in mind, it is still advisable to know the basics first and then find a design that fits in the budget.

house fund

Renovation cost per square meter

The renovation cost per square meter will give you an approximated figure on how much you will be spending on your house.

According to industry data, the average cost to renovate a house is between $2,000 to $2,500 per square meter here in Australia. In my experience renovating custom projects, the price can go up to $4,000.

How do I get to this number? Well, I have taken all the financial data from every house I have renovated over the last 20 years and the average from all of my projects is closer to $3,000.

That takes into consideration that most of my renovations were custom designs by architects and usually involved putting a second story on a single-story home and fully refurbishing the existing dwelling.

You can get project home builders that pump out the same design over and over for as low as $1,500 per meter square. But if you are on this site you are most probably not looking for that option.

Now, is calculating the cost per square meter the best way to estimate what your renovation project will cost you? In my opinion the answer is NO!

So, how else to estimate the budget by yourself.

Cost Calculators? Yes, they can be helpful to an extent. But most of them generalize the amount and do not provide options to select every varying factor.

Or you can handpick the elements and rooms to be renovated from the list below and nail the budget.

 

complete bathroom renovation project

Interior renovation: Room wise split-up

Do you know the kitchen and bathroom are the most renovated rooms in the house? Not only it has the most potential to be damaged and look outdated over time, it is the most valued areas home buyers look into as part of home evaluation. They are also the most difficult rooms to renovate that requires many different tradesmen.

Kitchen renovation cost: $10,000 to $45,000

This is will factor in the costs of countertops, kitchen appliances, cabinets, and the labour involved in the relocation/re-laying of pipes and electric line.

Bathroom renovation cost: $10,000 to $40,000

The average bathroom renovation expense is around $30,000 for a modern bathroom with bath. Though there isn’t much to buy new, the tiling across the wall and floor, resurfacing the bathtub and many other things bloat the expenses.

Living room renovation cost: $10,000 to $15,000

The most viewed room of any home. Though there isn’t much except furniture, the expenses are directed towards interior design and décor to give a good impression.

Bedroom renovation cost: $2,000 to 25,000

You can do just the paint and flooring for $2,000 or go full on to get a fresh look for $25,000. The price can go up to $35,000 for en-suite bedroom.

Laundry and wash area renovation cost: $15,000 to 20,000

There is not much to choose in this small portion of the house. You can do a luxury laundry renovation for $2,000 more than regular.

 

 

 

Exterior renovation:

Exterior renovation and maintenance is something not many touch unless they are planning to sell the house. But it shouldn’t be the case. You must take care of the exterior paint and garden from time to time.

Exterior painting cost: $10,000

An average-sized, single storey 2/3 bedroom house costs no more than $10,000 for painting the exteriors. If you factor in the recladding and insulation work you might expect a bill around $35,000.

Garden and deck renovation cost: $2,000 to $10,000

Depending on the surface area of the garden and deck you will have an expense lower than 10,000 for landscaping, basic light setup and fencing. For additional elements like an outdoor kitchen, BBQ or bar you might have to go beyond the budget.

Ventilation system cost: $2,000 to $5,000

One of the cheapest in home renovation is the roof ventilation replacement.

Roofing cost: $10,000 to $20,000

The cost of taking down and replacing the roof is going to largely vary with the choice of material. Corrugated Iron Roof is estimated to cost around $15,000.

home exterior

Home extension:

Some times you do not stop with the house renovation. You might need to add an extra room to accommodate the new member of the family or add a pool. Either way here is the cost involved in home extension projects.

Keep in mind this is going to bounce your budget way more than you think.

Swimming pool installation: starting from $35,000

The starting range of 7.5*4 meter fibreglass pool installation is going to cost you $35,000 without taking into account the cost of covers, decking, landscaping, etc. Concrete pools of the same size cost around $55,000.

Loft conversion cost: $200,000 to $450,000

This one thing is going to cost even more than the whole renovation budget itself. But it is an easy home extension if you need an extra room.

 

Miscellaneous renovation cost that you must know:

Individual prices of some of the common renovation work carried out in a house is listed so that you can add them in your budget. Please note, these work costs are already added in the room wise price if they are required. If you are looking for doing any of the specific tasks but not the whole room, only then add these costs to your budget list.

Designing: 5% to 20% of project value

The design and planning play a larger part in the pre-construction phase that can not be overlooked. You will most often require an architect or builders help to plan your home renovation. The price ranges from $1200 to $1800 for new builds and house extensions.

License, permits, insurance and other documents:

Contact your local council for more information.

Double glazing cost for the bathroom: $10,000

It can almost reduce the expense by half otherwise spent on buying new joinery.

Asbestos removal cost: $500 to $9,500

An unsafe process handled only by professionals will vary depending on the size of the house.

Rubbish removal: $300 to $2000

Skip bin is a buffer to store the demolished remains and other waste from the construction site that will later be disposed of. Depending on the waste, you need to order a bigger skip bin.

Flooring installation price: $50 to $200 depending on floor type

Carpet installation price: $175 to $750 for installation alone.

Interior house painting: $600 to $3,400 including labour and paint.

Interior decoration: $170 to $320 per hour (decors to be bought separately)

 

The budgeting doesn’t end here. There are some un-accountable expenses like transportation of materials and then there is the risk factor – unexpected expenses. Every project is different and has its own unique cost factors such as:

  • Access to the property, is it easy or hard to get materials and trucks into?
  • Is the renovation just a square box added to the back of the house, or an architectural masterpiece?
  • Are there any specialised building materials being used?
  • Are the finishes high end or budget?
  • Will major structural modifications be made to the existing house?

The above are just a handful of questions that you need to ask yourself before you take the cookie-cutter approach of adding a cost per square meter to your design. Leave a good headroom of 5-10% of the total cost for such expenses to avoid nightmares amidst construction period.

The geography of the house is a varying factor that you need to take account of while budgeting. It reflects in the cost of material and costs involved in licensing and buying permits and most of all labour costs. For example, the kitchen renovation labour costs an average of $50 in Queensland compared to $80 in New South Wales.

 

So, what is your budget?

Is the number bigger than you anticipated? It is to most of us. The main reason being the numerous renovation TV shows we are used to.

It doesn’t mean renovation shows are false either. Remember they do most of the work by themselves and do not have a profit margin at all. I know you are already thinking about DIY home renovation. But wait.

 

DIY home renovation

DIY home renovation: Things to know before you start

Taking responsibility and doing as much work by yourself is the best way to save money and get more involved in your home renovation project. But there are some caveats.

  • Construction is not easy. You need proper training to do work with the same quality as professionals.
  • Even with utmost dedication, you need to draw a line. You can’t take responsibility for all of the work. Speciality work like plumbing, electrical and Asbestos removal requires proper licensing along with online courses and training.
  • You need to spend money and time in the pre-construction phase if you are serious about taking complex DIY renovation work. The money you need to spend on licenses is going to be lesser than that you pay to the professional otherwise. But make sure you have enough time to spend on learning and on the site, especially if you want to be an owner-builder. Owner builder has a responsibility equal to the fulltime job of a building contractor.
  • With all that set, the risk of falling is higher when you swap out professional workers with yourself. So, have a larger contingency fund. Take proper insurances and be prepared for any mishaps.

My advice is to take DIY work only if you feel so short on funding and have plenty of time in hand.

 

Final thoughts

To wind it up, there is an easy and straight forward way to get an accurate figure or even a ballpark cost before starting your design is to talk with two to three professionals (I.e. Architects or Builders) about what you are proposing to do and take the averages of the estimates to get a starting point.

If you proceed to the next stage of getting your concept plans drawn, this will be enough for you to get tenders on before you move onto the final design, and give you room to scale up or down depending on the estimated costs.

Have you recently been given a square meter price to renovate your home? If so tell us about your experience in the comments section below to start the conversation.


 

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March 28th, 2020 in

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How long does it take to renovate a house? Renovation time calculator

The average duration for home renovation takes between 4 to 8 months. There are exceptions to this rule when the projects are very small or big in size, but most home renovations will fall somewhere within this timeline.

If you are fully renovating or remodelling your house, chances are it could take up to 6- 8 months or even more if you are adding large spaces with architectural detail. In case of renovating kitchen and bathroom with some minor cosmetic changes then it could be a just matter of few weeks.

 

James Construction Timeline method: calculating home renovation durations made easy

With more than 20 years of experience in the construction field working in hundreds of construction and renovation projects, here is what I found.

For a full-time builder or project manager, for every $80,000 of work that needs to be performed, a time commitment of 4–6 weeks is required. This does not include any of the upfront pre-commencement work; we will touch on these time frames later. This is called James Construction Timeline Method (named by myself) or simply JCT method.

I.e. if you were looking to spend $150,000, build time could be between 7.5 weeks and 11.25 weeks, or if you are spending $500,000 (Calculate as follows -> 500K  -:- 80K = 6.25; (6.25 * 4) weeks to (6.25 * 6 ) weeks = 25 weeks to 37.5 weeks approximately 9 months).

 

Note: This is not an exact scientific derivation but looking back over the data from my completed projects, I can say it comes pretty close to this figure.

To clarify the above I’m only talking about build time on site, I.e. When you strike your first blow with the hammer to vacuuming the dust off the floor for the last time.

You still have to factor in preliminary work that includes design, planning, getting permits etc.

 

The preliminary stages for most projects (if done correctly) can and probably should take longer than the construction time on site.

house renovation

What other time needs to be factored in?

Before you strike your first blow there are 3 critical stages that need to be done before and 1 more stage after it. So, that’s a total of 5 Key stages that all my renovation and builder’s course covers.

These key stages are listed below with some average times for how long each stage may take –

 

  1. The Research Stage – 2 weeks to 2 months or more.
  2. Plan Stage – 2 months to 6 months or more.
  3. Pre- Construction Stage – 3 months to 6 months.
  4. Construction Stage – Use JCT method to find the time duration for your construction project. ((4 weeks to 6 weeks on average per $80K of building cost).
  5. Project Completion Stage. – 3 months.

 

If you are reading this article, you are probably in one of the first three stages, more than likely in the initial research stage.

The Research stage

The Research stage is when you have first decided that you want to renovate your property and start to do your homework. You will start by working out what you can afford to spend. Start looking at the style of renovation you want. Search blogs and social media for ideas and inspiration, talk with other people who have renovated and generally start to build an idea in your mind of what you want.

Depending on how much homework you choose to do you could take anywhere from 2weeks to 2months for this stage.

TIP – Keep an organized filing system during your Research Stage where you can store all your information and ideas that you come across. This will help to communicate your ideas in the next stage of the process.

 

The Plan Stage

Plan Stage. This stage is where you get your ideas out of your head and down on paper in some form of a plan or sketch. So how long should this stage take? well depending on how many revisions you go for your initial concept drawing and the scale of your project it could be anywhere from a few months to six months or more.

I know 6 months might seem so distant. But going back and forth between a drafter or architect and your friends and family is a long process.  It took 6 months to get our plans ready for the “Small Space Big Build Project”, and over 12 months in total before we were ready to start on site.

 

The Pre-Construction Stage

Pre-Construction Stage consists of getting approvals from the relevant authorities. Here in Australia it is referred to as a Development Application (or DA for short). Along with getting your approval granted there is also time required for mapping out the timeline and schedule for your works, organizing trade contractors and material supply quotations and the selections process.

In my opinion, the Pre-Construction Stage is the largest most time-consuming stage out of all the 5 stages. You really need to put a lot of work in to ensure smooth running of the project. In retaliation to timing, t really does come down to how complex your project is. If you are doing a relatively small renovation (i.e $100K) 3 months may get you out of trouble. But for larger projects,6 months’ worth of planning may be closer to what it actually takes.

 

The project completion stage

Lastly after the Construction Stage is completed the final stage of Project Completion Stage comes. This stage takes into account all the requirements for obtaining final sign off by the relevant authorities. You are required to obtain an occupancy certificate upon completion of the construction works. It is not required for smaller renovations where a DA approval is not required.

There are also warranties and defects liability periods that you should enforce with your tradies and contractors. Some defects liability periods on average are around 3 months after the contractor has completed their work. So, I recommend allowing another 3 months at the end of the renovation to encompass all of the warranties and liability periods.

 

There you have it. I know it’s a lot of info to take in, but we are only just scratching the surface. Each one of these stages will have its own complexities and special requirements based on your own individual project. It’s my job to try and lay out as much of that information as possible.

 

I hope this information comes in handy, please feel free to drop any questions in the comments section below.

 

Until next time, happy renovating.

 

James Mason.


 

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July 26th, 2020 in

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How to prepare renovation plans and sketches? (with cost indication)

Confused where to start your renovation planning? Not sure whether you require a proper plan on paper? Don’t worry. As always James has got the answer for you.

Planning is an essential part of the renovation project that needs to shared amongst every contractor, subcontractor working in the project and might also be required for some legal procedures.

So, there is no way you can miss out on planning. Now getting to the real question of ‘how to get you renovation plan drafted?’

Well, You can do it yourself depending on the type of work you and your budget. Or hire other tradespersons to do it which is the common practice.

Do I need to put out a plan for a home renovation?

No matter how big or small your project, you must have a renovation plan set down on paper!

I can almost hear some of you saying “But I’m only doing some small internal modifications/renovating a bathroom/removing a doorway, why would I need a plan for the renovation?”

The answer is: You must put out a plan for the successful building experience. The more planning you do up-front, including getting your ideas on paper, the easier the next stags will be.

Plus, I GUARANTEE that you will save yourself money by being organized. Subcontractors, tradesman, and suppliers will want to work with you if you are organized. If you’re not, you will quite literally pay the price in terms of money and time.

Unfortunately, if the people you are looking to work with on your project get the slightest hint that you are unorganised, they will factor this into their pricing to compensate for the extra running around and organising that they will need to do.

 

Do I need development approval?

To best determine if approval is required, you should contact your local council and ask to speak with a duty planner to discuss the work you are proposing to do. They will have guidelines and information you can use to assess this. Most professionals, including builders, building consultants, draftsman, and architects, should be able to point you in the right direction, but I always recommend doing your research as well.

Generally speaking, projects that would not require approval are non-structural internal modifications that are classed as “making good an original item or internal area of your property.”

For example a new internal coat of paint and lining, some bathroom refurbishments, kitchen replacements, new furnishings such as doors, handles, skirting, architraves, cornices, carpets and floorboards.

NOTE: some dwellings may be heritage sites, and even replacing or removing internal fixtures may require council approval. I recommend you do your homework if you think you fall into this category.

Don’t freak out! Renovation Planning is not complicated or costly.

You don’t have to spend thousands if you are only doing small jobs; sometimes a simple sketch that can be replicated and distributed is enough to get you started. Plus, there are various programs I use that can help you with drafting. I will touch on those later.

On the flip side, if you are doing major work, you should be expecting to spend thousands and even tens of thousands depending on the scale of the project and the detail involved. Planning is one of the 5 major stages of any construction project without which you can move further.

So we come back to the original question: Do I draw something myself, or engage a draftsman/an architect/a builder/building consultant?

 

Plans and sketches for a renovation

 

How to draw your own renovation plans?

I would only recommend this if the work is minor and does not require approval by the council, or the relevant authorities, and you have the idea and confidence to write down exactly what you want to do.

There are two way to do it yourself. First is taking a formal approach and using industry famous tools to design your own renovation plan. While that is not easy, you have plenty of tutorials to learn. All you need is time and basic knowledge on planning.

The second method is doing it by yourself with just a pencil, paper and measuring tape. A minimal representation of the ideas in mind which the contractors can develop on. these are ideal for basic renovation projects only.

 

Draw your own renovation floor plans with an online software package

Now if you do want to have a crack at getting your own ideas onto a renovation plan, I recommend trying  Edrawsoft which in an online programme that has some great packages and tutorials for beginners, they have a FREE TRIAL that can be downloaded to play with, and if you want to purchase the program its around $149. It’s a pretty simple drop and drag-style of program, so once you watch a few tutorials and draw your first few plans it will be pretty straight forward.

There is a tonne of different software packages out there that you could use if you want complete control over what you do. Some of them are great – but others are, well… crap! Here are my top picks.

EDRAW

 

SMART DRAW

 

SKETCH UP

  • A very powerful 3D modelling program.
  • Can come in handy to draw details if 3D visualisation is needed.
  • Note: This program has a big learning curve and will take a lot of study to go through the video tutorials and learn. Certainly not recommended for the beginner.
  • There are free and paid versions. Check out: sketchup.com

 

Draw your own plans by sketching out a scale diagram on the paper, and then scanning and saving

If you feel that a hand-drawn sketch with notes and instructions will suffice for your basic project, then that’s fine. Make sure you can save, copy, and distribute your plan and instructions to your various contractors and suppliers. A formal document that can be referenced is required when you enter into a contract with them.

This option is the most ‘hands-on’! Depending on how you’re going to use it, you can be as precise or as rough as need be.

If you’re going to be doing most of the work yourself then you’ll want to be as bang on with measurements as possible. On the other hand, if you’ll be using a project manager/builder to do it for you – then a rough sketch is ok.

Its important to be accurate with all your measurements, so your bathroom floor plans match what you plan on building on site. For example, lengths and heights of walls, where vanities and basins will be positioned, taps, cabinets, light fittings, towel rails, toilets etc all need to be carefully positioned and marked down on plan.

Keep in mind, the reason you’re scanning and saving your bathroom floor plans is so they can be emailed and reprinted. Don’t just make one copy!

I would also recommend having the various people you hire sign a copy of your plan along with a contract, but we can touch more on this when we get to the CONTRACTS section of the site. For now, we will stick to getting your renovation plans onto paper.

 

Engaging a draftsman, architect, builder, or building consultant to draw a renovation plan

To start with, let’s break the different options down and discuss the differences between them. The following are broad descriptions of each title, and every one of them may actually have differing skills and accreditations depending on each individual’s qualifications and business structures.

 

A draftsman (or draftsperson) is someone who makes detailed technical plans or drawings.

An architect is a person trained and licensed to plan, design, and oversee the construction of buildings. The practising architecture provides services relating to the design and construction of buildings. They also work on spaces surrounding the building that is principally used for human occupancy.

A builder is a person who constructs something by putting parts or materials together over a period of time. His job is to plan, supervise, build, coordinate, repair, and warrant all works performed to clients.

A building consultant can be a builder, an architect, surveyor, engineer, project manager, or interior designer, among others. The job of a building consultant is to give advice or to undertake tasks that are related to the building industry, including the design and supervision of various building components.

When looking to engage any of the above, you need to consider a few of the following: the size of your project, your budget, and your knowledge of the building process.

 

Alternate methods

There are also sites that offer off-the-shelf plans, such as www.houseplans.com and www.dreamhomesource.com. Both are American websites, but there are various Australian sites as well.

I would only look at using these services to get ideas if you’re building a new home. Even then, I would engage someone in your local area to tailor the plans to your specific ideas. That way they can assist you in drafting full construction drawings, which are more detailed and costly than just concept plans.

 

IMPORTANT TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN DRAFTING YOUR RENOVATION PLANS WITH ANY OF THE ABOVE 3 OPTIONS

You’ll need to make sure you include the following in your bathroom floor plans, especially if you’re doing it yourself:

  • Plumbing layout for all services to be shown including heights of taps, mixers and spouts.
  • Electrical layout to be shown for all light points including LED strip lighting, downlights, pendant fittings, exhaust fans, light switching points, power points, heated towel racks and under floor heating including thermostat locations.
  • Tiling layout to be considered, will there be a step down in the shower, if so mark it on the plan. Will there be any feature walls? If so mark them on the plan as well. Is there a particular pattern you would like the tiles laid, i.e. brick pattern, diagonal? Where should cut tiles be placed, at the doorway, bath or other location? Thinking about the set out of tiles is important.

 

Cost involved in renovation plans and sketches

If you have a healthy budget then an architect would be my recommendation. Keep in mind that depending on how much of the project you want them to manage; from the small stuff, like producing the drawings and documents, to the larger, like managing the entire process from concept to completion. You could be looking at anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000 for the construction of a new home.

For an average residential renovation project that costs around $500,000, you could be looking at an average of about $30,000–40,000. This is for the architect to take your renovation plans from concept stage through to the construction-certification stage. Meaning: ready to being onsite with all approvals. This excludes any external consultant fees, such as surveyors, engineers, and council fees.

NOTE: Some architects also work on a percentage of the overall estimated building cost.

For the same example above, if you were to use one of the other options like a draftsman, builder, or building consultant, you could save yourself some money. Because their average prices range from $10,000–25,000 for a similar service. The draftsman is the most economical and building consultants being the most expensive.

You can save even more if you know a little about building and the various steps along the way. Be prepared to study and do your homework regarding the approval’s process in that case.

 

Other costs involved in planning

There are also other factors that need to be taken into account when calculating planning costs.  A big one is the specifications and selection of finishes. The degree to which you need your chosen professional to assist you will also factor in the cost of their offered services.

The above examples on renovation plan-drafting and associated costs are based on my experiences only, so the costs for these services will vary from state to state and, of course, country. I suggest doing your homework and contacting a few of each type of professional that I have listed above. You will get an idea of the costs and services they offer before deciding which is the right fit.

 

No matter which path you chose to go down with your renovation plans, expect there to be a few revisions once you figure out your initial concept, as it’s rare that you will nail it the first time around.

Budget is another thing that needs to be taken into consideration when drafting your renovation plans. You must design something around what you are willing or able to spend. I recommend having an estimate performed on the concepts before your plans are finalized so that you will know if it’s within your budget.

 

Getting Organized With a Renovation Project Plan

As with any home improvement job, you really should have a renovation project plan before you get started. It’s a bit like a recipe – you can’t bake a cake without knowing the ingredients!

This stage of the project might seem boring, but creating a good filing system where you can keep all your information stored is critical to staying organized.

This really is a simple two-step process.

Step 1: Gather the Information

So the first thing to do is look at the different types of information you’ll need to gather to undertake all the bathroom renovation jobs.

This information will come from a variety of places and include for example:

  • Research – ideas, products, suppliers, contractors etc.
  • Bathroom renovation plans
  • Local council/State regulator regulations & approvals
  • Contractor agreements & contact details
  • Budget
  • Construction schedule
  • Supplies – types of products you’ll need to finish the renovation

This list is by no means complete but it gives you some idea of how broad the info gathering process is and why you need a renovation project plan.

renovation project plan contracts

 

Step 2: Organize the Information

Pretty soon you’ll start to see all the info piling up so you’ll need to organise it so you can find it later on. Going back to the good old-fashioned ‘filing cabinet’ approach, start by setting up some key folders – electronic or paper (I suggest both).

Try setting this up before you start gathering the info. That way you won’t have to backtrack and waste time re-filing or tracking down loose bits.

WHAT IS A JOB FILING SYSTEM?

A Job Filing system is simply a series of folders for all the items you may use in your renovation that can be accessed with the click of a button. An example of this is below, let’s call it “Bathroom Renovation 101”.

Create a folder on your computer that is easy to access and name it what you want (i.e. Bathroom Renovation 101), then you will need to create all the subfolders inside of the project folder like the ones below:

Renovation project plan filing system

 

Here is a download link to populate these folders on your computer and save some typing – Bathroom Renovation Job File Structure Folders

Now you may not need all these subcategories for your renovation, but it’s a pretty good example of all the things you may need to cover when doing a full blown bathroom renovation.

The idea of having all these folders is so that you can save all your information in relation to your project into these folders as you go, and be able to have that info at your fingertips in an organized manner when you need to re visit it.

Some of the folders I will go on to discuss in more detail when we cover those topics (i.e. Construction Schedule & Finishes Schedule), but most are self-explanatory.

STAY ORGANIZED AND STAY IN CONTROL

So this stage is pretty simple, but do it right and get organized upfront before starting. It’ll help you to stay on track and on top of things.

You’d be surprised at the number of stressed out people renovating – so don’t become one yourself!

This step, along with the selection’s process, will be required to help finalize your design and all that it encompasses prior to starting on site. Remember that the more planning, homework, and research you do upfront in the pre-commencement stage, the better the building experience you will have.

 

Until next time, Happy Renovating!

 

James Mason.


 

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