5 Actions to Take Before You Renovate

Renovating your home is a substantial commitment of both your time and financial resources. Therefore, it is imperative to engage in thoughtful pre-planning before embarking on any renovation project. These preliminary steps will not only set you on the right path but also ensure that you establish realistic goals and expectations for your renovation journey.

The following five actions are essential to guide you through this preparatory phase:

1. Obtain a Property Appraisal

Start by arranging for 1-2 local real estate agents to provide you with a detailed property appraisal, considering both the current state and potential post-renovation value.

This step is pivotal in establishing a realistic budget for your renovation, to avoid overcapitalisation.

Local estate agents possess insights into the specific preferences of potential buyers in your area.  They can advise you on which additions and improvements are likely to yield the highest return on investment.  Factors such as the local demographics may influence whether additional bedrooms, outdoor spaces, spacious kitchens or recreational areas would be most advantageous.

Remember, that your budget should encompass not only the cost of the construction, but also consultants, statutory fees, furniture and appliances, and other related costs to determine a comprehensive project budget.

2. Consult with Your Lender or Mortgage Broker

It is imperative to determine your borrowing capacity and understand available loan options in order to formulate an accurate budget for your renovation.

A clear understanding of your financial position will empower you to collaborate effectively with your Architect, ensuring that your envisioned design aligns with your budget.

Keep in mind that the type of loan you secure will influence your contractual arrangements with a builder.  Therefore, acquiring this information early in the process will facilitate your engagement with your preferred builder.

3. Define Your Renovation Goals and Priorities

We encourage a brainstorming session to create a comprehensive wish list for a renovation, without constraints.  Subsequently, refine the wish list into two distinct categories: “Must Have” and “Desirable”. This ensures that you prioritise your most critical renovation goals while acknowledging that not all wishes may be attainable.

Reflect upon your current home identifying aspects that you love and those you wish to improve.  For example, you may appreciate the existing floorplan, but need more natural light in certain areas.

Consider your current and future lifestyle and how a renovated home can seamlessly integrate with your family’s evolving requirements.

To facilitate this process, we recommend utilising our Project Starter Worksheet, and don’t hesitate to revisit and refine your objectives multiple times until you arrive at your renovation’s core priorities. Click here to download a copy of our Project Starter Worksheet.

4. Select and Interview Architects

Recognising that renovating is a significant undertaking, often requiring collaboration with an Architect for an extended period, potentially more than a year.  Therefore, it is of paramount importance to engage an Architect with whom you connect, feel understood and trust.

Interview several Architects to assess their compatibility with your vision and your ability to work together collaboratively.  Selecting an Architect should not solely hinge on fees but also on their ability to incorporate your input into to the design process and their capacity to guide you from initial concepts through to completion of construction, within budget.

5. Seek Insights from Family and Friends

Tap into the invaluable knowledge of friends and family who have navigated the renovation process.  However, focus on gathering positive insights related to Architects, builders, landscapers, and the overall renovation process.

Understand that while there may be challenges along the way, the emphasis should be on learning from the experiences of others who successfully overcame obstacles with the support of Architects and builders, finding positive solutions to challenges.


By following these steps, you will be able to be better prepared for your renovation journey, equipped with a clear vision and realistic expectations to guide you toward your dream home.

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