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Home Renovations Project Management System

The L to Z of Melbourne Home renovations

The L to Z of Melbourne Home Renovations is the second of two articles covering the best ways to ensure your Melbourne home renovation runs smoothly. It looks at the design and home renovation process and how to avoid the main property renovation traps.

Listening – Make sure you designer/builder listens to what you want. For example, how you use your home, what your needs are, and the purpose of your home renovation. If they don’t understand, it’s difficult for them to deliver what you want. People who are good communicators make for much better service providers – and happier home renovations.

Membranes – one of the most common defect claims for Melbourne home renovations is when the waterproofing membranes fail. Damaged plaster, rotting floors and failed tiling are often caused by inadequate waterproofing. The best approach is to ensure the person doing your bathroom renovation is property registered.

North facing rooms – If you have north facing rooms that enjoy the winter sun, consider floor surfaces that will capture and retain the winter sun’s warmth in the morning then assist in heating the room for the rest of the day. Tiles and concrete floors are both very effective for this. In summer, the sun sits more directly overhead meaning the sunshine shouldn’t enter through those northern windows.

Organised – Successful Melbourne property renovations need to be well organised. That is, a clear idea of what’s to be delivered, a project schedule and up to date project management documentation.

Plumbers, painters, plasterers - and all the other trades that will be involved in your home renovation. Most home renovations require between six and twelve trades to be co-ordinated and managed. Typically, the designer/builder offers a stable of trades people who can work as a co-ordinated team on various projects. Put simply, the less people you have to deal with, the better. Home renovations are rarely straight forward so having a Melbourne-based renovation project manager co-ordinate the process for you makes a big difference.

Quality of work – The Victorian Building Commission publishes a guide to standards and tolerances for domestic buildings. That publication sets the industry standard for all trades employed in your home renovation. Ask your designer/builder for a copy.

Registered Building Practitioners – Be sure to ask your builder if they’re registered. If not, you won’t be covered if anything goes wrong with the work. A registered builder will provide you with the legal protections you’re entitled to. Registered Builders will provide you with a Registered Builders card that confirms they’re legally able to undertake the work you want done.

Style – Any builder can undertake a home renovation. However the secret to having your Melbourne home renovation look great is to ensure there’s some thinking go into the design. How it will look and feel. That way, you finish up with a modern looking home that offers a consistent style and flow throughout.

Tiles vs. glass splashback – the way you treat kitchen splashbacks makes a huge difference to the appearance of your kitchen. A home renovation with glass splashbacks opens up your kitchen space and delivers a more minimalist look. A tiled kitchen delivers a busier, more themed style for your kitchen.

Under-bench lighting – indirect lighting in your bathroom or kitchen is a great way to light up workspaces. It means you don’t have to look directly at harsh lights so your light is more evenly spread.

Vintage Gold – It was great in the eighties but if you want to modernise your home, it’s time for it to go. Replacing gold fittings with brushed metal or stainless steel instantly brings your home renovation into the modern era. Just be sure to keep a consistent style throughout your home

Warranty Insurance for your property renovation – Melbourne home renovations exceeding $16,000 in value require home warranty insurance.

X is for extras – Try to invest time early in the design phase to avoid making too many changes throughout the project. This helps you keep a lid on the costs of extras. Try our Online Renovation Costs Calculator

Years of enjoyment – the important thing to remember is that your home will bring years of enjoyment if you do it right first time. Spending a little time and money on your design and making sure your new home will fit your needs over the coming decade will make a huge difference in how successful your home renovation will be.

Zoo – If you have pets or small kids, make sure you use materials and finishes that you can easily clean.

Richard Armstrong is a Director of Melbourne firm The Makeover Group. He possesses over a decade of Melbourne home renovation experience plus post graduate property qualifications. Educated in interior design, he has undertaken hundreds of home makeovers and small renovations, covering design and build phases. A registered building practitioner, he contributes to Australia’s leading property publications and websites.