Your home renovation step-by-step guide

Don’t know where to start with your home improvement project? Welcome to the ultimate renovator’s guide, where you have all the information you need in one place!

From how to assess your space and creating a moodboard to setting a budget and finding trades, we’re covering all the important steps in this handy step-by-step home renovation guide…

Home renovation guide:

Assess your space

Before taking on any project of any size, it’s always recommended you assess your space first. But what does that mean, exactly? “It’s about considering the impact a new kitchen or living area will have on the rest of the house,” says Natalie McHugh at NK Living.

By taking the time to assess your space, you will hopefully be avoiding expensive last-minute changes, with a layout and style that works perfectly for you and your home. Click here for more information on how to effectively get a good overview of your home before starting your renovation.

A sketch of a man sitting at his desk in front of a laptop, working
Photography: iStock/ SDI Productions.

Create a moodboard for your home renovation

Creating a moodboard is hands down one of the most enjoyable steps of preparing for a home project. It’s the perfect opportunity to gather all the things you love – colours, patterns, textures, architectural styles, you name it – and kickstart your vision for what your final interior project might look like.

To create a physical moodboard, gather samples from showrooms or go virtual with the help of apps such as Pinterest or renovation tools.

creating a moodboard for home renovation
Photography: iStock/ Naphat_Jorjee.

Set a budget

To get a ballpark figure, do some online research on average costs. Check out prices for products you fancy, get basic quotes for labour, and look into any kitchen or bathroom designers you might need. Keep in mind that these costs are ballpark figures and will vary based on the scale of your project. Look at costs like fees and permits, too. And, don’t forget to give yourself a 10-20% contingency budget to be sure. For more information on setting a budget, click here.

Visiting showrooms

Start by looking at the independent showrooms in your area, make an appointment or pop in for a quick look around. Take a stroll around the showroom, and chat with the designers, but don’t rush. Feel free to open the cupboards, run your fingers along the surfaces, and pay attention to the small but all-important details.

Collect samples of worktops or brassware, give cupboard doors a knock, and check out the quality. If there are working bathroom displays, go ahead and play with the showers and taps to see how the water flows through the products.

Depending on the size of your project, you could be working with designers for anything from two to 18 months. So, the relationship needs to work. You must feel comfortable with the designers and have confidence in the projects they are selling, so take your time, have a discerning eye and don’t rush your showroom visits.  

visiting showrooms for home renovation
Photography: iStock/ zuperia.

Consulting interior designers for your home renovation

Wondering about the role of an interior designer? They enhance the spaces where we live, work, unwind, and socialise. When you hire a designer, they typically start by getting to know you – who you are, how you like to live, and even who shares your space, including any pets. So, if they hit you with a bunch of questions about your life and style, don’t be surprised – it’s all part of the process. Click here to find out how to choose your interior designer.

Hiring tradespeople

Recommendations from friends, family, and neighbours are always a good starting point when you’re trying to find tradespeople, as they can have trustworthy and reliable suggestions.

Always aim for at least three quotes for any renovation job. And don’t just settle for a verbal estimate; make sure the tradesperson hands you a written quote.

Reputable professionals will be members of relevant organisations such as trade bodies or chartered institutes, such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) or National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). You can also dive a little deeper when you try to find tradespeople and ask to see their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) record when requesting a quote.

builder shaking hands
Photography: iStock/ 10255185_880.

Know your rights during a home renovation

It’s important to research your rights – from building regulations to consumer protection laws. This will ensure your project runs smoothly. Familiarising yourself with the legal framework safeguards both yourself and the tradespeople, designers, and contractors you are working with. Click here for more advice.

Planning permission

Whether you’re building something new or making a significant alteration to your home, such as an extension, chances are you’ll need to get planning permission first. This is a crucial legal step that enables local councils to check that building work won’t have a negative impact on the neighbourhood or the environment. Going ahead without planning permission could result in enforcement action, so it’s always wise to check before starting any work. We’ve got a helpful guide on how to apply for planning permission here.

Architectural plans
Photography: / GeorgiMironi.

Home renovation timelines

How long will your renovation take? Well, how long is a piece of string? We had a chat with our experts, and as a rough guide, planning for kitchens usually takes about four weeks. And, for bathrooms, it’s around two weeks before you dive into construction.

Now, when it comes to actually getting things fitted, kitchens might take six to 12 weeks, while a single bathroom could take two to four weeks. And if you’re thinking about a whole house renovation, well, that can stretch from six months to a year and a half, depending on the size of your project. For more on project timelines, click here.

Keeping records

Documenting your project isn’t just helpful – it’s crucial. Whether you’re tackling a small room or a whole house, the golden rule is to keep records. If you have a designer or project manager on board, they’ll likely have their way of keeping tabs on things. Nevertheless, it’s important for you to maintain your records too.

Hang on to all the paperwork – legal documents, contracts, notes, invoices, and receipts – so you have a hard copy of everything in case of any disputes.

Costing and budeting for a renovation
Photography: iStock.

If you need some help, click here to download our project planner kit. The free E-book has planning guides, checklists and details to make your project run smoother. Happy planning!

Enjoyed this post? Click here for 5 real kitchen renovations to inspire your next project

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