Renovating your home from start to finish


Planning on renovating your home? Here’s what to consider — and what you might not know

When preparing to renovate your home there are a number of steps that must be taken to ensure a safe and satisfying process. Firstly, it is important to be aware that almost all renovations (unless they are fully inside the home and don’t affect outside walls or windows) will require a local council Development Application to be processed and approved. In addition to this approval a private certifier, water board report, engineers report or bush-fire assessment may be required.

It is particularly important to be realistic about the time frames required for these approvals to be processed. To prepare, work with your builder on a set of preliminary plans as the basis of your renovation. These plans are submitted to council, along with any necessary accompanying documentation, for Development Approval either through a private certifier or directly to your local council.

Each local council area has different specifications and standards by which it will assess your renovation for approval so it is of particular importance to work with a builder who understands how to interpret your council’s requirements and ensures your renovation complies with the required standards.

Once approval is received, your builder will then need to work on detailed construction drawings which provide a much more in-depth level of detail for every part of your renovation. These are the drawings from which your renovation will be built so these are an essential part of the success of the renovation. Be aware that depending on the size and complexity of your renovation these drawings can take weeks to prepare.

The next step is being  issued with a Construction Certificate which means your council and/or private certifier has checked that all is ready to proceed with construction. Again, here is where your builder is your best resource as they have the expert knowledge and contacts to ensure reports are professionally prepared to meet all requirements.

The last step – before you’re finally able to commence the renovation – is to work with your builder on a schedule. The builder will prepare a detailed timeline which has a breakdown of what work will happen when and which trade is allocated to which time slot and which job. Even for those builders who are highly experienced in this area, scheduling trades is a tricky part of the process and requires an intimate understanding of how each part of the process affects the others.

For more than 30 years Harvey Norman Renovations have helped Sydney customers with their renovations. Be sure to check out their website for more information and to contact them.

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Harvey Norman Design & Renovations

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