Before commencing any renovation, Neale says it’s important to first establish your reason behind the project.
Why? Because the considerations for renovating your dream home will be very different from that in renovating to resell.
“If you’re renovating for resale then you’re playing by a different rule book. You’re thinking mostly about adding value to your property and are aiming to create the best neutral space possible for the next buyer,” he says.
“If you’re renovating for yourself, however, then you may be willing to make bolder style choices in your fittings and interior style.”
Below, Neale shares his seven deadly sins of renovating to help you get it right the first time around.
1. Being unrealistic about your lifestyle
Neale says a big mistake he often sees people make in a renovation is being unrealistic about the way you live your life.
“People are very tempted to overspend in places like kitchens to give themselves state-of-the-art-appliances and extra features like butler’s pantries, but if you’re not an entertainer don’t bother with all of that!
“If your life revolves around cooking and entertaining then, by all means, account for these extras, but think about your lifestyle and plot out your floor plan and inclusions accordingly.”
“Do comparisons between other properties in your area. What are they going for? Be realistic about where your property sits in that market and be very realistic about your budget,” Neale says.
He advises us to always allow for wiggle room in the renovation budget because – as we’re sure anyone who’s undergone a renovation can attest to – refurbishments don’t always go to plan. If that happens you’d be wise to ensure your budget can stretch to accommodate for those unforeseen costs.
“You should always add at least 25-30% on top of your budget for those hidden extras, and the older the property you’re renovating, the more chance there is of discovering flaws,” he tells.
3. Renovating the whole house at once
Planning on living in your home while renovating? Neale has some choice advice for you.
“If you’re doing a massive, whole house renovation and you’ve got the funds to move into temporary accommodation for the duration, then that’s great, but that can be tricky and expensive.
“It’s much better to think in terms of staggering the renovation. If you’re renovating two bathrooms, do one first and then the other. You’ve got to have a bathroom.”
4. Not living in the home before renovating
“There is a lot to be said for living in your property for six months prior to embarking on a renovation, that is, if you plan to live in it after,” says Neale.
“Doing so allows you to get the feel of a property. It gives you a better insight into the way the light moves throughout the space during the course of the day, and you can only get to understand that by being there.”
He also says by doing this you may even change your mind about your initial renovation plans.
See more: Top Tips for Renovating to Resell
5. Not editing your inspiration
With plenty of websites, magazines and social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, there’s certainly no lack of interior inspiration out there for your reno.
While this can be a blessing, Neale says it could also be considered a curse. “There’s seemingly too much choice these days with all the many sources of inspiration,” he says.
An overflow of ideas can sometimes make it difficult to narrow down your style and wishlist, as you can find yourself wanting it all.
Neale suggests erring on the side of simple here and opting for a refined look rather than the preference to include it all.
6. Doing more than you need to
Renovations are an awesome way to breathe new life into a truly tired home, but have you considered starting small on the pursuit to making over your space?
Before you go ripping out walls and tearing down tiles, why not try making some small adjustments first?
“Realise that sometimes you can totally transform rooms in the simplest way,” Neale says.
You may find a fresh lick of paint, a new piece of furniture or new doors on your wardrobe are enough to have the space feeling brand new.
7. Not using sustainable materials
From passive design and low-VOC paints to LED lighting and recycled timber, there are many ways you can ensure you’re keeping the earth in mind when undergoing a renovation.
“Sustainability and eco-friendly materials are becoming part of the vernacular when it comes to renovations and it’s an important consideration,” says Neale.
Research into trades and materials prior to renovations will help you find experts in your local area.