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Home Renovation Ideas - Things to Consider

Renovating - Our top 8

Things to Consider


When planning a renovation to an existing dwelling the age of the building should be considered. Is it insulated?

The older the dwelling, the greater the likelihood of variations occurring due to unforeseen circumstances. When renovating it is necessary to bring your building up to current day requirements. For example, walls or floors may not be level or square, rotten timbers may need replacing, window and door openings may not be flashed correctly or to current day standards etc.

Chances are the older the building is, the higher the chances of some hidden surprises.


We strongly recommend that the owner take out their own builders’ risk insurance for the duration of the renovation.

Your insurance company will require your builder’s details for this.

Your builder should carry his own public liability and statuary insurance polices which can now be combined into one.


Ensure you stress your budget limit with your designer or architect and get some assurances that what is designed is not only to your liking and needs but also within your budget constraints.

Numerous times over the years we have received plans for pricing from clients who have told their designer they have a budget limit of, for example, $150,000.00. The client then receives the plans thinking that what they are looking at is achievable with what they have to spend. Sadly they then find out when prices come back from different builders that their home renovation ideas and plans are nowhere near that figure. They are then in a position where they have out laid a decent amount of money for buildings plans they can’t afford to build.

Make sure your designer understands your home renovation ideas, your budget and designs something that will work for you so you do not waste money on something you cannot afford to have built.


When selecting your building contractor, check out their credentials.

  • License Numbers: Check online on the LBP register to see what their building licences allow them to do.
  • Insurances: Make sure they have public liability and statuary insurance cover and to what amount their cover is.
  • Experience: Enquire as to what experience they have in different lines of building work and ask for references to back that up. Find out how many years they have been building for.
  • Project Management: A lot of clients try to undertake project management themselves thinking they will save money. Unless you can guarantee to make the time to organise and run the project as required, get the main contractor to undertake this. When a client has to work and organise a renovation at the same time, it affects productivity causing delays and increasing costs.
    If you have the qualifications to carry out the renovation management and can be onsite daily to take care of things that crop up and need to be dealt with immediately, that is great. However, if you do not have the experience or availability we suggest you leave it to the contractor; they do that for a living. Your job will run more smoothly, take less time and you can concentrate on what you do for a living.
  • Contracts: Make sure the contractor has supplied you with a contract, a disclosure form and a checklist form for any works over $30,000 including GST. As of January 1st 2015, this is now law.

Lastly and most importantly make sure you are comfortable with the contractor of your choice and you are confident they can deliver what you want.


Are you doing the renovation to improve your home and to further enjoy it, or are you doing a renovation purely to sell your house and make a profit?

If the renovations are to improve your home, when considering the cost of the renovation you should also consider what effects the renovation will have on the functionality of your home and the improvements it will have on your family and lifestyle.

Consider how long you intend to remain living in the property and how everyday life would work better with the renovation. Ask yourself “what is that worth”?

If you are looking to renovate and the sell on to make profit, know your market and do not over capitalise by spending on renovation ideas that are too expensive.


When undertaking a renovation make sure you have a contingency plan in place for unforeseen works that might be needed before the renovation works can commence.

We recommend you factor in 10% to 15% over the contract price as a safeguard, just in case it is required.

This will help make sure you don’t run out of funds and ensures your renovation job actually gets completed.


Stick to proven systems for New Zealand’s climatic conditions as opposed to renovation ideas that look great but are more problematic.

Eaves, cavity systems, weatherboards, brick, concrete tile or longrun roofing, to name a few, are products and systems that work well with New Zealand weather conditions.

Ask your designer and builder which building products are good to use and why they recommend them.


Different aspects of your renovation require producer statements, warranties, guarantees and certification: waterproofing, aluminium joinery, plaster work, gas fitting, electrical, to name a few, all need to be signed off and certified. Make sure your licensed building contractor issues you with copies of all the certificates you will require to achieve the final Code of Compliance at the completion of your renovation project.

Thinking Of Getting A Renovation?

Call us today to book your free 1 hour consultation.