It is officially Block season, and if you are a fellow Blockhead like everyone else in our office you are probably itching to start your own reno. If you are thinking about giving your property a makeover, or a home renovation has been on the cards for a while, here are a few things you will want to know before you dust off the tools and start demolition.


1.    Designing and Planning: Keep it simple and try to set your budget from the beginning. Also, try to be firm and final with your decisions within this planning phase. If you decide on these things early, you can avoid unexpected costs that may arise.
2.    DIY or Hire The Pros: Discuss whether you are going to do the majority of the renovation yourself or whether you will leave the manual labour to the professionals. If you are going to DIY, you will need to ensure you have the right equipment or factor in hire costs. If you are wanting to hire a professional, you will need to start contacting suppliers and trades to coordinate availability.
3.    Get Approval: You will need to do your homework to ensure you are following council guidelines. Will your renovation include any fixtures or structural changes that will require council approval? If so, it is important to seek approval early on to avoid any issues.
4.    Shopping List: Now for the fun stuff! Compile a list of all the materials you will have to buy to complete the renovation. This will include all materials (including fittings and fixtures) that you will need throughout the whole process. By creating a list, you can ensure you will stick to your budget and not purchase any unnecessary items.
5.    The Pecking Order: When completing a renovation, it is important to start at the top and work your way towards the bottom. This will help you avoid any mishaps such as paint dripping on the newly laid carpet. Here is a rough order to follow:
–      Design: Work out what you are after and inform trades.
–      Demolition: Start creating the desired floorplan and eliminating unwanted fixtures.
–      Rough-in: Framing, electricals, and plumbing.
–      Walls and Ceilings: Install plasterboard and new ceilings if applicable.
–      Doors and Windows: This includes skirtings, architraves, and trims.
–      Cabinets: Install cabinet carcasses, leaving the doors till last.
–      Bench sink and taps
–      Paint and splashbacks: Be sure to finalise the painting before installing the splashback/tiling.
–      Flooring
–      Appliances and lighting: Call the plumber and electrician back to install these.
–      Cabinet doors: Finish it all off by hanging the doors and installing shelves.


· Be Realistic – Think about the way you live day to day and what will work for you and your family. For example, there is no use in installing state of the art kitchen appliances if you aren’t going to make good use of them. You are better off investing the extra cash into a space you will use ore frequently.
· Overcapitalising – Do your research on what other properties in your area are going for. The last thing you want to do is overspend on your renovation and not benefit from it in the long run. To ensure you are working within your means, be realistic about where your property sits in the market and plan your budget from there. However, be sure to allow at least 25-30% on top of your budget for any hidden costs that will arise.
· Renovating the whole house – If you are planning on living in the property while renovating, there are a few things you should consider. You will want to stagger rooms and spaces to ensure you aren’t left without. For example, if you have two bathrooms to renovate, complete one at a time.
· Living in the house before renovating – By living in the property before renovating you can get a better feel for the flow of the home and you will get an understanding of what you want to change/alter.
· Narrowing down your Wishlist – These days it is easy to get carried away with how you want the property to look. Try narrowing down your vision and style by using tools such as Pinterest. This will also help you ensure everything flows seamlessly and matches.
· Doing more than you have to – Start small and work your way up. Don’t go all gung-ho and start ripping out walls from the get-go if you don’t really need to.
· Doing your part for the environment – Try and source sustainable materials where possible.

We hope these tips and tricks will help you with your next renovation. Before we know it, you will be putting in your application for the next season of The Block. Happy Reno-ing!


iThink Property has a team of real estate agents in Ipswich and Toowoomba offering property sales and property management services. With a passion for people and property, iThink Property was conceived with the notion of building a team of good people to work in a real estate brand that did things differently. iThink Property focuses on transparency, communication, innovation and teamwork and has become a leading independent brand with unique points of difference. So whether you are thinking of buying, selling or renting, think iThink Property.

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A go getter and doer, Taylah is a no excuses, get the job done kind of girl. With a strong work ethic and high attention to detail, Taylah is happy to help out wherever she can. Armed with a degree in business specialising in marketing and public relations Taylah brings fresh ideas and innovation to the iThink team.