Knowing your scopes from your schedules on a renovation roadmap

The planning phase of your renovation or home improvement is key. It's about having a roadmap to turn your dream into reality. Picture: Shutterstock.
The planning phase of your renovation or home improvement is key. It's about having a roadmap to turn your dream into reality. Picture: Shutterstock.

It can be daunting knowing where to start with renovations or home maintenance.

If it's a leaky tap or an electrical issue, we're all confident contacting the plumber or the electrician. But when it is more complex renovation or maintenance related issues, there's a whole host of various trades required, we really need to get it right.

Large specialist companies generally have project management experts on their team. You pay for the peace of mind that things will be organised, delivered on time to specification and that you will have a central point of contact to deal with any issues that might come up.

From our experience, the planning phase of your renovation or home improvement is key. It's about having a roadmap to turn your dream into reality.

With any of our projects, we start with "the end in mind", which is knowing what we want the result to look like. Then we go through our list of actions:

1. Draw the plans to make sure everything will fit into the space. Draw each of the 'elevations' - which is basically draw each of the walls and the position of things.

2. Work out locations of power outlets, and water too if it's a wet area, then mark out where you want them to be in your vision.

3. List the finishes and products you want to use, as you'll need to ensure they're available and onsite for your building team when they need them.

4. Meet your builder to discuss the plan and your vision. Discuss with them the different trades needed, and the order of work that's needed.

5. Discuss any issues your builder thinks might affect your project. Consider things like their availability, and that of their trades team and also materials and anything else that may affect the work you're planning.

6. Then work out dates for each stage of the job to be started and completed. This will let you manage the process with your builder.

Plan to have two key documents - the scope of works and the schedule of works - at the start of the project.

The scope of works describes exactly what you and your builder agreed will be done. Ensure it clearly details all the work you're expecting to have completed.

Sometimes in renovations there will be "variations" to work, and this document will help you know what a real variation is.

Once you have agreed on the scope of works, you need a schedule of works. This is where you and your builder agree on timelines and order of the work being done. It's your roadmap for what trades will be onsite, when and for how long.

Finding the right builder for the job and for you is important, but equally having a clear roadmap for your project is crucial.

This story Planning out a clear renovation roadmap first appeared on The Canberra Times.