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  • Writer's pictureGWA

How to get started on your home renovation

For many of our clients, this is the first time they’ve undertaken a build and we often hear them say “I have no idea where to begin!” With this in mind we’ve put together a guide to getting started with your home renovation – the do’s and don’ts and considerations before you engage your team and begin drawing up plans.

You should start by thinking about what you want to achieve – your renovated home should support your lifestyle and be easy to maintain for the whole family, as well as being a lovely place to live! What are you missing in your current home? What are the elements of your home that really don’t work for you? Identify the things about your home that you love and want to celebrate, and the things you would happily live without.

The next step is to work out exactly what your project is. Is it a simple bathroom remodel, start up or tweak? Or are you looking for a bigger renovation to find the best holistic solution for your property? Could this look like an extensive addition to the building or even a completely new build? With these points locked down, its then time to decide what kind of professional help you need. In our experience, you should always start with an Architect.

Here’s why:

  • Do you need to reconfigure your home? Does your home not work very well? Are you frustrated by its lack of functional flow? Does your house leak or have moisture problems? In this case, an architect is your best starting point. They will look at your home and property holistically and give you the best solution to optimize the flow and design. Many architects also provide interior design services so you can design your whole renovation with their guidance.

  • In lots of cases the reconfiguring of the home requires authority approval and usually you’ll need an Architect to ensure your proposal meets the local council codes and regulations and guide you through the process with the necessary documents etc.

  • Your best starting point is to approach an experienced Architect. They can discuss your project and needs with you and take you through the best approach. You might bring other players in further along your journey with specialist expertise like an Interior Designer, Builder and Landscape Designer – but the Architect should be your first renovation partner.

Avoid starting your renovation with these people as your initial guides:

Interior Designer

Unless you’re already happy with the way your home works and you simply want a restyle, we wouldn’t suggest starting your renovation journey with an Interior Designer. It’s important to address the core problems with your home first before making it beautiful. Of course, when the time is right and you have worked with your architect to design the renovation, you can choose to bring an Interior Designer on board to consult on

finishes, furnishings and styling combinations.


If you are not an Architect yourself, don’t start your renovation journey by approaching a builder. You need to determine and document exactly what you want before a builder will consider your project. And often, your Architect and Builder will work together to roll out the renovation, ensuring it meets the brief.


If you really want to optimize your property, you need to go through the process of designing the best solution. Generally, a draftsperson will just draw what you tell them to draw, rather than a good Architect who can create an intuitive solution that’s better than what the client could ever have imagined

Your friend, family member, neighbour or work colleague wannabe designer

By all means, if you have a friend or family member that you trust, you could include them in your design discussions, but don’t be persuaded to substitute this for the advice and direction of an experienced Architect.

Kitchen Designer

If ALL you want is a new kitchen in exactly the same location and layout as you have and you need any improvements to the functionality, you could start with a kitchen designer. But even the most boutique kitchens can be streamlined and enhanced by a great Architect

Real Estate Agent

Trust them to sell your property or help you with your purchase, but not your renovation plans.

A home renovation is a team effort, and there are lots of professionals that will be invaluable throughout your journey. Start by finding your Architect who will be your primary partner, guide and coordinator, and the rest will follow.


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