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Home renovations: The Complete Guide

Australians love to renovate. In fact, house-proud homeowners Australia wide spend billions every year making home improvements to their humble abodes. When it comes to home renovations in Perth, the renovation market is worth approximately $500 million each year! This is spread across home extensions, home improvements and home renovations.

As much as people love to renovate, it can also be the source of dread, fear, frustration and even regret. If not completed correctly, home renovations can turn into a nightmare with unnecessary mistakes, budget blowouts and disappointing results. However, with the right advice, good planning and an expert team of renovation builders in place, the risks can be eliminated and renovating your home can be a smooth enjoyable process.

Why it’s a good idea to renovate

Whilst undertaking a home renovation might be a big expense, it’s also a capital investment in the value of your home. If you are thinking of selling one day, carrying out home improvements and renovations to the property will help get you top dollar upon sale. Kitchens and bathrooms in particular are the most high-impact areas to improve before you hang up the ‘for sale’ sign.

Make an impression with a revamped entry

First impressions count! Therefore it is worthwhile paying particular attention to the entrance to your home. The front door and entry can really set the scene for your entire home, and it is a relatively simple area to modernise or improve.

An external renovation to a home can improve street appearance and the value of your asset.

An external renovation to a home can improve street appearance and the value of your asset.


Give your kitchen a makeover

There’s a reason they say the kitchen is the most important room in the house. It’s the place where the modern family spends most of their time together – cooking, eating, doing the dishes and simply hanging out. The kitchen sets the tone for your home. When potential home buyers walk through your house, they try to imagine themselves living in the space and the kitchen represents a large part of their evaluation. A well designed and thought out kitchen can make people fall in love with your home and increase the value considerably. On the other hand, an out-dated or badly designed kitchen can be a deal breaker.

This stunning kitchen renovation in Mosman Park was a great achievement for the team at Exactus, with their commitment to build with pride evident in the final result.

This stunning kitchen renovation in Mosman Park was a great achievement for the team at Exactus, with their commitment to build with pride evident in the final result.


Upgrade the master ensuite

If your house is being purchased for personal use, it’s a safe bet that the buyer will occupy the master bedroom and bathroom and will pay particular attention to these areas. While bedrooms can be largely transformed with furniture and homewares, the bathroom is more (sometimes quite literally) set in stone. The master ensuite is therefore an important feature for the buyer, personally. Spending more time and money planning out and renovating the master ensuite is a wise investment.

A stylish ensuite renovation built with pride by Exactus in City Beach.

A stylish ensuite renovation built with pride by Exactus in City Beach.


Add an alfresco

These days, most new homes include an alfresco area. Alfresco areas have become a desirable feature for living and entertaining and they suit the WA lifestyle perfectly, so a well thought out alfresco area is often included on the ‘wish-list’ of potential buyers. Exactus Homes has plenty of experience in alfresco extensions and renovations, like this addition to the living room in Floreat.

Ferndale Street alfresco: Extending the living area into an alfresco extension blurs the lines on indoor and outdoor living, which is the way we love to live in Perth.

The process of home renovating

Renovating your home can be an extensive undertaking. Although, regardless of how big or small your renovation is, it will likely follow the same process. This process can be broken down in many steps, but ultimately will consist of the following stages:

Stage 1 – Planning

The first step in the process of renovation is arguably the most important step of home renovations… Planning. It pays to spend a little more time planning out your renovation before work begins to help minimise any errors or issues along the way. In the planning phase we work through everything you want to achieve with your renovation and the best way to achieve the result you are after.

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers during the planning stage, our expert renovation team at Exactus Homes can talk you through the process and answer any questions and concerns you have.

In the renovation planning stage, there are many elements that need to be discussed and planned. The design and layout, the scope of work, the materials and finishes used, the budget and the project timeline. This stage involves a lot of information and while it can feel overwhelming at times, it’s important to know every element of the project so you have realistic expectations and achieve optimal final results.

Talking to Ralph, Exactus Homes’ renovation builder and home improvement specialist, about your ideas and plans also helps with the overall success of your renovation project. Ralph will give you advice and feedback based on his extensive knowledge and renovation experience.

You just can’t start by ripping out walls… carefully planning is necessary!

You just can’t start by ripping out walls… carefully planning is necessary!

Ralph will also run through the complete building process on your project so you are aware of all the steps involved, the timeframe and the estimated costs.

A brief overview of our process can be viewed here

Stage 2 – Preliminary

After the planning stage comes the preliminary stage. This stage is effectively an extension of the planning stage where your renovation designs are drawn up, any building permits and legalities are organised and materials are sourced.

The preliminary stage involves working with external sources such as the local council, engineers and other professional bodies. This means that while the project is still progressing it can feel like a slow process while we wait for reports and approvals to come through to us.

While waiting for council approvals and other reports to be issued, it is a good time to continue the research on your products and materials and lock in your design choices if you haven’t done so already.

Stage 3 – Demolition and Construction

The demolition and construction stage is where all the planning and preliminary work converts into action and your home transforms into a newer, brighter, shinier version of itself.

This is an exciting stage with lots of work taking place and action on site. This stage can also bring about increased anxiety levels, particularly if it is your first time renovating. For control and neat freaks this can be a particularly challenging stage, but don’t worry, we will do our best to minimise the impact to your and your family during this stage.

A short time down the track, and our clients had a beautiful home renovation and a new alfresco area to enjoy.

A short time down the track, and our clients had a beautiful home renovation and a new alfresco area to enjoy.

During this stage we will also keep you updated on the progress of your renovation including updates to the schedule, information about what particular trades will be coming and going from site and if there are any variations to the scope of works. You will never be left in the dark and wondering what is going on with your renovation project.

Stage 4 – Handover

Handover. The best stage of all! This is the final stage where you not only get to see the end result in all its glory but you get to use and enjoy the benefits of your home improvements.

When your project is finished and ready for handover, we will walk you through the end result and allow you to inspect the work and sign the project off as complete.

A short time down the track, and our clients had a beautiful home renovation and a new alfresco area to enjoy.

A short time down the track, and our clients had a beautiful home renovation and a new alfresco area to enjoy.

During handover, we will also take time to discuss with you any warranties on the products, materials and workmanship along with any maintenance requirements. Depending on the extent of your renovation you will likely receive a lot of information and paperwork regarding your renovation. It’s always a good idea to store this information in a safe place for you to refer back to if need be.

What you need to consider

Renovation Cost

The renovation budget will be one of the main things to consider before undertaking a renovation. How much you have available to spend will be factored in during the planning stage to ensure the work is completed within budget.

While you may have a rough idea about how much your renovation is likely to cost, we will be able to give you a more accurate budget estimate once we have discussed your project brief in detail.

We utilise fixed price contracts for our projects, so you will know exactly what your renovation will cost. However, working with pre-existing structures (especially if your home is an older home) or making minor alterations to the scope of work throughout the process can result in unexpected expenses. If this happens, which it rarely does, we will provide a written variation for you to sign off on any additional cost.

The good news is that while unexpected expenses can occur, there is also an opportunity to save money on the budget by being strategic in the products and finishes selected for your project. At Exactus Homes our ‘build with pride’ policy extends to all areas of our work and if we can save you money on fixtures, fittings and other materials used in your renovation, we will.


Timing is another important element to consider with your renovation. This is particularly important if you have a young family or your opting to live on site during the project. Having your home under construction with walls and roof off during winter is not ideal. Nor is starting a renovation in November without enough time to complete it before everything shuts down over Christmas. Having no access to a toilet or running water over an extended period of time is not practical either.

As renovation specialists, we are able to guide you with the time frame of your project. Your personal situation and circumstances will definitely need to be considered. Being strategic in when you choose to undertake your renovation will make all the difference to your stress levels throughout the project.

If you have children you will need to consider their schedule and how building works will impact them. Would it be better for your family if work were carried out within the school holidays? What is the backup plan if the project runs over schedule? Moving out while the renovations are taking place may be a better option for you. Find out the pros and cons of living through a renovation here.

Impact of your home renovation

When considering timing, you also need to consider the impact. While a renovation is underway there will be a vary degree of impact and inconvenience. Renovating is a team project and while we will always do our best to minimise the impact on your lives throughout the process, we also advise you to think ahead and making temporary adjustments, where possible, to your lifestyle to help minimise disruption.

This could mean getting the kids up and ready for school early so they are out of the way of any work or providing easy access to the area that is being worked on by clearing out furniture and any other belongings well beforehand.

What to expect with your home renovation

Regardless of what type of renovation you are undertaking, whether it’s a kitchen renovation or a home extension, you can expect for the work to be loud and dusty.

Home renovations can also be highly disruptive and you need to consider how much disruption you can handle and if you feel you can live on site while the renovation is underway or temporarily move out.

A kitchen or bathroom renovation for example can cause disruption to both electricity and water while the work is underway, although the work can be done in a short amount of time so the impact is minimised. An extension on the other hand, could take a longer timeframe but if positioned in one part of the house, the impact is contained.

A bit of renovation mess and inconvenience will all be worth it in the end.

A bit of renovation mess and inconvenience will all be worth it in the end.

As home renovation specialists, we are able to give you a more accurate idea of what work will be involved with your renovation, when the work can take place and how much disruption will occur throughout your renovation.

What you need to have sorted before you renovate

What to do before calling Exactus Homes

When you call Exactus Homes out to discuss your home renovation project, it would be great if you have a relatively clear idea about what you want to achieve. While we can absolutely give you suggestions and feedback about the project and provide our expert advice, ultimately the project will be guided by what you want to achieve in your home.

Before construction work commences

Before construction work commences we will keep you up to date in regards to the progress of any council approvals (if required) and estimated construction start dates. Once we have given you a firm start date it is a good idea to clear the area of any furniture and belongings and have the area ready for us to begin work.

Other things to consider before embarking on a home renovation

When embarking on a home renovation project it’s also recommended to consider the impact of the work on any pets you own and your immediate neighbours.

Pets can become anxious when there is construction being carried out. They may be disturbed by the noise and the dust or even become territorial and aggressive towards the trades. It might be a good idea to find a temporary home elsewhere while your renovation is underway.

Neighbours also need to be considered. If you are on good terms with your neighbours and want to stay that way then we recommend informing them on any impending work well before construction starts.

Insurance is another element that should be taken into consideration. While we will take out insurance on your project for the length of the renovation contract, it is worthwhile checking with your insurance company in regards to the conditions of your building and contents insurance. Some insurance companies will not cover you for events that may occur during the duration of a renovation.

Your insurance will also need to be reviewed and updated once your renovation is complete. You may want to amend your policy to allow for the cost of new fixtures and fitting. Adding a home extension also means your total floor area has increased leading to an amendment to your insurance policy.

And of course, with any renovation you need to consider what we like the call ‘the knock on effect’. This occurs when you have renovated part of your home, let’s say your kitchen for example, and all of a sudden the rest of your home is now looking very tired and out-dated. Of course there is an easy fix to this… Time to plan your next renovation!

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