Jenny Vanderhoek Bondi home renovation

Really useful renovation tips mamas need to know

by Jenny Vanderhoek

Hey, mama, is your head constantly buzzing with ahhh-mazing renovation ideas that will turn your house into your dream home? Hello, endless Pinterest mood boards! The thing is, home renovations can be pretty overwhelming. There are countless things you need to consider before you begin. And, it’s pretty easy to get carried away and bite off more than you can chew.

The good news? I have some incredibly handy and simple home renovation hacks up my sleeve I think every mama who’s wanting to give her home a serious overhaul should know. The even better news? I’m going to offer you these tips and tricks right here, right now.

// SET A BUDGET

One of the most important things you need to consider before you begin renovating your home is how much money you have to play with. Unfortunately, many people want to renovate their dream home on a budget for a paint job. So, my first hack is be realistic and set a budget you can stick to. Talk to your partner, accountant and bank before you even begin creating your dream home renovation Pinterest board. If you set your budget from the get-go and discuss your renovation ideas with your builder, you’ll be able to get a much more realistic picture of the things you can and can’t do (unfortunately we live in the real world and not on The Block – sorry to be the bearer of that news).

// ASK FOR ADVICE

Simply talking to builders, architects or real estate agents won’t cost you a cent, but it will provide you with plenty of useful information. These guys are experts in all things homes and renovations. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and use their expertise to help you make informed decisions about your dream home renovations.

// CHOOSING THE PERFECT BUILDER

If you have the extra funds, I recommend hiring a builder. It will be one of the best things you’ve ever done for your home (and your relationship). Hiring the perfect builder is just as important as hiring the perfect babysitter. Just like when hiring the perfect babysitter, safety and trust should be a priority. Here are my hacks for finding the perfect builder (which work for finding a babysitter too!)

1. Communication is key

You want your builder to be an excellent communicator – someone who actually returns your calls, texts and emails, and someone who turns up when they say they will.

2. Ask for references

References are key, so don’t be afraid to ask for references or to see the latest home renovation project they’re working on.

3. Find someone you have a good relationship with

Your builder is about to become a big part of your life, so you want to make sure you get on well. He’s going to be the first person you call in the morning and the last person you speak to before you go to bed, so you can see why it’s important you feel comfortable with him.

// TOP TIPS FOR CUTTING BACK COSTS

Everyone wants to save some moola on home renovations. So, if you or your partner are pretty handy, it can be worth attempting some DIY projects. However, consider your strengths, as even a simple paint job can go terribly wrong.

You can also save some cash by taking on the role of project manager and by finding cheaper trades yourself. However, cheaper trades can sometimes mean cheaper quality, which isn’t going to do your wallet any favours in the long run.

You might also like At Home: Olli Ella co-founder Chloe Brookman’s Byron BungalowHome Tour: A children’s bohemian wonderland, and The Beach People’s insider travel guide to Kingscliff, NSW.

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