Imagine spending $500,000 on a renovation and walking into your home to find it is nothing like you had imagined – the finishing materials, the colours, the sizes were all wrong. How would that feel?
I recently spoke with Tim and Erin (names have been changed) - first-time renovators - who are planning a significant size renovation and extension on their 3-bedroom weatherboard home. Their vision is to create a light-filled open plan home with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living areas, a study and an outdoor space linking the kitchen to the backyard.
They had some major concerns about their project that I wanted to share (with their permission) because I see these same concerns over and over again. I wanted to get them out in the open and discuss them in the hope this article helps you on your building journey.
“We have a busy lifestyle with work and other commitments” was Tim’s first comment when we spoke on the phone. “We work pretty long hours in town and can hardly find the time to start, or know the best place to start, we have been planning on doing some work for about 3 or 4 years, and we have some ideas.”
Tim went on to tell me how they had a small amount of building work completed a few years ago, which left a bit of a bad taste in their mouth. They wanted to find someone who could help them find a solution within their budget - someone they could trust to ensure they were getting value for money. “Our home is pretty run down, but I can’t understand why things cost so much,” he said.
I met Tim and Erin at their home to have a look at their ideas and what the priorities were. They had put together a bit of a gallery on Pinterest which really helped because it is important that everyone gets on the same page as early as possible – especially when there are no plans available and things are merely a vision.
Erin told me “I don’t know where to start, do we speak with an architect or a builder? I’m worried about what problems we might find, and it could blow out our budget”.
“But the main reason I lie awake at night, is thinking that its not going to look how I imagine,” she added.
Tim and Erin’s concerns were the same concerns we hear over and over again:
We are too busy
Who can we trust to work on our home?
What can we do to avoid budget blow outs?
It’s not going to look how I want it to look
I don’t even know where to start or what it’s going to cost
There are many detailed solutions to these concerns, but the one thing you should be adamant about - is that you will only work with professionals that can demonstrate a good track record. It is up to them to facilitate the best outcome for you.
Also, use your instinct, honestly, its usually the best indicator. Ask yourself:
How does it feel?
What is the communication like?
What have other people told me about them?
Have they completed projects like this before?
Are they being transparent?
Do I trust them to work on something that could be the biggest investment I ever make?
One thing to remember – If you think choosing a professional builder is expensive, wait until you choose an amateur! At Walkom Constructions we currently have a giveaway running on our facebook page offering a free proposal package. Head to our facebook page “Walkom Constructions” for information on how to enter.