Getting Started with your Renovation..

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Your renovation decisions will have important consequences for your future living costs and quality of life, so you definitely want to get it right..

Its best to ensure your renovation will hold its value over time. You need to ensure it wont outdate and age rapidly. This can be done by alot of research, planning, using the right quality materials and the best people for the job.

When you're planning your renovation it's easy to focus on the short term, 'What can I afford right now?' But when you think about it, features that enhance resale value, improve comfort and reduce bills are worth paying a little bit more for now.

You can use savings on energy and water bills to pay off your mortgage faster.

Some financiers offer lower interest rates (known as 'green' mortgages) or other financial incentives for home improvements that are designed to save precious resources like energy and water.

Government rebates are also available to offset the purchase cost of many energy and water saving items.

Ensure you dont make any mistakes that will cost you money..
Plan ahead

Good planning is such an important part of ensuring value for money. Most renovation budget overruns are the result of poor planning - changing the design half way through, trying to fix up problems you didn't see coming, or simply failing to make the most of the opportunities presented.

Experienced renovators will tell you how important it is to plan ahead.

I hope this guide is designed will help you do just that.

Write a wish list of everything you want from your renovation. This can include qualities such as 'light and airy' as well as more specific outcomes such as extra living space, an efficient hot water system or a more functional kitchen.

At the same time, take stock of what you've got - this step is so important for making the most of your renovation.

An assessment of your home will identify the most cost effective opportunities for big improvements. It will also identify potential hazards so you can deal with them in the most cost effective way.

Use what you find to develop and refine your wish list.

You can use the 'home assessment' checklist yourself, or go through it with your chosen renovator or builder.

Tips & checklist

Save money   
Healthy and Comfortable    Enviro-friendly    
Monthly budget   
Saving with a 'green' home loan
   
   
Write your wish list. What do you really want from your renovation? Crosscheck this with your home assessment. As you write your list, decide whether each item is non-negotiable (no. 1 priority) or something you'd like if possible (no. 2 priority).    Non-negotiable: (etc)
Save money tip   
   
Find out about 'green' mortgages. Shop around to see what's on offer. Ask about green mortgages and other home improvement incentives.   


Check if you're eligible for rebates. Ask your local utilities, local council or state/territory government about rebates available to offset the upfront cost of energy or water saving features. Factor these rebates into your budget. There are many government and such websites that offer advise and rebate information.
   
Item:    Rebate available:
Bathroom fittings    $
Hot water system    $
Insulation    $
White goods    $
Rainwater tank    $
Greywater system    $
Photovoltaic system    $
Other:    $
Total rebates    $

   
   
IMPORTANT!!!!
Leave a contingency in your budget. Cover yourself for extras you don't expect. It's wise to add 5–10% extra.   


Save money tip   
   
Budget for the long term. Think about your bills. Factor ongoing savings and improved resale value into your budget decisions.Items that will save on bills and enhance resale value:
   
Do your own 'home assessment'. This is important for identifying the best opportunities, as well as problems that need to be dealt with!
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