The Ultimate Do’s and Don’ts of Renovating

renovating house

I don’t know about you, but renovating is in my blood. I was brought up in the home renovation industry, and there isn’t a project around the house that I won’t try and tackle myself. Nothing else gives me quite the same amount of satisfaction as knowing that I have accomplished what I set out to do and that I have saved myself a good deal of money in the process.

I know I’m not the only renovator junky. With the popularity of shows like The Block and House Rules, DIY renovations have become very popular – not only here in Perth, but across Australia. These television programs provide everyday Australians, like you and I, with the hope and belief that we too can renovate our home… and we can, but only if we know what we’re doing!

All too often, I meet customers who have jumped the gun and dived into a kitchen or bathroom renovation without doing even a little bit of homework. Watching The Block does not make you a jack of all trades! But it will provide a lot of motivation and inspiration, and that goes a long way.

To help you know a little more about renovating, I’ve put together a short cheat sheet of what to do and what not to do. If you read nothing else in preparation for your renovation, be sure to read this – it may save you a lot of stress, time and money.

The Do’s of Renovating

Do plan ahead, with everything

plan renovation

A successful renovation is a well-planned renovation. And, there is MUCH to plan. In the planning process, do include the renovation budget, decide on your design style, interview and select tradies, create a project schedule/timeline, and, source and purchase products and materials ahead of time.

Do include a buffer in your budget

renovation budget

When working on the renovation budget, one of the most important elements to add is a buffer for a contingency plan. Something always goes wrong in a renovation, and the larger the renovation, the bigger chance it will go wrong. So, to be prepared, add a 15-20% buffer to your budget. To get an idea of how much a kichen will cost, read our post, ‘How Much Do Kitchen Renovations Cost‘ and for bathrooms, see ‘How Much Do Bathroom Renovations Cost‘.

Do choose quality products

quality products

A house is renovated every 15-20 years, on average. Therefore, the choices you make now have to last. Don’t skimp on the important things. When it comes to items that have heavy use or heavy foot-traffic – like tapware and flooring – it pays to choose quality products, which is what you will find here at Ross’s Discount Home Centre.

Our mission is to offer high-quality great-value products. Therefore, whether its tiles, tapware, kitchen cabinets, bathroom products, or anything in between, you can rest assured knowing you are getting quality products at a great price.

Do seek professional help when needed


We are all for DIY, but for areas like tiling, electrical and plumbing, it really is best to pay for a licenced and experienced tradesperson; especially for anything electrical. Don’t risk trying to save some money in this area, it really isn’t worth it.

If you want to get your hands dirty and get involved in the renovation, concentrate on the demolition stage and the painting. Put the rest of your energy into project managing and making sure all the products and materials arrive on time for your tradies.

Do focus on the kitchen

modern kitchen

You know what they say, the kitchen is the heart of a home. Not just that, kitchens sell homes. Therefore, if you are going to splurge in one area of the renovation, let it be the kitchen. Opt for 2-pack kitchen cabinets over laminate cabinets, a stone benchtop instead of a laminate benchtop, feature tiles over plain tiles etc.

The kitchen is where you want to leave your design mark and set the tone for the rest of the house.

The Don’ts of Renovating

Don’t underestimate the scope of the project

project scope

Take a stab at guessing how long you think the renovation will take, now double or triple it. This is how long it is likely to take. Renovations take time. Everything has to be done in the correct order, and usually, one tradie can’t start their work until the previous tradie has completed their work. If you’re taking on the project management role, then you will need to have a clear understanding of the time requirements and the order of operations.

I wrote this article on how to coordinate a bathroom renovation, which you can apply to any renovation.

Don’t overcapitalise


If money restraints are not a concern, then it may be very tempting to create your dream home, using only the best products. However, this isn’t always a good idea – particularly if you don’t plan on living in the house for the next 15-20 years.

Be mindful of the housing value in your suburb and renovate accordingly. You don’t want to spend more money than you’ll be able to recoup when you decide to sell.

Don’t go over budget

over budget

When you set your budget, you need to be firm and stick to it – regardless of how much you might want to indulge in an expensive product. A little blowout here-and-there snowballs. You don’t want to get to the end of the renovation and not be able to pay your tradies or find that you have overcapitalised.

Don’t choose style over functionality


It’s easy to carried away by some of the latest designs and products on the market today. A lot has changed since your current house was designed. However, you need to stay level-headed and put functionality and practicality ahead of design style.

Your house needs not just to look great, but be very liveable as well. And, if you have a family, it’s more reason to put functionality first. Try to meet somewhere in the middle – that way you won’t have any regrets.

Don’t follow current trends

black kitchen

I admit I am a sucker for trends. But that doesn’t mean I implement them all. Some trends stick and others come and go like the wind. If you are looking to follow a trend; whether it be a material, product or design; just think, “how will this look 10 years down the track?” if you are confident that the trend won’t age and therefore, won’t negatively affect your  house when you do go to sell it, then go with the trend. However,  chances are, it will. Therefore, avoiding trends is always a safer bet.


The popularity of DIY renovating isn’t ever going to fade. Taking on a kitchen, bathroom or entire home renovation yourself, can be very rewarding and save you thousands of dollars. However, you should only take on a renovation project if you have a good sense of what you’re doing.

Tips to follow for a successful renovation include; creating a detailed plan, including a 10-15% buffer to your budget, choosing quality products in heavy use or dense foot-traffic areas, seeking professional help when needed and spending most of the energy in your kitchen.

Mistakes to avoid in your renovation are the following; underestimating the size of the project and how to coordinate it, overcapitalising, going over the set budget, choosing style before functionality and following current trends.

Now that you know what to do and what not to do, you can start planning and purchasing products for your renovation. For this, look nowhere else by Ross’s Discount Home Centre. We have everything you need for a home renovation project, all under the one roof, all in stock, and all at competitive prices.

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