‘The elusive beginning’ How to find it and get started


Get your renovation started the right way and in the right place the ’Beginning’

You’ve FiNALLY decided to take the plunge and start. There’s a strong temptation to dive straight into a renovation project.  Understandably, you’re excited, The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be done, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, especially if you haven’t done some essential planning up front.


You’ve just made your first mistake and it can be a doozy. By taking that leap, you are in danger of wasting valuable time and money, and potentially not even completing your project.



The best place to start is at the beginning…(Which isn’t talking to a builder or an architect/designer by the way.) and work your way through the process in a controlled manner.

It all starts with MONEY

Yes, you heard right…MONEY. You need to understand what you really have to spend before you start spending it.

So get comfortable discussing it, because there will many more money discussions in your future if you start a renovation project. The ‘beginning’ may not sound terribly exciting. But by starting in the right place and laying a strong foundation for your project, you will be assured a greater chance of success.




Don’t look at money as a negative, or something to be negative or evasive about.  Embrace your budget, look at it as the enabler of your dream, not the thing that constrains it. We all have a budget to work to, some bigger than others – it’s the way that we view it that matters. We’re talking having a ‘glass half full’ mentality here.



Keep in mind, more money doesn’t guarantee a better outcome or a successful project. It’s the approach you take and the decisions and choices you make along the way that matter more.



Determine how much you actually have to spend – we’re talking about FACT, not FICTION or assumption. How much money do you really have access to or can you actually loan.

It’s important to talk to your Financial Lender NOW and lock in a realistic expectation of what you can actually access and afford.  

It’s important to consider all your financial options objectively, there are many different loan options available so you need to decide which is best for you.  

Get your money conditionally approved and KNOW that your budget figure is based on reality not ‘crossed fingers’.

But Isn’t it too early to be talking to my Lender, I hear you ask? Isn’t it better to know how much my renovation will cost first?



By sorting out your finances first, you build up to budget rather than start by trying to bring your budget back down into alignment.


  • Firstly, It allows you to calibrate your thinking and expectations to your reality so you don’t have to try and wrestle them back into line at a later date. Disappointment inevitably happens when you set your expectation too high and are forced to compromise – it’s human nature.


  • Also addressing money early allows you to assess whether you can actually ‘afford’ the loan. Just because your lender will lend you $X doesn’t mean that you can comfortably make the repayments. Carefully consider your Lifestyle/mortgage situation. The last thing you want is to be unable to enjoy your new home and lifestyle due to extremely high mortgage commitments.
    Give this mortgage calculator a try. 


This is one of the first pieces of the puzzle that people miss or ignore. Many wait until they have house plans drawn up and approved and in some cases, a builders quote before they talk to their Lender.  If the figures don’t align it can be difficult and costly (think extra designer and other consultants fees for the redesign and redraw, plus extra council fees as a minimum) to realign them.

Addressing your finances early allows you clarity on what your budget is and should be.  Clear budget goals will give you the tools to be forthright with your team so everyone starts and stays on the same page.


So if the first ‘stone’ of building a strong project foundation is getting your finances sort. What’s the next one?



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