10 mistakes homeowners can make when planning to renovate

1. Starting renovations too soon

Its always best to live in your house before making any plans too soon to learn where the sun hits, where the easiest access point is when entering the house and even getting a sense of the soul of the house and what rooms you would like brighter, bigger etc.


2. Underestimating Costs

Renovating can easily lead to unexpected findings and can easily blow out your budget. Be prepared for the unexpected and try and plan the steps as much as possible so you don’t find yourself living with missing walls, doors, and other frustrating obstacles along the way. Bear in mind, there is often some pain for further gain to living in your beautiful new environment.


3. Making changes without consulting professional advice

The team at Cadox are always happy to chat to you about any design ideas and changes you would like to make so we can check planning requirements and see what will and wont work during the renovation process. We are happy to quote the plans for your project with no obligation and can also recommend Builders who can discuss your requirements and give you an idea of what costs will be involved before you proceed.


4. Leaving it too long to consult a professional building designer

It can save you a lot of headaches if you consult with your local building designer before you start any renovations to ensure they have checked planning requirements and to give you an idea what costs and external consultants will be required throughout your project.


5. Not asking enough questions- Ensure you write down questions and ask away…

At Cadox we’re always happy to answer any questions you have and if we can’t help with a particular area of the process, we can recommend reputable consultants to help you along the way. We want our clients to have a thorough understanding of the process and what is involved prior to signing on for plans.



6. Ongoing changes along the way…

Amendments are part of the drafting process; however, it is easy to lose track along the way and this can lead to many changes to your plans which will incur further costs. We’re always happy to accommodate and work with your ideas although it is best to ensure you have a clear direction of what you would like to achieve, plus try to do as much research as possible to give the designers as much insight into your renovation or dream home as possible.


7. Not allowing yourself to be open to ideas that may further increase your future resale potential

You may have a block that can be subdivided and any renovations you do now could impact further opportunities to sell your block at a later date.

We receive many calls from clients looking for a greater return on their investment.

Steve at Cadox is an expert at getting the most yield out of your land and is always happy to have a chat and give you an idea of the process and an estimate of the costs involved.


8. Trying to do it all yourself

Owner building is a great option for anyone who has a good understanding of what is involved and has quality tradespeople contacts along the way. Just be mindful that building materials have increased significantly during Covid and experienced tradespeople can be hard to find. Do your homework first and once again plan as much as you can, the more invested you are the more you will be prepared for unforeseen obstacles along the way.


9. Misunderstanding the process

Try to keep in mind that even the simplest project can blow out and unexpected wait times and costs can occur. If your project requires planning, this can add significant time to the process, and even at Building documentation stage, your Building Surveyor may request further information before signing off on your permit.

Just remember, its all worth it in the end and its best to do things to right way rather than find yourself receiving a notice of decision from council for illegal works. (Structures built without a permit)


10. Impatience- try to be patient and your hard work will pay off!

The renovation/building process can take more time than you first anticipated, your hard work will pay off and you will learn a considerable amount along the way. Research, plan, get to know your neighbours and inform them of your plans to avoid issues if your project does require planning. Last but not least- ask questions to avoid as many hurdles as possible and make notes, this will ensure you remember what you discussed with different consultants throughout the process.



“Courage taught me no matter how bad a crisis gets … any sound investment will eventually pay off.”

— Carlos Slim Helu



If you need any advice or have any questions, please call the friendly team at Cadox Building Design- we’re always happy to help!