So, it’s time for a renovation!

The desired outcome of a home renovation is to find the best balance of value, functionality and visual appeal for your project. As a home renovation may be one of the most significant projects you will undertake, choosing the right builder is paramount in ensuring you have a good home renovation experience. You are entitled to get the maximum value and enjoyment for the amount you are planning to invest.

Home Renovation Tips


Before you go to your local council for approvals or an architect for plans, talk to the builder. Many builders offer a complete service (as Green-Shore Builders do) with in-house designers and staff fully versed in the council application process. As this this is usually included in the contract price, the initial processes are simplified for you by dealing with one company.

Most clients come to Green-Shore Builders with a vision and after relaying their home renovations ideas to our team, they are extremely impressed with the fantastic layouts, utilisation of space and functionality that we suggest so it’s always great if you can be receptive to ideas that you may not have considered. It is in our best interest to formulate the best plan for you, tailored to your individual needs that’s within your budget.

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Get the proof and ask questions

Ask your prospective renovation builder if you can view past or current projects or talk to their clients about their building experience. Most clients will be more than happy to have a chat or give you a tour. Depending on the size of your renovation, you will be dealing with your builder anywhere from one to eight months or even longer for a very large renovation so it is very important that you choose a company that you can feel comfortable with, can talk to about any aspect and of course trust. In addition, your builder must be licensed, reputable and fully insured.

Once you have chosen your builder and design

Ask your builder about the building process so you will be prepared for what is to come. How long will it take? How will it affect your day to day life? What can you do to prepare? Would it be better for you to move out for the duration (or part thereof)? Will your property be secure? Can you leave your furniture and belongings in rooms that will be worked on?

Council approvals

Most home renovations and extensions will require approval from your local council. Council applications require “plans” or “drawings” that detail the extent of the work. We have our own qualified consulting architects, design draftsmen and engineers who will take your sketches or verbal instructions and produce working plans not only for approvals, but to form the blueprint for your entire project.

While your application is going through the processes at your local council, we can be working with you on the details of your renovation. This is the time for you to be choosing tiles, taps, sinks, paint colours, door fittings etc. This is when you see the floor tiles (or kitchen sink or front door..) of your dreams but the cost of them is not covered in the provision for tiles in the contract. This can be accomodated by a variation to the contract. It is very common for our clients to make changes or upgrades so if you think you might like to upgrade anything along the way, it can easily be accomodated. Of course this is going to be an added expense but now is the best time to get the finishes and extras you will love for years to come, budget allowing.


Talk to your neighbours, tell them about your plans. In some instances the council will require permission from your neighbours (i.e. to build on or close to a common fence). Either way, it is courteous to let them know what will be happening as there will be workmen making noise and extra vehicles coming and going from your property.

There IS going to be dust and dirt. If you can move furniture and valuables into a room not being affected by the renovation and seal off the door for the duration, it will keep it out of the way of the tradesmen and safe. On completion and once the dust has been cleaned away, it will all be worth it when you are enjoying your refurbished home.

If you see something and think “that’s not how I pictured it”, tell your builder immediately. It is far easier to rectify any issues as they occur rather than at completion. TIP: Talk to your builder or site supervisor regularly. A good site supervisor will be in touch on a constant basis to inform you of your project status, what trades are due and when. If this is not occurring, take the initiative and contact your builder.

Be prepared to make allowances for things out of the builders control such as bad weather or delays for your special orders.

Now we have the council approvals, happy neighbours and all our selections, the building/demolition process begins!

Read your contract and make sure you understand its contents. If you don’t understand anything, ask your builder or an independent source. Most building contracts are similar and are bound by the Home Buildings Contracts Act 1991. You will have a maintenance period (minimum 4 months, Green-Shore Builders are happy to extend this to 6 months in most contracts). If you find any defects in that time, the builder must return and rectify so ensure you report anything to the builder within this time frame. Structual work is covered for 7 years.


If Green-Shore Builders do not believe we are the RIGHT people for YOUR home renovations, we will recommend someone that is or provide you with obligation free advice.