REALITY TV VS REALITY

1. Interiors can take anywhere up to 18 months (or longer depending on weather and other conditions) to complete:

A renovation-based/building/interior design TV show is on for one hour tops, so you think it's all done in that time right?  WRONG!!! The client consultation - you know the people that hire you, along with the majority of the extensive paperwork, not to mention awaiting approval from the relevant Council and other authorities are required have to all be done prior to commencement of work.  This can and most likely will take anywhere up to 2-3 months, of course depending on how reliable the Council you deal with are, as well as how many other work orders they have to approve.  So it's not all clear sailing as you see on TV.  Sure, there may be other 'unexpected' approvals to the work order once work commences, but still these take time and time adds money onto the budget.

2. Client Consultation:

Whether it occurs or not, we do not see what goes on behind the TV screens before and after the hour is up, but the most important people in this whole renovation are your client/s.  They are KEY to the design and budget of any renovation.  Meet or discuss via phone EVERYTHING required and any changes or challenges that may crop up.

Also mention to the client/s that the budget also has to pay for the trades? It appears that a lot of TV clients do not realise that the budget disappears so quickly because you need actual people to do the renovation? Boggles my mind how they think this way, but tradesmen and women need to eat and pay bills too!

3. Plans:

Of course you need the floor plan, but remember, a ceiling plan, electrical plan, elevations and sections are also required.  These are all part of the initial paperwork and essential to the renovation/build.  Without them, there is no renovation/build.  Ensure that whoever is doing this (or yourself) has them all for any delay may be costly one, especially if you've already booked in the Interior Designer - they have their own crew and will want to be paid asap.

4. Nothing will be perfect during the renovation phase:

It will be messy.  There will be dust, there will be noise.  However, ensure that all of the relevant council regulations with regards to Workplace Health and Safety, Noise and disposal of materials are met prior to the commencement of work to ensure the neighbours (if any) do not make a formal complaint, as this may stop the renovation.  Naturally, you do not see these things being implemented on reality TV, but they have been done are are there..

5. Make a written list of EVERYTHING:

Mistakes can and most likely will happen, so to cover yourself and others, note down everything mentioned ESPECIALLY when concerning measurements of appliances/cabinetry and where warranties are concerned.  This is where a simple table outlining what you require, from where, cost etc. is invaluable.

6. Changes occur:

Be prepared for changed to happen when renovation actually begins, as depending on the age, style and location of the house you are renovating, you are likely to require a budget which exceeds the owner's expectations.  What needs to happen here is preparation.  Make sure that when beginning any renovation, the owner/s are aware from the beginning that there could be issues with the demolition and renovations to their home and to have a contingency in place on top of the budget they've set.  Unlike the reality TV shows where they are constantly finding issues with a home and either taking off rooms/asking for more money, you need to set parameters before hand, not to say that even with the extra funds you won't come across problems, because you probably will and as such, still require further money.  It's a precaution.  And it's also up to the owner/s to decide what they would like to do - NOTyou.

7. I will reiterate #1/#2 (because it is important):

Your budget will explode if not careful.  It is possible to stay within budget, but as mentioned in these points, you need to pay trades, and there could be unforeseen matters crop up, just as it does in reality TV.  Some things are just unexpected and will cost you more than you had budged for and anticipated.  You don't have X-Ray vision to see behind a wall, but as long as the owner/s are aware and up for any additional costs, you will be fine.

8. Obtain 3 quotes for a variety of goods and services:

When searching for that perfect appliance, rare wallpaper or latest flush toilet, ensure you obtain 3 quotes from different companies and go with the one who offers you more in terms of warranty, price and reliability.  Good customer service is essential to building a relationship with suppliers.  They want your services, you want the best goods.  Works well.

9. Should you require assistance with the renovation:

HIRE an expert to be in charge of 100% of the project.  Building sites have an on-site building manager, so why shouldn't you?  Saves you time.

10. Don’t over-style:

Unlike reality TV shows, the real world requires elegant simplicity.  People tend to go overboard with a specific theme or colour scheme, but don't stress!  I believe the floor coverings you use on one level should be carried on throughout the entire level you are completing (for example if using hardwood flooring on the main level kitchen, use the same hardwood flooring into the dining room, living area, family room).  Just relax and have fun!

11. Once the renovation is complete:

It will take time to get used to a new layout, new paint, new wallpaper, new furnishings.  However you wanted the renovation done, so be happy with what's happened!  Enjoy the new surroundings!

12. Despite all efforts to clean:

Your home may still be dirty once the renovation is complete. This will subside with time and your efforts.

But at least you have a beautiful home that is now up to code and styled appropriately for this era.