houzzaupolls

POLL: What is the most difficult part of a renovation?

HouzzAU Polls
2 months ago
last modified: last month

Renovations are no walk in the park, but the end result is almost always worth it. We want to hear from our community about the most difficult aspect of renovating.

Vote below and tell us why in the comment section. If you have another answer, let us know in the comments.


Banyan 31 · More Info


Staying on budget
Finding inspiration
Turning design ideas into reality
Finding the right professionals
Building regulations and permits
Funding the renovation
Staying on schedule
Other - tell us below!

Comments (38)

  • oklouise
    2 months ago

    planning to understand how the renovation will change/improve the home and what to include and leave out

  • scottybeez
    2 months ago

    Everyday life in a house that doesn't have a bathroom or doesn't have a kitchen is really difficult.

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  • PRO
    3DA Design Drafting and 3D Visuals
    2 months ago

    Scottybeez, you absolutely nailed it.
    6 months no bathroom here, only portaloo, absolute nightmare.

  • Kate
    2 months ago

    Jack of all trade husbands

  • PRO
    NSW Regional Insulation
    2 months ago

    Make sure you insulate the walls. Often best done before any painting. Walls can make more of a difference to the comfort of a house both in winter and summer.

    Walls can be insulated by coring the walls, or removing small amounts of bricks and cladding. Can add up to R5.6 to walls which is better than an Esky.

    4 Seasons Home Insulation

  • PRO
    MB Design & Drafting
    2 months ago

    Funding is the key to any project, staying on budget is easy with the right design (good designer helps when they have an understanding of costs).

  • PRO
    Dr Retro House Calls
    2 months ago

    The difference between what people can imagine they want, and what they can actually afford, (or actually need). "I have always imagined having a crystal chandelier in my Cararra marble lined bathroom over my freestanding bath" with a $10K budget!

  • Webby
    2 months ago

    I have just put my house back together after 18 months of living in dust and disorganisation. I became a stuck record when saying when the house is done I can get on and do other things that do not require visiting hardware shops and chasing tradies and pouring all your money into your dream. I haven't finished the house yet but it is extremely comfortable and the rest can wait until next summer. Its worth it when you see your dream coming to life.

  • Lesley Stewart
    2 months ago

    Coping with the mess

  • Kate
    2 months ago

    Negotiating with other half

  • PRO
    SKETCH3D Residential Design
    2 months ago

    Make your plan, review it, imagine living in it and stick to it before it hits the site.

    Get your building designer or architect to give you 3D views, ideally interactive 3D's, so as you can explore the design and get a feel for the space before freezing the design.

    Changes after going to site will cost money and ultimately leads to builder extras.

  • HU-911741588
    2 months ago

    I agree with Lesley and Webby- the worst thing about renos is the mess and tools in other rooms! I try to keep on top of it but its sometimes overwhelming. Thankfully my lounge where I relax stays pretty sane and beautiful!

  • Debbie Cugley
    2 months ago

    Using someone else's bathroom until mine is finished was extremely difficult. I know that family and friends said that they didn't mine but I felt that I was always imposing.

  • PRO
    Carpentry Projects & Out Door Projects
    2 months ago

    I’ve been a carpenter for 35 years & one of the biggest things I believe in carrying any works.
    Is making sure the client comes along the journey being apart of the delivery of the project is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever experience.

    I always make sure the owner feels the project not just look at it.

    Enjoy

    Mark

  • mark steiner
    last month

    DUST DUST AND MORE DUST

  • beachplace
    last month

    Realizing that the TV shows are just so much BS, everything takes longer than you want or expect, lol

  • suancol
    last month

    i put everything in every room not affected away in boxes or sealed containers and used the minimum items so dust did not cover everything I owned. It is a messy time for sure.


  • Elaine Sharkey
    last month

    Booking in trades and waiting till they can fit you in

  • Clare Lyon
    last month

    I keep finding gorgeous and expensive renovation ideas. This makes it hard to stay on budget!!

  • PRO
    Motivo Design Studio
    last month

    planning planning planning

    look at the each area critically ... ask yourself these questions
    1.why am i doing it -
    2.will it increase the value of my home

    1. make sure the renovation stands the test of time - meaning it will have great appeal when and if you go to sell
    2. If i am going to renovate . List the functional issues of the area - always always address that before aesthetics... you can always do a test aesthetic if you keep it simple - you can’t undo a dysfunctional space....
  • PRO
    Amerex Renovations and Additions
    last month

    Getting the right team on board is critical. For this reason it is essential that everyone you use comes with references. From your designer, builder and the trades you engage, make sure you have qualified professionals on board.

    At our website blog we have some great tips for 'How to Spot a Dodgy Tradie' and on our home page a FREE download on the Key questions you must as every Builder, with a bonus checklist How to Compare Building Quotes and avoid hidden costs'. I hope this helps.

  • Clare Lyon
    last month

    l am doing my renovations so that l will be happy for the next 20 years. l am not worried about resale, this is my last move after 15 moves. Therefore benches will be at my height, everything will be what l like even if not "fashionable". l am over capitalising on things l want, who really needs heated bathroom floors in Sydney and in a guests bathroom, l do and heated towel racks.

  • Dani Elle
    23 days ago

    Saving up the extra money to rent elsewhere and for a a great builder to project manage so it’s smooth and stress free.

  • Sam Keogh
    18 days ago

    Living in the renovation! 🤯

  • PRO
    Ecofin Solutions ForU Pty Ltd
    16 days ago

    Deciding the lights is also a confusing part.

  • meg_h43
    15 days ago

    Scottybeez and 3DA designs, I agree no bathroom, or at least toilet, is a total nightmare. It’s very easy to set up a camp kitchen especially if you’ve actually camped a lot. One Reno for my daughter (no bathroom), it was interesting getting on trains in Sydney covered in dust, paint and grime (despite clean up efforts with wipes). At least people gave me space. 😆 Think while people might be used to construction workers apparently on trains they were not used to old ladies dressed like a construction worker and carrying the the “evidence” of the work they were doing,

  • zsiedy
    15 days ago

    Coordinating trades effectively so that they're not trying to work on top of eachother. Otherwise you risk them leaving for the day and not returning for weeks!

  • Dm Stan
    14 days ago

    1. Imagining what a whole room will look like based on a couple of 50x60mm samples.

    2. Second guessing your choice(s).

  • Marilyn Shraga
    14 days ago

    Main bedroom/ensuite reno - I didn't have the budget for a design professional, so had to wing it; took my inspiration from a single item that I fell in love with and worked with ideas around it. It could have been a disaster as the space was small and the original idea turned out to be too expensive due to an ill-placed roof beam! Fortunately we came up with an alternative that worked well, but looking back if we had gone with some of our other options it would have closed the space and been claustrophobic. It is really hard to imagine how something will look. We were lucky that it worked out!

  • HU-187759720
    7 days ago

    We thought that we were prepared for the dust and we had a heap of stuff squashed into one room, but we weren't prepared for the builders to constantly leave the door of that room open. We were also planning to recycle a few items like a pull out pantry, some kitchen drawers, sink etc but most of these were damaged and unusable.

    Our builder came highly recommended but wouldn't allow us on the building site during the early stages and later failed to supervise so that we were constantly finding small errors. He actually fixed most of them but would lose his temper when asked and ban us from the site again. As we were not unhappy with the overall quality of the work and our project was almost completed, we didn't want to have to find another builder, so we just kept our mouths shut. Now we have to live with small inconveniences but we will not be recommending him to anybody else. He was constantly saying that his insurance didn't cover us if we were on the site without his permission which he often refused to give. It was extremely frustrating and I would have access to the site written into any future contract or insurance arrangement.

  • PRO
    SKETCH3D Residential Design
    7 days ago

    Communication is so important, whether its between you and your builder, your neighbors and your spouse. Misunderstandings lead to arguments and mistakes.

    If you do have to step onto the work area, always approach in a friendly manor, offer the builder a cuppa then ask to walk through where they are at. But at all times respect the builders work place. It might be your home, but it's his project and there might be health and safety reasons to stay out or the builder has a picture in his head and really doesn't want to be interrupted until a convenient point.

    In my job I have come across some really grumpy builders, so to get the best out of them and keep everyone on board, I approach respectfully at all times.

  • oklouise
    7 days ago

    there are health and safety reasons to keep extra people off the work site so we always include agreed inspection times in our contracts and/or only visit after the workers have already left for the day and always ask any questions and confirm any agreed changes by email so we all have a detailed written record of any changes and agreements ..we've also learned to not pay the final bills until we've made a thorough inspection of all work so that we aren't left without bargaining power when it's too late to expect the builder to come back after they've already moved on to another project

  • PRO
    Urban Sensations
    6 days ago

    Managing expectations - what your dream space looks like vs how much time you have to do it vs what the budget is. When renovating, its not often that all three of these components will align and often one has to make a compromise somewhere. @Dr Retro House Calls has hit it on the head with his comment and unless you work in the industry, it is an education process learning exactly what everything costs or how long something will take - or even that chandeliers in the bathroom (depending on the style) may not be possible due to the regulations around light fittings in wet areas! There are so many behind the scenes costs (or behind the walls if you prefer) that eat into the budget before you even get to the aesthetic so it's important that you do your research and educate yourself as much as possible on the realities before you commence. That's one of the reasons we run our Reno Ready workshops for anyone thinking of renovating, to help with understanding the processes and reason why your trades do things the way they do. The workshops also cover the legal implications of decisions - such as accessing the site once works has commenced or whether you need permits, choosing trades and how to deal with them for successful outcomes, clarifying jargon, design choices and selections for fittings and fixtures, the emotional rollercoaster of renovating ... a full educational suite. For our clients (or prospective clients) we have detailed one-to-one consultation sessions before we even start the project. This ensures everyone is on the same page and the project is as stress free as possible.

  • Dm Stan
    6 days ago

    Wow, Urban Sensations. What I would’ve given for one of your workshops before we started renovating as complete novices. We got told so much BS. So many people saw us coming, we felt like we glowed in the dark. In particular, we got taken for a ride by an amateur design consultant pretending to be a professional (hello, Christine), and a builder whose skills were so bad he must have won his licence in a raffle (hello, John). A growing confidence born out of commonsense and a healthy degree of scepticism put an end to those rip off merchants and their dud advice. But it wasn’t nice knowing they‘d preyed on our vulnerable novice status, so I’m mega happy to hear about your workshop. Good move. Well done!

  • Katie Reardon
    3 days ago

    Waiting for Builders to turn up. Soooo frustrating and depressing when you are living in mess. they have the ability to turn your "dream into a nightmare. and the worst is they couldn't give a damn and don't see what they are doing. the other frustration is the lies.... yes we will be there tomorrow...4 days later they turn up.

  • roz_z
    3 days ago

    Getting my husband (the tradie) to finish one area completely!

  • lisa4049
    11 hours ago

    Finding decent tradies who have any sort of skill or pride in their work. Our experience so far has been woeful- to the point we’re not prepared to pay for any more rework for appalling, half done jobs.

  • kilaclarke
    11 hours ago

    I’m so sad to read the stories of disappointment and frustration at poor workmanship, lack of communication and unmet expectations. I can see many of you have felt let down by your tradies and that can make it seem like all tradies are like that - but fun fact: some of us have strong worth ethics, integrity and a love for creating your next story!

    Renovations are for the most part an emotional as well as financial investment. Finding the right team to partner with you through your next story is soooo important! I believe that the key to success is having trust between the client and the team they engage to do the work - for us as builders and designers, we also want to work with people who can trust our professional advice and trust enough to let us into their world; to be vulnerable to hopes, dreams and financial realities.

    Planning, open and honest communication and trust - enjoy the journey!