Whether you’re building an extension to your house, completely overhauling the interior, or doing something comparatively small like repainting or changing the floor coverings, home renovation can be a stressful experience.

At all scales, home renovation is a significant undertaking that requires major commitments in terms of time, money, and effort. Though there’s no way to ensure that the process will be completely free of bumps and stress, it is possible to minimise the hassle entailed with planning and executing home renovation works. Below, we compile our top five tips for making your next home renovation project as headache-free as possible.

1. Develop a clear vision

Like many things in life, when it comes to home renovations, it’s helpful to know what you want before getting started. Thanks to the growth of social media and the continuing rise in popularity of design and architecture blogs, it’s easier than ever to browse through projects and figure out what you like and what you don’t like. Unsure where to start? Some of our favourite sources of inspiration for interior design and architecture are Habitus Living, Indesign Live, and our very own projects page – there’s bound to be something to spark the creativity in anyone.

Establishing your likes and dislikes will help you develop a clear vision for your home renovation project, and will be particularly helpful in allowing you to clearly articulate this vision to your designers and tradespeople. Again, do your research and figure out what method of communication works best for you.

Your brief can be communicated verbally or visually – using mood boards, collages, or examples of projects that you like – or using some combination of the two. The clearer your brief, the more closely your designers and tradespeople can stick to it, and the more satisfied you are likely to be once the project is done.

2. Find a professional

Laying new tiles in your kitchen? Hire a tiler. Repainting your bedroom? Get a painter. Thinking of adding some new cabinets to your living room? Find yourself a carpenter. You wouldn’t ask someone to build your home with the wrong tools, so why allow someone without the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to renovate it? The knowledge and experience of your designer and contractors should be considered tools in their own right, and ones critical to ensuring the success of your project.

There’s no need to take the term DIY literally and do everything yourself: take your home renovation seriously and make sure that you hire the right professional for your project. Head to our suppliers page for a list of trusted professionals across all sectors of the construction and design industry, and find their direct company details on their company page.

3. Know your options

Once you have established your creative vision, it’s important to recognise that there is likely to be more than one way to bring this to life. Thanks to the architecture and construction industry’s active research and development sector, the home renovation market is abounding with new options.

Traditional construction methods are now offered alongside a seemingly endless host of innovative solutions – such as modular systems and prefabrication – that can make the renovation process quicker and more efficient than ever.

Your budget will of course affect your options, as will the scale and nature of your desired renovation project and the existing condition of your home. Equip yourself with some background knowledge before you begin discussions with a designer or contractor – we recommend browsing through our content about home renovation to ensure that you enter discussions as an informed consumer. Don’t get pressured into going with an option that you don’t fully understand or for whatever reason feel is not appropriate for your project.

4. Make a plan, but understand that things happen

It may sound like a no-brainer, but in all the excitement of preparing for and undertaking a home renovation, don’t forget to set a timeline and budget. When doing this, be mindful to incorporate a little leeway for unforeseen circumstances that can cause delays or going over budget.

Be sure to factor in things such as deliveries not arriving on time, missing or incorrect components, things being cut to the wrong size, or your tradesperson taking a few days off for sickness. Delays in one trade will have a flow-on effect on other trades, and it is not difficult to see how this could quickly spiral.

Remember that it’s always better to plan for the worst and overestimate than to underestimate and find yourself stretched too thin.

5. Keep it Clean

In the long run, factoring in sustainability and the environmental impact of your home renovation will do both you and the environment a lot of good. Many sustainable construction options offer benefits in terms of operational cost savings and a reduced environmental footprint, but knowing your options in this regard is not always easy.

There are tools available to help you plan sustainable elements for your home renovation or addition, and a number of environmentally friendly products to help you transform this plan into a reality.

Additionally, choosing construction materials that create minimal waste is not just great for the environment, but will also minimise the amount of post-construction clean up that you will have to organise.