Common Renovation Challenges: How to Prepare for Success

You can probably guess the two most common renovation hiccups:

  1. Timeline delays
  2. Budget blowouts

But what causes those delays and budgets blowouts?

We outline some common renovation fitout challenges that lead to costly changes and delays, with advice from Mick Moore, Total Fitouts Corporate Solutions Manager, so that you can be as prepared as possible when kicking off your reno.

Unknowns of the existing building structure

According to Mick, the longest delays and biggest budget blowouts are usually a result of the unknowns of the existing building infrastructure.

Whether it be the frame, the condition or quality of something hidden within the structure, or – depending on the age of the building – it could be the use of outdated materials that are now against regulations” explains Mick. “There’s lots of things it could be – poor workmanship, water leaks, you name it.

Why does this lead to delays and extra costs?

It means we have to do unforeseen and unbudgeted repairs. For example, recently we were going to repaint instead of replacing panels to keep costs down. But when we started, we discovered that the materials didn’t have the required fire rating certificates so we had to replace them instead which immediately blew out the budget.

We do our best to look at as much as possible in advance and work out the most cost effective way to get your fitout done, but there are some things you can’t plan for as you physically can’t see them until you uncover them.”

The best thing to do to prepare?

Have a budget and timeline buffer. Mick’s advice is to “be aware that there are a lot of unknowns when going into a renovation – but know we’ll keep the costs down as much as possible and find cost effective solutions.

Updating the tenancy

Most tenancies require you to update the space every five or so years, sometimes less and sometimes more, depending on your agreement.

Recently a client was taking on the adjoining tenancy next door to his current lease, so he was expanding and renovating his existing space at the same time. We had to update the tenancy next door based on the new Fitout Guidelines and delays were caused due to the materials that had to be used.”

Why does that lead to delays and extra costs?

Updating a tenancy often means construction work and can lead to unforeseen repairs, as mentioned above “sometimes you don’t know until you’ve stripped it back” explains Mick.

More repairs and work, can lead to extra costs.

The best thing to do to prepare?

Before you take on a tenancy, try to prepare for or predict any issues. Find out as much as you can early, with as many assessments as possible before you begin. It may take longer upfront, but it can save you headaches down the track, and help you factor the necessary works into your plans.

Our shopfitting teams can help you with site visits before you sign a tenancy. Knowing any issues before you sign for 3 years is invaluable. More than that our teams have great relationships with Agents so can help you find a tenancy that suits your brief, which can save you time and money.

Council or regulation issues

Depending on your location and the extent of the work, it can be a drawn out process getting council approval. Get your plans into council – and whoever else you need approval from – as quickly as possible.

The best thing to do to prepare?

Council and regulation requirements vary State to State, so it’s best to find out what approvals are required in your State and local area early on in the project. Our shopfitting teams are experts in local process and approvals and can help guide you through this process.

Safety and non-compliance issues

When renovating, particularly older buildings, there’s common safety and non-compliance issues, such as:

  • Outdated layouts, in particular “hallways that no longer meet compliance standards for disability access
  • Old or poor workmanship that needs to be repaired
  • Hidden safety hazards, particularly fire hazards in older buildings

The best thing to do to prepare?

Keep that in mind when renovating. “Anything that we can see, we’ll explain to you upfront so we can budget for it” affirms Mick.

Project team

It’s important to work with people you can trust on a renovation – because if construction isn’t your forte, there’s likely going to be lots of things you don’t understand. You’ll want to know you’re trusting experts that have the best interests of the project at heart.

The best thing to do to prepare?

Hire companies and people you can trust so that you feel comfortable taking their advice. Mick recommends “using people who are licensed, like us, as there is a level of accountability.

Want to know more about our shopfitting teams? Reach out to chat.