Reno Kings - Staying on time, contingency plan and top tips
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Part 3 – Renovating, where to start?

Staying on time, contingency plan and top tips


If you missed any of our series ‘Renovating, where to start?’ you can catch up here:

Part 1 – Building Report
Part 2 - Your A-team, Materials and Storage

As much as possible, plan your renovation around the Weather Radar and Forecast. This way, you should have a fair idea of what to expect, weatherwise, a few days in advance. But remember, just because it hasn’t rained for 6 months doesn’t mean it won’t torrent down during the week that you have everything organised for painting the outside of the house!

Contingency Plan

Having a contingency plan will enable the work to be moving forward on time and on budget, no matter what the weather.

Keeping the job on time can be achieved by using a Gantt Chart and a STC (Specific Task Chart) for areas that have plenty of trades, like kitchen renovations, that will need the trades of a cabinet maker, electrician, plumber, tiler etc.

Establish a good business understanding with your local hire company, these are the guys who will supply the scaffold, airless spray, floor sander etc. Ask for a try out of the airless spray, with using just water, well before you will need it to spray paint, just to get the hang of it.

Staying on time

So, for the purposes of this blog, I am going to assume you are undertaking some of the Reno yourself and the weather is fine! 

My general procedure is to start at the top and work my way down externally.

Now take a careful look at the roof especially in the building inspection report. I remember a job in Brisbane where the report stated significant rusting to the roof sheets and consideration should be given to replacement of the whole roof!

The rusting had occurred between the joins and we simply ‘short sheeted’ the roof i.e. inserted small 600mm wide sheeting under the join and refastened. That roof to my belief is still in that same condition, over 10 years later and we saved over $10,000 by not replacing the entire roof. This is not such a problem now these days, due to the manufacture of long lengths of roof sheeting, which can span from the ridge to the gutter, therefore eliminating joins.

Sometimes just a repaint can also extend the life of an unsightly roof. I like to apply the paint with a kitchen broom, so I can get the extra thickness of the paint onto the surface, in lieu of spray application.

A corrugated roller can also be used with great results to layer on roofing paint.

I’m not a big fan of the airless spay being used for external building painting because of overspray. It is not fun to ‘unpaint’ the paint spotted Mercedes from next door, so a good 75mm brush is what I like to use. You can get 100mm or even bigger brushes but over time these feel like a lead weight and by lunch time you’re over it.

Hint: Buy the best brush it compensates for who’s on the other end!

While the weather is fine, you can get into your landscaping quite quickly and don’t forget to get your plants wholesale, with the use of your ABN number! 

Like painting, another big bang for your buck is new turf and landscaping. Sometimes, the previous over planting of shrubs and plants leads to a situation where you can’t see the forest for the trees, so remove excess vegetation. Less is more and you will be surprised how much better the property will look.

Fencing is like the ‘frame around the Mona Lisa’. If you have the old type chain/mesh fence, consider keeping the heavy duty galvanised pipe posts and attaching your timber pickets and rails to this. It will save you heaps in money and time.

Hint: If buying timber for fencing, use fence grade timber only, it’s much cheaper than construction timber. Timber fencing has a lower “F” rating that is suitable for that application. Warning: Don’t use fence grade timber in stress loading housing construction.

Pathways and driveways can be quickly and cost effectively created. Use 70mm x 35mm treated pine on edge as a border; lay a weed mat and stepping stones with coloured aggregate in surrounds.

Hint: Aggregate driveways should not be more than 50mm in depth so tyres do not spin.

O.K. we have finally made it indoors!

Keep an eye on your Gantt Chart and STC chart and organise trades
days in advance; ensure you have all materials on site.

Be aware of the simple ‘big bang’ items like painting. This alone can reward you with a brilliant Reno, but don’t wait till the Reno starts to choose the paint, have the colours already chosen.

Geoff and I had two colours for 10 years and we always used exterior paint, as this can be applied both externally and internally. Buy in bulk and save! Always have a couple of tins on standby, if you are doing lots of Reno’s.

Your finished paint job is only as good as your preparation work, so spend more time prepping than painting. With an airless spray gun you can paint a 3 bedroom home in just 62 minutes; I know I’ve done it...on National TV!!

The use of Easy Surface Preparation (ESP), can cut time and money on painting those glossy, non-paint surfaces. It is liquid sandpaper that bonds to shiny surfaces and allows them to be painted. We used this on one of Geoff’s properties, all the hallway walls were laminated in that shiny grooved ply and looked terrible, not to mention dark. We simply applied ESP, wiped over the excess and repainted it! The results looked like VJ board - what a transformation! It was so quick, so easy, so cost effective.

Dim dark interiors make rooms feel small; think about the use of sky lights, they are cheaper than installing bigger windows. Incorporate window furnishings that allow light but also give privacy. Personally, I’m a big fan of the venetian blind, simple to install, inexpensive and allow screening for privacy and breeze entry.

I don’t spend a lot of money on lighting, most light fittings have a ceiling battens fixture and I aim for a 30cm shade that deflects light down, they look good and are very inexpensive.

Never lose focus of doing minor changes for major impact, you must renovate fast - aim for a 4 -5 week Reno. Time is Money!

Keep to your Budget.

Nothing values less than a half completed renovated building!

Paul Eslick

Reno Kings

The Reno Kings have created two brand new intimate workshops!  Uncover the common mistakes, as well as the little advantages you can gain over your competition, at Contract Tips, Tricks and Traps.
In Feasibility Mastery we give you the ability and confidence to do a full feaso for your own project.

If you missed any of our series ‘Renovating, where to start?’, you can catch up here:

Part 1 – Building Report
Part 2 - Your A-team, Materials and Storage

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