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Creating a Renovation Checklist

Last Updated Jul 2, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

A home renovation is one of the most stressful yet most rewarding things that you will ever do.  You can cut down the stress however by drawing up a detailed renovation checklist and working from it the whole way through but how do you know what to include?  Don’t worry; we’ve created this great guide to get you started!  For more advice and info, have a chat with your local renovation professional.

What is a Renovation Checklist?

A renovation checklist is simply a list that you draw up to ensure three things: that you are getting the renovation that you want, that you don’t forget anything that you want in your renovation, and that you get a renovation that is done well.  Ideally, you’ll draw up your renovation checklist before the process actually gets underway so that you can refer to it throughout all stages of the project.

What Should Be On My Checklist?

The hardest part about creating a renovation checklist is deciding what to put on it. It can be helpful to try and break it down to different areas, so that you are less likely to forget something.  As an example of this, you might want to have sections such as budget, fittings and materials, tradespeople, inspections/quality control, design and planning, council requirements, etc.  Here are some sample things that you can include in each section.  Once you have dealt with each point, simply tick it off!

  • Total budget set for the renovation
  • Finances obtained (savings/bank loan)
  • Emergency “buffer” set (for unexpected expenses)
Fittings and Materials
  • Decide what fittings and materials to use in the renovation
  • Shop for fittings and materials if required (some people will have trades/project managers organising this)
  • Organise delivery of fittings and materials
  • Organising secure storage if necessary
  • Make a list of the tradespeople that will need to be involved in the renovation
  • Obtain quotes from shortlisted tradespeople
  • Hire tradespeople
  • Ensure that licenses/qualifications are current and up to date
  • Organise payment to tradespeople
Inspections/Quality Control
  • Organise who will be doing inspections (yourself, council, architect, builder, project manager etc)
  • Have a schedule for each inspection
  • Have a procedure set in place should repair works be necessary
  • Schedule repeat inspections as needed to ensure compliance with building codes
Design and Planning
  • Hire a design professional such as an architect, interior designer, or builder
  • Write down initial desires and wants for the renovation to share with designer
  • Create initial plans
  • Check plans and make alterations as necessary
  • Create detailed working drawings to be used throughout the renovation
Council Requirements
  • Contact local council and find out what permits and permissions are needed
  • Gather together necessary documentation for the council
  • Pay fees to obtain permits
  • Ensure that paperwork is lodged and permits are received before giving the go ahead
Tailoring Your Checklist

Obviously, this is meant to be a very general checklist with some standard things that you can use to get you started.  You can tailor this checklist to remove any items that are unimportant to you or to add things that are an absolute must have.  Make sure that you have a copy of the checklist with you at all times so that you stay on top of your renovation and enjoy the process, instead of being stressed out worrying that you’re going to forget something!

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