Panning & designing a total renovation

Hi All

Ok, very shortly, I'm about to start my very first reno of my very first PPOR. YAY! How excitement!! :D
I have zero knowledge/experience, but plan to have much fun learning to do as much of it as I can. I should be able to manage just by hiring a plumber, a sparkie and an el cheapo handyman to help with the heavy jobs. I can learn a lot from books/reno TV shows. Being my PPOR, the time-frame is not an issue, I intend to enjoy the journey rather than focus on adding value as such. I'd just like to hear people's thoughts on how to go about planning/designing the reno. What software programs or websites are out there to help? I'm a very visual person, so I'd like to see it on paper/PC before I go ahead and do it. I'll be scouring the magazine racks of course...
The entire house/rear yard needs doing except the front exterior which is perfect as it is :)

I'm thinking of starting with the bathroom, as it's the worst room in the house, it would be less susceptible to damage caused by renovating the rest of the house, and would make the biggest psychological diiference to me (my bathroom is my sanctuary). Only thing is, I'll be poorest at the beginning of the reno, and I imagine the bathroom will be the second most expensive room to do - after the kitchen. Any ideas on cheap, but good-looking bathroom renos? Or perhaps there are reasons I should start elewhere?

Hobbity Gobbity

PS: There is a pic of the nasty kitchen in the photo gallery...
Go hobgoblin go!

Try painting tiles rather than retiling if possible. White Knight products are very good & you can really lift a bathroom simply by painting - much cheaper!

However, to gain confidence in your abilities why not start with an easier room - say your bedroom. That way every morning you wake up in your nicely renovated bedroom you will feel confident in your ability to tackle other jobs.


Hi Acey,

I've just been checking out your 'Higgins' reno. Looks like a huge job. Are we talking Higgins in Can'tberra, just out of curiosity?
Good idea about the tiles but, um, this bathroom is so bad there are no tiles, except in the shower - just bare linings. The vendor has started the reno already, but not gotten far for some reason. I have posted a pic in the gallery - it's pretty rough, you'll see why I'm keen to do it first, but the bedroom is a nice idea too.


Yup CBR it is.

Well you'll have to tile or mini-orb in the bathroom in that case.

Tiling is not hard, but best to start on a nice flat floor before tacking walls.



PS: How is your book doing?
Um, don't talk to me about the book, man! Last week my PC crashed and I had to do a total hard drive rebuild. I lost EVERYTHING! I have old hard copies of the manuscript laying around, but will need to do the last few edits again. I've given up on getting it published, and am now thinking that once I have some $$$ in the bank, I might self-publish, and flog it off or use it as a give-away for my clients. (adding value as Blair Singer would say)

In any case, this house is rapidly becoming the centre of my world, :D so the book will have to wait for now....


PS: Anyone with any thoughts on multimedia design tools...?
Originally posted by Aceyducey
Well you'll have to tile or mini-orb in the bathroom in that case.

Are there other options for bathrooms?

I'm a bit suspicious of tiles- a botched jon on a first floor bathroom some years ago caused the textured ceiling to be ruined. And mini orb can look great- as witnessed in your own last reno- but it's a look whichg doesn't suit all.

Are thre, for instance, some sort of waterproofed panels which could be used in wet areas?
I've just bought a copy of Mitre 10 3D Dreambuilder. I looked at many programs; this one seemed to have a lot of options so I went with this. I bought the expert one, which is $199.95, as you can scan in a plan and modify it in this one.

We are planning an extension to our ppor and this was the primary reason to try this out.

So far, in between kids and renovating, I haven't had a lot of time to look at it, but I've discovered that there is a fairly big learning curve involved if you haven't used CAD type software before (I haven't). It does come with a good thick instruction book, tutorials, and video instructions. So far, I've figured out how to build a foundation and walls, and how to move around the screen. I can see it has huge potential though, you can basically walk around your 3D house and "see" what it will look like. You can do your landscaping as well, and even put in the slopes on your land exactly as they are in real life.

All up, I'm happy with what I've seen so far, and I'll report back more as I learn more!
Hi Hobgoblin

So that it doesn't resemble a war zone and it is affordable, write down the amount you can realistically spend this year.

Next look at what hurts most. For example, a bathroom may be unsightly but if you're living in a place where you couldn't swing a cat, then the extra space may be the priority.

The key to better bathrooms is waterproofing, not swisho fittings. Old bathrooms have corroded shower trays and where provided, tiled areas tend to be on concrete based glue (almost impossible to remove).

Reno shows and magazines are real 'come ons' for dinks. In the real world people set a realistic budget first (so you don't get 'talked up') and then get a builder's advice on what can be done. Keep the standard of fittings 'real world'.

The other point is that you are better off getting work out of the way before opening up another project.