10 Essential Home Renovation Tips for First-Time Homeowners

As a first-time homeowner, the prospect of renovating your new space can be both exciting and overwhelming. Whether you’re looking to update a single room or undertake a complete home transformation, proper planning and execution are key to achieving successful results. In this blog post, we’ll share 10 essential tips to guide you through your home renovation journey. From setting a realistic budget and prioritising projects to hiring professionals and staying organised, these tips will help you navigate the process with confidence. To kickstart your renovation project, we invite you to get an instant quote. Let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to a successful home renovation experience.

1. Set a Realistic Budget

Before diving into your renovation project, establish a budget that considers your financial capabilities and desired outcome. We’ll discuss how to create a comprehensive budget that accounts for materials, labor, permits, and unexpected expenses. Setting a realistic budget will help you prioritise projects and make informed decisions throughout the renovation process.

2. Define Your Renovation Goals

Clearly define your renovation goals and objectives. Identify the areas of your home that require attention and determine what improvements you want to achieve. By having a clear vision, you’ll be able to focus your efforts and resources effectively.

3. Prioritise Projects

Not all renovation projects are created equal. We’ll guide you through the process of prioritising projects based on your needs, budget, and timeline. By identifying the most critical areas to tackle first, you can ensure that your renovation is both practical and efficient.

4. Research and Gather Inspiration

Take the time to research and gather inspiration for your renovation project. Explore home improvement magazines, websites, and social media platforms to discover design ideas, trends, and innovative solutions. This research will help you create a clear vision for your renovation and make informed decisions regarding materials, colours, and styles.

5. Hire the Right Professionals

For complex renovations or projects requiring specialised skills, hiring professionals is essential. We’ll discuss the importance of selecting reputable contractors, architects, and designers who align with your vision and can deliver quality workmanship. We’ll provide tips on conducting interviews, checking references, and reviewing contracts to ensure a successful partnership.

6. Obtain Necessary Permits

Depending on the scope of your renovation project, you may need permits from local authorities. We’ll guide you through the process of determining which permits are required, understanding the application process, and ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations.

7. Create a Detailed Project Plan

A well-organised project plan is vital for keeping your renovation on track. We’ll explore the key elements of a project plan, including timelines, tasks, and milestones. By creating a comprehensive plan, you’ll be able to monitor progress, manage resources, and stay focused throughout the renovation process.

8. Communicate Effectively

Clear and open communication is crucial when working with contractors and professionals. We’ll provide tips on establishing effective lines of communication, setting expectations, and maintaining regular updates. Strong communication will foster a positive working relationship and ensure that your renovation aligns with your vision.

9. Prepare Your Home

Properly preparing your home before the renovation begins is essential. We’ll cover important steps such as decluttering, protecting furniture and belongings, and creating a designated renovation zone. By preparing your home, you can minimise disruption and ensure a smoother renovation process.

10. Stay Flexible and Adapt

Renovation projects often come with unexpected challenges and changes. It’s crucial to stay flexible and adapt to unforeseen circumstances. We’ll provide tips on how to handle unexpected delays, budget adjustments, and design modifications. Being adaptable will help you navigate any obstacles that arise during the renovation process.

Embarking on your first home renovation project can be a thrilling experience. By following these 10 essential tips, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle your renovation with confidence and achieve successful results. Remember, proper planning, setting a realistic budget, hiring the right professionals, and staying organised are key to a smooth and rewarding renovation journey.

To start your renovation project with Aireno and receive an instant quote. Aireno is committed to providing exceptional renovation services and guiding homeowners through every step of the process. Begin your transformation today and turn your house into the home of your dreams.

Whether you’re revamping a single room or undertaking a whole-home renovation, embrace the opportunity to create a space that reflects your style and enhances your quality of life. Happy renovating!

Sean Di lorenzo on May 22 2023

Hidden Costs to Look Out for When Renovating a Kitchen

Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen is often the first one that people look to for a renovation. That’s with good reason; as the place where the cooking happens, and yet the place where hygiene is also the most important of all, the kitchen tends to experience more wear-and-tear than most other rooms in the house.

The average cost of a kitchen renovation ranges from around $20,000 to $33,000 (in expensive cities like Sydney). If you are planning your own kitchen renovation, and the price that you come up with is less than that, then there’s every chance that there are some hidden costs to check for.

Some of the common “hidden costs” with kitchen renovations

One of the most common costs with a kitchen renovation that can sting the unwary is the cost of a designer. For even the smallest of costs, $10,000 or so renovation, the designer themselves will cost as much as 15 percent, or $1,500. The total percentage drops as the overall project become more expensive, but it’s always significant; a $76,000 project will attract a 10 percent fee, while a $127,000 project can expect to have an 8 percent fee tagged on for the designer.

Relocation costs and increased food costs are other common expenses when going through a kitchen renovation. You can find a great resource for a complete family budget planner here. Depending on how expansive the renovation is, you may need to spend some time in a hotel or Airbnb property. If those spaces don’t have adequate kitchens of their own – or if you’re able to stay at home, but can’t use the kitchen, then the cost of restaurant meals or takeout can blow out the cost of the family food budget.

kitchen renovation costs

Obtaining council approval

Another surprise cost that might come your way with your planned renovation is in obtaining council approval and certification. Furthermore, if you live in an apartment complex, you’ll almost certainly need body corporate permission before undertaking any major work. What this might cost you can vary from council to council, but it’s often a cost that’s left out of mind until it becomes relevant (if the planned renovation involves a structural change of an order, you need council approval for it).

Do you need a structural engineer? 

Speaking of the building structure, any changes to your building to facilitate a kitchen renovation might require you to bring on a structural engineer to take a look at the place, and how to execute on the design document safely. Note: you can’t assume that your builder or renovation crew will have a structural engineer, nor that they’ll be able to make this determination in lieu of a structural engineer. Builders are there to execute on plans, and while structural advice might be a value-add, you should check with them on their qualifications in this space before leaving it to them.

Once the project is ready to go, you’ll likely also need to pay for site works pre-renovation (for example, hiring tractors to bring materials in, potentially the removal of trees to gain access (which would require council approval and the hiring of licensed tree fellers), and the need to construct retaining walls or fences. You may also need to provide temporary toilets for construction workers if your bathroom is not accessible through the project. The construction process may well require repairs work done with the electrical wiring or plumbing, too, and those repairs can rarely be anticipated prior to work commencing.

kitchen renovation

Make sure to consider the taxman!

Finally, it’s important to consider whether the taxman is going to come after you for your renovations. Obviously this won’t matter if you’re renovating your own home, but if you use it to renovate a second property or increase the value of your family home because you’re selling up and moving out, then you’ll need to consider whether the renovations count as Capital Gains Tax, revenue (and therefore GST), and so on.

How to handle kitchen renovation hidden costs

Start with a home budget. Why? Financing the kitchen renovation is an expensive proposition – people don’t tend to have $10,000 at a minimum saved up. One common option is to take out a “home equity loan” on your house. What this means is that your bank will provide you with credit up to the value of your home, minus what you still owe of it. The advantage of doing this is, unless your house is really new (and therefore you haven’t paid off much of the mortgage), you can access a substantial pool of money as you need it.

If you are looking to pay for the renovations out of pocket, it’s important that you plan out absolutely everything ahead of time, and be as detailed as possible. Then, assume that you’re going to need additional money to cover issues that arise as the renovation occurs – having a pool of 20 percent of the total renovation cost at minimum is important for those emergencies.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a better way to renovate your kitchen give Aireno a try. Click the link for a free, instant and fixed kitchen renovation quote.

Sean Di lorenzo on January 12 2023

Kitchen Renovation Cost Guide

At Aireno, there are some questions we receive more often than others. However, there’s one that stands out: How much does a kitchen renovation cost?

If you’re currently considering a  kitchen renovation in your home, this is important to understand because you don’t want to put yourself into debt. Likewise, you don’t want to make sacrifices on certain features and then end up realising you could have spent more. From the very beginning of the process, communication regarding costs and budgets is essential – something we take seriously at Aireno. In this kitchen renovation cost guide, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on exactly how much a kitchen renovation will cost in Australia.

Once you’ve finished reading, get a free, instant and fixed kitchen renovation quote for your own home through clicking the link.

What is the average kitchen renovation cost in Australia?*

When considering the budget for a kitchen renovation, there are some important questions that need to be answered:

• What are your main goals with the space?
• Are you happy with the current size and layout?
• Do you require any special features or functions?
• Do you want to use existing designs or get materials custom-made?

Of all the considerations, the size of your kitchen is perhaps the most important. While the average kitchen renovation cost is around $12,000, there’s no reason why those with a small kitchen can’t spend under $12,000 on a kitchen renovation. Meanwhile, a larger kitchen could potentially exceed $60,000.

Here’s a loose guide based on size:


kitchen renovation costs



Where does the money in a kitchen renovation go?


As an extension of the average costs, let’s break it down a little more because we can provide some advice on the different materials you’ll need. For most building companies, they recognise materials in three different categories; kitchen benchtop costs, cabinetry costs, and finishing touches.

Kitchen benchtop costs:

Of your total budget, benchtop costs are thought to take up between 10% and 15%. Of course, the amount you pay will depend on the size of your kitchen and also the thickness and style you prefer. If you partner with a professional designer, most will suggest saving your budget for an island.

At Aireno, we’ve loved seeing the evolution of cabinets through the years. As a result, we now have great choice and the price you pay will depend on these choices. There are three types of cabinets; stock, semi-stock, and custom.

  • Stock Cabinets – These are the basic units that you can purchase from home centres, and you can pay as little as $80 per cabinet to get started.
  • Semi-Stock Cabinets – Found at the likes of Bunnings and Ikea, these cabinets are slightly more expensive because you’re paying for quality. Cheaper versions are still available, but you can also get some designs up to $1,000 per cabinet.
  • Custom – As the name suggests, these cabinets will be made to order. On the one hand, you get unique cabinets and jealous guests. On the other, you could find yourself paying a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1,500 per cabinet.

Finishing touches:

Finally, it’s all well and good having the foundation of your kitchen but it won’t come alive until you add the finishing touches. Remember, you may need appliances, and these can cost up to $5,000 in total.

Elsewhere, kitchen mixers can fall between $250 and $1,000, lighting could cost $150 per unit for installation, and a tile backsplash costs an average of $1,800. At this point, you’re seeing how a kitchen renovation can quickly build up in price.

kitchen renovation costs


Though you can choose a cheaper material to save money, something you don’t want to compromise on is labour. If you’re going for a full kitchen renovation, you’ll need to consider the demolition and disposal as well as design and installation.

Of course we like to hope for a perfect project, unexpected costs can sometimes arise so there needs to be a contingency for this. What happens if the plasterboard beneath the wall tiles need to be repaired? In some cases, this can cost $2,000 alone.

Other considerations include;

• Plumbing – $3,500
• Electrical Permits/Plumbing – $2,000
• Waterproofing -$1,000
• Floor Protection – $900

Important considerations when it comes to kitchen renovation cost


Before getting started with your kitchen renovation, you need to think about whether you want a simple renovation or whether you want to alter the whole layout of the room. If the latter, a registered architect will need to draw up designs bearing the building codes and laws in mind. Therefore, these sorts of projects tend to start at $30,000.

When you change the layout, everything gets more expensive because you’re increasing the required material and labour. This, coupled with the design process and permit filing, can increase the required work. This being said, you also get a beautiful new kitchen that keeps you smiling for years to come.

Budget and resale value

Next, we have your budget. Often, we speak to homeowners who are only focused on the present. At Aireno, we encourage you to also consider the bigger picture. Before you spend any money, think about resale value and the impact any changes will have.

In order to make a profit (or at least break even), we believe you should spend no more than 8% of your home’s value when renovating a kitchen. Let’s say your home is worth $900,000, you shouldn’t really spend anything more than $72,000 and still expect to make money from the investment.

If you’ve been reading this guide with a panicking feeling inside, don’t worry. For those without the budget to renovate, you still have options to bring a new lease of life to the room.

For example, why not upgrade your appliances? Not only will they add new character to the room, you can also buy energy-efficient models and reduce your electricity bills.

Although we tend to have a human nature to want everything changed immediately, there’s nothing wrong with breaking it down into smaller stages.

Other kitchen renovation cost considerations

So far in this guide, we’ve spoken about the importance of size, layout, your goals, resale value, and your choice of materials, but what other considerations should you keep in mind? When you work with our brilliant team at Aireno, we’ll explain a concept known as the ‘working triangle’.

Essentially, the idea is to reduce the walking distance between the most important features of the kitchen. Rather than walking around an awkward island or a long distance from fridge to sink to oven, the appliances sit as the points of a triangle. The size of the triangle will be unique to your home, but the concept will allow for easy cooking and a positive experience.

Complete breakdown of kitchen renovation cost

To finish this kitchen renovation cost guide, we want to talk a little more about average renovation and installation costs. All things considered, the majority of people spend between $18,000 and $46,000; the average falls at the lower end of this range at $25,000. Below, you can see more information regarding the specific costs your project may require. Keep in mind that these are averages across all projects, so your renovation may be higher or lower.


kitchen renovation costs


In terms of installation, we can see above that it accounts for 17% of the project cost. However, these costs can be broken down further depending on what the builder is actually installing. In fact, we can go even deeper because the very best appliances will cost more to install than smaller appliances.

In the table below, you can see the cost of installing each item with the lower and higher estimates (based on quality and size).


kitchen renovation costs

kitchen renovation cost

Get an instant, online kitchen renovation quote!

Thanks for reading, we hope you’ve now got more of an idea of how the whole kitchen renovation process works. If you need help, even with bathroom renovations and things like exterior and interior painting, feel free to get in touch today. If you have questions or concerns about your potential home renovation project, our experienced team will be ready to help.

When you choose us, you’ll be assigned a project manager who will focus on your project. Whenever you have questions or want to talk through ideas, they’ll be ready to listen and provide their own input. What’s more, we have licensed and trusted tradespeople so you can always be sure of a great job.

Just in case you aren’t convinced just yet, we use transparent pricing (there’s no nasty surprises) and we take care of your every need from start to finish. Get started today with an instant kitchen renovation quote and you could have your dream kitchen in no time!

Click here to get a instant kitchen renovation quote in 60 seconds! 

(*These figures are based on our quoting data, with the average cost of a basic kitchen renovation in Sydney standing at $20,376 a standard renovation costing around $25,000, and a premium kitchen renovation sitting at around $48,000.)
Sean Di lorenzo on May 20 2021