Renovating your home

Renovating your home can cause a considerable amount of inconvenience, mess and stress. Whether you’re renovating to add comfort or to sell, our Registered Master Builders uphold the highest craft and ethical standards, and will help you throughout the process.

Plan renovation projects carefully

The first steps in planning a renovation are: Collect ideas and information from books, websites, social media including Instagram and Pinterest, magazines and brochures. A great place to start is the House of the Year website where you will see the best new homes and renovations across all budgets and categories. 

Work out a budget and decide what is achievable and what is not. It is also a good idea to plan the project room by room. In doing this you will also want to consider the future and how your needs may change over time.

Planning for a specific project

Consider whether you can realistically live in the house while the work is being done. If you are planning major work, such as adding another storey, it might be sensible to move out while work is underway.

Decide if you need to hire a designer to work out the scope of the project, and prepare plans.

Take the time to find reliable tradespeople to do the work – some simple jobs can involve a number of tradespeople. For example, replacing a hand basin and vanity could involve a plumber, builder, plasterer, painter, electrician and floor-layer.

Decide who is going to manage the work. Management of a major renovation project is similar to managing a new house project – someone needs to be in charge. This person is responsible for making sure each of the tradespeople are ready on site when needed, the quality of the work is checked, variations are handled in a consistent way and progress payments are made. Careful project management is essential, whether you decide to manage it yourself or leave it to the designer, builder or one of the other tradespeople.

Hiring a Designer

Whether you need a designer to design and draw up plans depends on the extent of work being done. 

Major renovations involving moving walls around, adding new rooms or having a new kitchen put in will benefit from the design expertise of an architect or architectural designer. Their ideas can help to maximise floor space, increase sunlight, and flow. They can also advise on materials and special design features, such as making the best use of natural light, heat and other energy efficiency aspects.


With a few exceptions, major work is going to need building consent. The building consent application will require plans and specifications to be attached. A designer can prepare these for you.

Finding a designer

For major renovations and alterations, finding a good designer should be carried out carefully.

If you are having a bathroom or kitchen renovated, you can use the specialist services of kitchen and bathroom designers. Some offer a design service only, but others can offer a service which includes all or some of the following:
A consultation at your home
Bathroom/kitchen design service
Strip out of existing fittings
Installation of new fittings
Plumbing work
Electrical work
Paint and paper finishing
Complete tile services
Payment and finance options

Hiring an Engineer

With some renovations and major alterations, you will need the services of a chartered professional engineer.
Engineers are necessary when you are extending up or out, or when you are removing structural elements. They can also provide specialised advice on other parts of the project.
Your architect or designer should let you know if an engineer is required and what the extra costs will be. Or you can contract one directly by looking online or getting referrals from other people.

Our Registered Master Builders will help you through these steps. Find a Registered Master Builder