• Helsby Construction Group



It’s easy to talk about renovations, adding on another room or ripping out a wall, but in reality the process involves a number of moving parts – architects, engineers, contractors, building materials, project managers, labour costs, consents – that don’t always work together.

Getting it right can be stressful, time consuming, and incredibly expensive - therefore if things go wrong, you’re looking at more time, money, and stress even for seemingly small errors.

Below are some of the most common mistakes we see in renovation projects

1: Budget Issues

Homeowners often have a very unrealistic idea of what their renovation will cost, some rely on a ballpark figure from a friend, or a very old quote that’s no longer accurate.

Materials and labour costs, especially in these rapidly changing and uncertain times, are also subject to shift and increase, so you need to be on top of locking down your material/labour costs before moving too far ahead.

2: Over-eagerness to get started

It is natural to get excited about the prospect of your future house once the work is completed, but without thorough research and consideration in the planning, design, and product selection stages, you’re more likely to change your mind during the project or find that your renovation isn’t exactly what you wanted when it’s complete.

This is the last thing that you want to have as an end outcome, so it pays to take your time at this stage and make sure you know exactly what you will be ending up with as a finished product

3: No plan b, or c…. OR d

Almost every renovation includes some surprises including extra costs, delays, or unexpected issues with the house or land. A contingency budget of between 10-15% of the total costs will prevent a lot of stress and anxiety, along with keeping your bank/lender happy in the process!

Of course, if you work with experienced renovation teams like us, we can help reduce costs by cutting back the project or downgrading product choices – if it comes to that.

4: Wrong people for the wrong job

Choosing people who specialise in your specific type of project is essential – if you’re planning a residential extension & renovation then it pays to use a builder experienced in those types of projects, rather than employing a builder who typically does shop fit-outs.

With the right professionals for your project, you’re less likely to run into problems, and these builders will have sub-trades that they use repeatedly who are experienced in the right type of work as well.

5: Self-project management

If in your professional capacity you work alongside people daily, it’s easy to imagine that you have the skills to project manage your build yourself. However, despite what you may believe you are capable of yourself, large renovation projects can require hours of management time every week, usually during business hours.

Working all day and sending emails or texts during the evening doesn’t work in the long run as it slows down the project overall, and you’re more likely to end up with expensive mistakes.

6: Changing your mind

Renovations require hundreds of decisions, big and small. Indecisiveness at time for certain decisions is understandable, but it gets problematic if it happens continuously during a project. It can be very expensive and time consuming to go back and change or redo work because you have changed your mind. As mentioned above, it is best to spend time at the beginning of your project considering all your options so that when a decision is made, it is final.

While here at Helsby Construction Group we can’t prevent every small mistake, we can help you avoid the big ones, by communicating every step of the way so there are no surprise costs at the end of a project. We offer turnkey solutions, from concept to completion, using trusted builders, contractors, and suppliers, so you know everything will go as smoothly as possible.

Avoid making mistakes on your next renovation and get in touch with us for an initial concept meeting at

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