What impacts the timeline for a renovation or new build project?
Learn more about what will impact your timeline here, and how to save time overall.
As I was working on the rebuild of HOME Method, and really diving into it (“Heads down, bums up!” my Mum would say!) I thought a lot about timelines for building and renovation projects, and how to simplify the steps for members even more.
One of the trickiest things when it comes to doing a custom new build or renovation project – and one of the hardest things to wrap your head around as a newbie – is the number of variables that can change your personal project journey.
HOME Method captures the steps that any project needs to take, whoever you’re working with, or whatever your dreams, location or budget. And it provides a framework for members to learn how to ask the right questions, seek out the needed information, and shape their own project journey as a result.
However, for some, that process can be a 6 month journey. And for others it can be 3 years.
The very, same journey.
So what changes timelines? And what are the variables to consider?
And then what are the consistent dots you need to join, regardless of what you’re doing?
Let’s look at this quickly.
These are some of the things that can impact your timeline, or change the order in which you need to do things.
The specific challenges of your site and location
If you have a bushfire overlay, a particularly strict Council, big issues on your site with services or infrastructure, or anything that makes your site and your plans for it more nuanced, then it can mean you need more input from professionals, potentially have more applications / approvals, and a lengthier timeframe.
It can mean more departments of council, or even external agencies, need to be consulted as part of your approval process too (and often those departments won’t view things simultaneously!)
A few members have been discovering the differences between states in terms of when finance can be finalised.
In some locations, you need a fully completed and signed contract (with insurance paid) before your bank will finalise your mortgage. That seems crazy, doesn’t it?
But it’s why you need your bank manager or broker on speed dial, and totally across what you’re doing with your builder, so you know you can get all the people and money lined up as soon as that contract is signed.
For others, they need a Building Permit, or Building Approval, but don’t need the contract to be signed to achieve it.
Yet, the Building Permit can take some time to achieve, and so sitting and twiddling your thumbs waiting for it, to then turn around and wait (twiddling your thumbs again) whilst your bank processes your loan application, can be frustrating.
So streamlining and seeing what can be overlapped becomes helpful at that point.
This leads me to my next point …
Pause points and holding patterns
There can be lots of times in a project journey when you’re waiting for someone to finish their phase of work, or an approval to be processed, before you can move onto the next stage or step.
With some of these pause points (and some can be 6 or more months, for example, with a long DA approval timeframe), you can also make a risk assessment as to whether you can continue specific work whilst you wait – knowing that you may have to undo some or all of that work if you don’t get good news about what you were waiting on.
In many projects I’ve worked on, we’ve made a call about whether to continue working towards our Building Approval whilst waiting for our Development Approval.
The benefit has been that, if you can do this, all the Building Approval documentation can be prepared and then submitted as soon as your DA comes through. The risk is that the DA comes through with a bunch of conditions or issues that impact all the documentation you’ve spent weeks or months doing.
These overlaps, or where you’re trying to crunch time by working on something else before finalising the previous step, need to be risk managed with expert input and eyes wide open. But they can reduce timelines considerably.
The regulations of where you live
There are some interesting requirements based on where you live, and the kind of project you’re planning.
If you’re working through a traditional design – bid – build process, where you work with an architect or designer to develop your design, draw it all up, go through the approvals, and then tender it out to builders, then you may find you have to choose a builder before submitting your Building Approval or Building Permit, because you need a builder’s name on your approval submission.
In other locations, and certain project types, this isn’t the case.
In some locations, you need a specific professional to lodge certain documentation for you before everything is finalised.
In some locations, you can do all the submissions yourself – or you’re actually required to, but you’re still sourcing what you need from the various professionals you’re working with.
In some locations, your council can require specific paperwork and payments related to the construction phase itself, and the fees and requirements for those won’t be resolved until you’ve finalised your building costs and can advise them. Which you don’t necessarily have nailed down until you have your final contract sum. But your budget will most likely need to know what these fees are, so you can factor them in before you finalise your contract sum with your builder.
And depending on the methodology you’re using for your project (architect-run, or designer-run, or builder-run with your own design, or design-build, or off-the-plan, or you’re project managing all of it, or another approach), that can change the order in which things will happen, and who is responsible for handling the steps.
Yep, it’s a lot.
Figuring out your own project pathway is a great early step in any project.
Identifying timelines will help you nut out what’s achievable, and how it will fit in with your overall life. Especially when you’re working around milestones like Christmas or the impending arrival of a bub, etc.
If you’re working with professionals, I would encourage you to push this back onto them as well.
Ask them to step you through what’s ahead, the timelines involved, and what’s feasible in delivering your future home. They’re the ones that do it all the time, and I find homeowners don’t rely on them enough sometimes.
Whoever you’re working with, you don’t have to figure this all out on your own.
I have two main goals with HOME Method.
The first is this: to unlock in you who your future home needs you to be, so you can sit in the driver’s seat of your project.
This means giving you the education and knowledge to ask the right questions, choose the right team, get intentional about the home that you want to create, and demand better of those you’re working with.
This gives you the confidence you need in order to know you’ve got this, and can create the outcome you seek to achieve. Even with the challenges and hiccups that come your way. (Plus you have a safe place to turn to when you need it too).
The second is this: to give you a framework so you can see the whole picture before you start, with the tools to then tailor that framework to your own project journey.
So you can then create that timeline for yourself, plug in your own project’s specifics, and tap into the collective journeys of other members who may have just done the same thing in a location right near you (which is what’s happening in the group right now!)
Now, what are the consistent dots to join for any project?
Well, that’s what HOME Method really steps you through.
But if you’re looking for some early help, check out my podcast episodes on the phases that any project will go through, and I share commonly made mistakes so you can avoid them in your project. There are 4 in total, and an episode on each (plus a free PDF transcript download as well).
These are the 4 phases, and episodes:
Pre-Design Phase Design PhasePre-Build PhaseBuild Phase
I hope you find it super helpful information.
Amelia, UA x
If you’d like to get started on your renovation or new build project, my Get Started Guide is a fantastic resource to help you do just that.
It will teach you the first steps any project needs to take, whatever your dreams, location or budget, and whoever you’re working with. Learn more about it here >>> GET STARTED GUIDE
And, if you’d especially like to get started on your home design, then the mini-course ‘Happy Home Design’ will help you.
You’ll learn more about what decisions really matter in happy home design, and how you can design a home that is functional, fantastic and feel-good >>> HAPPY HOME DESIGN
If you’d like to learn how to choose the right builder, and learn how the specific checks to do, and questions to ask, when interviewing builders for your project >>> CHOOSE YOUR BUILDER