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To Read Before You Renovate

Starting a renovation is an exciting process but if you don’t have your ducks in a row before you press go it can be pretty overwhelming too. Aside from purchasing your property, renovating or building will be one of the most expensive things you do in your lifetime and no one wants to waste time or money, so it’s important to get it right.

So before you set yourself into a spin, make sure you read these 7 common questions we get asked that will help you with your project too.


Overcoming the overwhelm is all in the planning! It’s never too early to start to plan a renovation and the more you have mapped out in advance, the less daunting it will be:

1. Start planning your reno or build as early as possible – we recommend starting Three Birds Reno School at least a year out from your build date. Plenty of our students start before they’ve even bought a property to renovate.
2. Always build in a 10-30% contingency budget – cost blowouts are sure to add to your overwhelmed feeling, so try to minimise the impact of those!
3. Be guided by your Vision Board – it will become your bible for renovation success.

And, at the end of the day, don’t delay starting your project because you worry it won’t be perfect. If you do that, you may never start and never get to enjoy your home. “Done is better than perfect” is a motto we love.


It depends! Do you think you could do the job as efficiently and with the same end result as a professional? If you’re keen to get your hands dirty and have the time and skills to complete the job with a quality result, by all means, go for it!

When it comes to more specialised jobs (especially those that involve power and water!) we recommend getting in licensed professionals. In Australia, an electrician will generally need to complete a four-year training/apprenticeship program to qualify. Bathroom waterproofing is so important that is mandated by law in Australia and must comply with Building Code Australia (BCA) and Australian Standard AS3740. In most states, only licensed professionals can undertake this work.





At Three Birds Renovations, we’re big believers that you should play to your best skill set – for us that’s the planning, design and project management, we leave the tools to the paid professionals. Yes, it costs us more upfront but the completion time is a fraction of what it would take us (and time is money!) and the end result is high quality.


If you do have to choose one or the other, we always recommend warm lighting. Lana’s biggest mistake in her renovation was choosing cool downlights throughout her home. Come evening time, her hallway resembled a supermarket aisle and her lounge room gave off doctor’s surgery vibes. Leave the cool bright lights for commercial settings, and opt for ambience in your home.

But guess what? If you don’t like commitment, you don’t have to choose! At House 10, we used Smart Lighting from Beacon Lighting which means that you can can change from cool to warm at the swipe of an iPad screen. You can change your lights to any colour in the rainbow and put on a disco for the kids… or adults. Practical and fun!


Don’t lose sleep wondering how you’re going to match the tapware and door hardware everywhere in your home because the short answer is, it doesn’t have to match! As long as the overall style of your hardware and tapware matches throughout your home, you can select different colours in different rooms. Want proof? See how we used different coloured tapware thorughout Bonnie’s house #House8…

Brass in the laundry

Stainless steel in the boys’ bathroom

White in the kitchen

TAPWARE TIP: What does need to match is the waste, plugs and toilet flush! Select these in the same colour as your tapware for consistency throughout your bathroom.


Lana has one and LOVES it. Fibreglass gets a huge thumbs up from her and here’s why…


They cost around 20% less than a concrete pool to install, and ongoing costs are lower due to fibreglass pools requiring less maintenance, chemicals and energy consumption.


Installation takes only 3 weeks instead of 3 months. In fact, we’ve heard that they can be installed in just 3 days!


The non-abrasive surface is softer on feet and fibreglass is not as rock-hard as concrete if your kids accidentally hit the bottom.


Fibreglass acts as a natural insulator so it holds in the heat for longer.


The gel-coating is smooth and non-porous, preventing the growth of mould and algae.


Less cleaning, fewer chemicals, reduced energy consumption = smaller carbon footprint.


It’s hard to believe anything is stronger than concrete, but fibreglass is very durable and can withstand movements in the earth better than concrete.

A pool will likely be the most expensive single item you put in your home, so it’s important to get it right… for your family. Our best advice is to research your options and decide what’s best for you.


In short, keep it simple. Steer away from bold tile choices or tapware styles that you love now but that may not date well. Choose classic tiles and timeless fittings, bringing personality into your bathroom through styling. Then style your bathrooms as beautifully as any other room in the house. Greenery, rattan furniture, plush towels, candles, and flowers are all lovely ways to help create atmosphere and can totally change the look of a bathroom.


If we’ve been friends for a while, you’ll know that we love to use the same shade of white paint everywhere – walls, trims, ceiling, you name it, we’ll match it. It makes for a seamless look that we love. It also helps avoid contrasting whites throwing different undertones and usually the reason people tell us their white paint looks blue or green.

That said, we don’t use the same paint everywhere because different paints are suited to different surfaces, but we have it all tinted the same colour. Before you get your head in a spin over high gloss, low sheen, enamel and water-based, check out our go-to guide for which type of paint we use where:

Interior Walls, including brick – Dulux 1 Step Prep

Interior Walls, including brick – Dulux Wash&Wear Low Sheen

Interior WoodworkDulux Super Enamel Semi Gloss

CeilingDulux Ceiling White

Exterior Walls, including brick – Dulux Weathershield Low Sheen

Exterior TrimsDulux Aquanamel Semi Gloss OR Dulux Super Enamel Semi Gloss

Embarking on a renovation project can be both exciting and daunting, but armed with knowledge of the process and the answers to common renovation questions, like these, you’re guaranteed to have a more rewarding experience.

Originally posted by Three Birds Reno School