by NorthWestWebsiteDesign |May 11, 2018 |0 Comments | Blogs, Blogs special, Renovation

Often the key to a successful final product is the planning and thought spent in preparation. The old saying “measure twice cut once” has real application when it comes to renovating.

The more effective our preparation is, the smoother and more problem free the building process is.

The Northern Beaches is infamous for its classic “beach shack” renovations and is a popular endeavor for many home owners as a great way to keep the character of your property whilst creating a home that caters to your needs.

It is important for any owner looking to renovate to understand that an “Ad hoc”  approach to renovating, whilst allows flexibility along the process, commonly ends up in breaking budgets and deadlines. Effective preparation will pay off in the end!

So knowing how to prepare and what to prepare becomes an important question to answer before renovating.

Here are 3 keys I would recommend in effectively preparing for your next renovation, extension or addition.


Knowing your needs prior to commencing the building process is very important to effective preparation. It aids the design process as when you employ architectural and design advice they will have a clear parameters and outcomes to design in and from.

It’s very important to sit down and think very thoroughly through what you need in the home you are building. Make a list of these needs, discuss with invested parties (i.e. spouse and children) and come to an informed decision around what you need.

Knowing prior to starting the building process will provide a smoother building process and greater potential to come up with a design for your home that is specific to your needs.


Planning within your budget is very important in order to avoid breaking it. As soon as you break your budget and start spending money you don’t have it is very easy to get yourself into trouble. You can end up with unfinished projects, disgruntled tradesman and unplanned debt if you fail to know your budget prior to commencing your renovation.

It is important to note, things will always take longer and cost more than expected so when putting together your budget, it is wise to allow a buffer for these unforeseen but predictable occurrences.


For example, “a lot of your budget gets buried!” This can be a shock to people because they were unaware of the cost and time it takes to build strong foundations. Good communication with your builder will provide you with a holistic understanding of what the building process for your renovation is going to require.

A good strategy is to make a list of all your questions and sit down with your builder to go through this list of questions. It will provide the opportunity for you to get to know each other a bit more and for you to have your questions answered.

When selecting your builder, its advisable to look for a builder who is willing and committed to work with your needs and not the other way around. This is something we at Trentwood pride ourselves in providing for our clients.

If you take the time to know your needs, know your budget and know your builder you will be thoroughly prepared for your renovation and will experience a smoother and more effective building process.


by NorthWestWebsiteDesign |November 17, 2017 |0 Comments | Blogs, Blogs special, Renovation


by NorthWestWebsiteDesign |September 15, 2017 |0 Comments | Blogs, Blogs special, Renovation


by NorthWestWebsiteDesign |August 18, 2017 |0 Comments | Blogs, Blogs special, Renovation

If you are planning and looking to renovate, the timing of your renovation is very important. And as much as that timing can be dependent upon a range of circumstances that are unique to every project, there are a few key thoughts to consider that will help give you greater clarity. Timing can truly be the difference between a smooth and satisfying building project or a clunky and challenging one.

Here are 3 thoughts for consideration that will help you discover when it’s a good time to renovate your home:



Planning your project around the weather seems to be a small factor in comparison to the bigger concerns of family, job and finances. However, weather can be the biggest cause of prohibiting a project’s progression because of how exposed to the elements building commonly is. Choosing a time of year that will provide the most consistent and appropriate weather for building will help guarantee a smooth and satisfying renovation.

At Trentwood, we recommend that any necessary planning and preparation is undertaken in the months prior to spring (September) as this time of year provides the best window for consistently good weather.



Having the funds to finish your project prior to commencing your project is a very advisable position to get yourself in! Commencing without being financially sound to do so can cause you a lot of headaches and guarantee you a bumpy ride. One of (if not the best) indicator of a good time to start your renovation is when you have the finances you need to be able to complete your renovation. This should include a contingency, as there are always unexpected and unforeseen costs with any renovation.



We strongly recommend you take the time to plan your project before you start. The countless stories and examples of unnecessary pain and problems  caused by a lack of planning are scary! Especially when renovating your home! A really good way to know when to renovate is to ask yourself “Am I happy with the plans in place?” (This is obviously assuming that you have plans in place, which if you don’t then there’s probably a bigger problem.) It is important that you feel happy with what you have planned to do. If you don’t feel a sense of satisfaction and excitement about the plans in place before you start, then you will most definitely be in denial during the process! Make sure you are happy with the plans for your renovation and when you are, this is a great indicator that you should start your renovation.


Assessing these 3 considerations will help you gauge whether you are ready to start your renovation or not. Obviously there are a lot of other factors and circumstances unique to you and your project but checking off these 3 thoughts is definitely a great way to know you’re ready. Trentwood is committed to helping you with this process and making sure your renovation meets all your expectations and beyond.

Want some more tips for renovating and building? Check out this and this!

The Renovation Process From Start To Finish

by NorthWestWebsiteDesign |March 7, 2017 |0 Comments | Blogs, Blogs special, Renovation

Renovating is a process that typically takes longer than you would like and is subject to a number of variables along the way. Insight into the steps required in the renovation process will help you gain an understanding so you’re not flying blind into your next renovation!

From our experience of over 25 years in the building industry, here are some insights that we believe will help you.



Dream The Dream

Spend the time in research, discussion, dreaming, comparison and brainstorming what you want for your renovation! Don’t miss, rush or ignore this process; it becomes extremely important for creating a platform to build your project on. A half plan will never go to plan and is filled with changes and interruptions that draw out the project and drain your resources. Be sure to have all your requirements in place before you commence – kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.

Draw The Dream

Once you have as clear as possible picture of what you want, it’s now time to get the drawings done. Bring in an architect and a builder to get a blueprint drawn up of what your renovation is going to look like. Again, this is an extremely helpful and vital process in preparing for your renovation and will save you time and money in the end!



Do Your Research

At this stage it is important to find a good builder that you trust and feel confident that they know what you’re after. It is a good idea to seek out advice and testimonials about the builder or a few that you are considering. Your partnership with the builder is paramount to the success of your project, so take the time to ensure you find somebody who puts your needs and wants first. Part of this process is getting your quote; so your next step is to get the builder you feel good about to come and give you a quote. The cheapest quote is not the best quote, you are looking for a reliable builder with a good track record, and not the cheapest quote. Often the cheapest quote is accompanied with the cheapest quality of work.



Do Your Engineering Details

Having chosen your builder you will now need to get your structurals done. These are the engineering details for you project. This is a simple process and it is best to go through your chosen builders engineer due to the already established relationship they will have in place.

Do The Approvals

This is simply where all the necessary approvals are submitted for your project.

Do Your Project Schedule

You will need to lock in your start date with the builder; the sooner you can get this locked into the calendar, the sooner you can get underway with your renovation. It’s also important to set clear expectations of how long the project will take and come to an agreed time frame with your builder so that you can manage any problems or interruptions. Make sure you have some clear boundaries and deadlines to keep your project on schedule and on budget. Be sure to work out whether you’ll need to move out or have a clear plan on how you will do day to day life in and amongst the renovation process.

Do A List Of Who Is Who

Creating a list of names will help you know who’s who and what they are doing on your building site. This will help keep you in the loop and create a connected, “on the same page” environment for your renovation.



Ensure you have FUNDS TO FINISH THE PROJECT! Having done the first three steps, it is important that you are financially solid and able to see the project through to its completion. If you do not have funds to finish the project you will have to start and stop which will draw out the process and frustrate those involved which will not be to your advantage.



Having done all the above preparation, your process will be ready to get underway! Don’t delay once you’ve finished the preparation. It’s important to have a final meeting with your builder before construction commences to sign off on all the details and processes you’ve discussed. You should establish any final expectations and communications for the duration of your renovation. It’s now time to let the builder and his team do their thing. Prior to the completion of your project, you should book in a meeting with your builder for after the project is finished for full closure on your renovation and to gather any final information, pictures and details that you may like.

These steps are some solid guidelines on what the renovation process looks like! As you can see from the above content, the bulk of the work on your end is in the preparation. The more effectively you prepare, the better renovation process you will experience!

If you are looking for a builder for your next renovation you can contact us here through our online form and we’ll get back to you ASAP!