What tradies to hire at different stages of your reno.
Rome wasn't built in one day and, spoiler alert, neither will your reno. Making changes to your home is often a team effort completed over days and weeks, especially when there's major remodelling or more complex electrical and plumbing work involved. Hiring trustworthy tradies is a vital part of the process, with knowing not only who to hire, but when, just as important.
One way to avoid this headache is to go with a general contractor. If your budget allows you to throw a bit more money at the problem, this person can move the reno chess pieces around the board for you (more on that a bit later). But if you want to be a real renovation maestro, and maybe save a few bucks along the way, you can have a go at hiring help yourself.
Now, installing a new basin and switching up the shower in the bathroom isn't the same as tearing everything down to the studs and starting over. Smaller jobs might require less assistance from the pros. But major kitchen, laundry or bathroom renos have a lot of moving parts to consider, from demolition and construction to plumbing and electricity done behind the scenes. It requires a lot of tradie teamwork to make the reno dream work.
Unsure where one stage ends and the next begins? Here's a guide on what tradies to hire when during the various stages of your reno.
What to expect when you're expecting – a renovation
Below is a rough guide to renovation glory. The changes you want to make might not require all of these steps. If you're not moving the sink to a new island in the kitchen, you might not need a plumber. And if your bathroom makeover doesn't involve new powerpoints or lighting changes, you can probably skip the search for an electrician.
With that in mind, here's a general idea of what a major reno can look like in order – just skip the parts that don't apply to you.
1) Strip it down. Out with the old, in with the new! If you're making major changes like moving or removing walls, doors, benches and other structural pieces, this is where you'll get a carpenter involved.
2) Get the currents and water flowing. After the tear down, you'll want to hire your electricians, plumbers and anybody else whose best work remains out of sight. With the guts of your home exposed, these pros will get to work on the first steps of moving and installing pipes, wiring, cabling and other everyday essentials (including NBN and air conditioning).
3) Build it back up. Once the electricians and plumbers have done their thing, it's time to get the walls and any other major pieces up. For new walls, look into the services of a plasterer or renderer. For something like a kitchen island or other structural work, you'll need to get a carpenter back into action.
4) Keep it dry. If you're getting your bathroom fixed up, don't forget to get a waterproofer to provide key protection after the walls go up.
5) Style with tile and adore your floor. A professional tiler can make your space look its best, whether you're lining the floor with some sweet patterns or snazzing up the walls. This is where you'll get your new floorboards put in, too.
6) The return of sparkies and plumbers. Once the foundation for your space is established, it's time to get the pros back to start install the key pieces that will turn your space from good to great. This is where the electricians and plumbers add the good stuff – the bathroom taps, laundry outlets, light switches and the like.
7) Add a fresh coat. Painting puts the finishing touches on your reno. Wait to paint until the end to avoid dust and chips affecting the final product.
To hire a general contractor or not hire a general contractor – that is the question
As mentioned above, there are a lot of moving pieces involved in getting a full-scale reno underway and completed. One way to simplify the process is to hire a general contractor who can manage the project for you.
Pros of hiring a general contractor include:
- More experience with a professional leading your project
- Less headaches with somebody else coordinating scheduling
- Industry connections that can help land quality tradies for less
- Easier communication with one point of contact for you
- Quicker completion with a pro to keep things moving
On the other hand, the cons of hiring a general contractor include:
- Another cost to build into your budget
- Less learning about the reno process
- Less involvement in hiring tradies
- Less supervision over progress and other details
- Unnecessary cost for smaller projects
At the end of the day, or the start of the reno, whether or not you play puppeteer and pull all the strings or hire a general contractor to run the show depends on, amongst other things, your project, your experience and your confidence in your abilities. There's no one-size-fits-all answer, and a blend of the two might even suit you best. Whatever you decide, one thing's for sure – we here at CLARK are right here behind you.