• Building Expert

Don't be a renovation rookie. Classic mistakes to avoid.

Updated: May 15


If you’re planning an Auckland villa renovation, here’s six tips to help avoid common pitfalls. It’s the mistakes rookies often make and can end up adding considerable expense and stress to a project. With over 25 years of building expertise, we want you to avoid the mishaps others might make.


Even seemingly straight-forward renovations like adding another room, installing a new bathroom or chasing more sunlight can involve a number of steps. The process of building consents, selecting contractors and new materials don’t always click seamlessly together.


Warren Adolph Homes have worked on scores of Auckland villa renovations and bungalow alterations. Here’s what these top Auckland builders recommend based on their weight of experience.


1. Don’t rush the reno

If you’ve just moved into a new home which needs work, get the lay of the land. Live in it for a few months first to understand where the issues are, where the sun falls, what the priorities need to be. Some homeowners are so excited about a renovation that they kick off the process too quickly without undertaking the research around choosing a builder, optimal design and materials. Rushing headlong into a renovation could result in ending up with less than optimal results. Take the time to collect, discuss and sift through ideas.


2. Get expert advice upfront

Once you’ve got an idea, share it with a reputable builder. Warren Adolph Homes offer a free on-site consultation so you can bounce your thoughts off a registered Auckland builder with expertise in central Auckland villas, They will identify possibilities you may not have considered and the watch outs. If you want to move forward, they can provide you with a non-binding ballpark figure and design options so you can consider the best way forward.

3. Budget for the best and the worst

Homeowners often have a very unrealistic idea of what their renovation will cost. Some have a back-of-the-envelope cost figure or a historical quote that’s no longer accurate. Materials and labour costs do increase over time, so it’s essential to get a professional, up-to-date quote before you decide to go ahead with a project.


4. Plan for overruns

Large renovations require hundreds of decisions, big and small. Often you make changes after a fixed-price contract has been signed. These impact on the cost and are referred to as variations as they can be out-of-scope. So allow money in the budget for changes that you may decide to request ranging from a higher-spec kitchen or floor coverings.

Ensure you’re prepped for the unexpected too as once renovations begin, unpleasant surprises can pop up. Rotten timber, extreme weather events or site drainage issues can pop up causing cost overruns. Allow a 10-15% contingency in the budget upfront to avoid reapproaching the bank for a mortgage top-up or overdraft.

Of course, if you work with Warren Adolph Homes, we’ll work to mitigate and reduce the risk of unexpected costs through professional project management.


5. Allow budget for professional project management

Don’t attempt to project manage an extensive renovation yourself if you have no commercial building experience. It’d be akin to changing the motor in your car when you’re not a qualified mechanic. A professional project manager ensures all the moving parts – the timeline, budget, contractors and materials come together on site in a coordinated fashion. This will save you stress, time and money. Large renovation projects require hours of specialist management every week, usually during business hours. When homeowners attempt to project manage, it slows down the build, often delays the end date and heightens the risk of expensive mistakes.


6: Choose a certified registered Auckland builder with renovation experience.

Selecting a builder who can demonstrate expertise in your specific type of project is essential. Some builders have plenty of experience in Auckland villa renovations or bungalow alterations while others focus on building new houses. With the right professionals for your project, you’re less likely to run into problems.

Warren Adolph Homes have been crafting homes Aucklanders love for decades.

We can project manage your renovation from concept to completion with our team of registered and licensed builders. Villas, bungalows, kitchen and bathroom renovations no problem!


Avoid making the common mistakes on your next renovation and book a free on-site consultation now.


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Warren Adolph Homes Ltd
103A West Coast Road,
Glen Eden,
Auckland, 0602

Phone 09 818 2921

Mobile: Warren 021 999 310 or Andrew 021 546 043