Isn’t it time to kick your renovation or new build planning up a gear?
Don’t delay getting educated and informed for your project. It’s never too early to learn how to get it right when designing, building or renovating your home.
Listen to this podcast to learn how to get it right.
In this episode, I’m going to be sharing with you how to really get yourself ready for your renovation or building project if that’s on the cards for you in 2019. NOW is the time to prepare properly, and so I want to help you get really well set up for a successful project so you can save time, money and stress, and get it right in your future home. Sound good? So, let’s dive in.
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE HERE:
Feeling frustrated and running out of time …
Recently, I had this great email conversation with a member of the UA Community. She’s a gorgeous woman who has had a really terrible experience with their renovation.
When she first got in touch with me, she gave me a run down of what had happened with their project. It was a litany of designers not being able to follow through on projects, builders disappearing as well, submitting a DA for a project that was now bigger than what they wanted to spend money on, but knowing that its expiry date was arriving soon and if they want to do something, they need to act.
Life getting in the way, getting frustrated and exasperated and needing a break for a while, challenges and delays … and now, with the clock ticking on their approval, and their house actually needing maintenance work that compels the renovation as well, their story is far too common unfortunately.
A project taking far, far longer than it needs to, becoming bigger than Ben Hur in commitment, stress and struggles, and literally wearing out the resilience and resolve of the homeowners who wonder whether it’s seriously worth the drama and effort.
Not to mention the money spent on fees and approvals, the pressure of time limits with expiring Council approvals, a family out-growing their living environment and a home needing repair.
After sharing the details of this journey, she said,
“I then started again and discovered your site…..the clouds parted and I finally realised why the last four years have felt so scary, and why I, usually an intelligent and capable person, have felt so totally out of my depth.“
“Essentially, we are your perfect case study on why people should do your courses BEFORE they do anything else”.
I asked her why she hadn’t previously joined my online course “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home“, her response was this:
“Speaking for me I naively and simplistically thought building was similar to surgery – you chose a professional that has a good reputation and then hand everything over.
At the time I started I wasn’t looking to educate myself about the process. I thought I just needed to decide on styles of things. It was only once I was years into it, feeling totally out of my depth, watching money fly through my fingers, and feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere that I started trying to educate myself about what was going on. Then once I was in the midst of it I was completely gun-shy about spending more money without feeling confident I wasn’t going to be throwing it away.”
It was actually a great insight for me, and perhaps for you, from someone who is the other side of a lot of drama and heartache.
In my experience, when homeowners start thinking about building or renovating, this is commonly what they do:
- They jump online, perhaps set up a Pinterest Board or Houzz Ideabook, and start gathering gorgeous images of kitchens, living rooms, alfresco areas … a lot of aspirational photos of finished projects that look like what they hope they’ll have in their dream home
- They really do try to nail and define their ‘style’ and put a name on how to describe it … be it Hamptons, or Coastal, or Scandi or something similar
- They may get a builder around and throw a bunch of ideas and suggestions at them, to try and get an idea of price – which is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string
- They can speak to friends and neighbours who’ve renovated or built, to see who they used and if they were any good, and what suggestions they might have
- They might even get a few designers around, and pick their brains for ideas under the guise of seeking fees for their help
- And I’ve even seen homeowners at this point look at colour schemes, flooring, tiles and Tapware and start collecting samples of things they like
Look, all of these things are definitely part of the process, but they’re not the best place to start.
In fact, they can be a great way to waste time as you pursue ideas and suggestions that aren’t based in what’s possible for your project and budget – or what potentially suits you the best. And they’re completely lacking any strategy that will streamline your effort, make your project more efficient, or less stressful as well.
Homeowners can spend years at this point.
Often they’re waiting for the ‘right’ time in their lives … for a pocket of time to become available. Which if you’re like most busy, modern families, that doesn’t really ever happen. Or they’re waiting to have ‘enough money’, which is certainly useful, but if they haven’t actually established their budget, or got some concrete ideas of costs for their desired ideas, it’s a bit of a stab in the dark what ‘enough money’ actually is.
I could keep going on about what happens for homeowners in the time before they start their renovation or building projects.
Many call it ‘getting ready’ but I feel it’s more like procrastination. And it’s counterproductive because in the searching, the collecting of ideas, the desire to get certainty around what they want to do, what they want to spend, and how they want their home to be, there’s a lot of time wasted. Because they’re often doing it alone, or with well-meaning but poor quality advice from free Facebook groups, or fluffy websites online written by people without a lot of experience or expertise. Sitting up late at night, or scanning their phone on their commute, or at the park with the kids.
I think of the deliberation and research that first time mums put into purchasing their first pram or car seat, and yet fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants for their renovation or building project. I see women taking 12 months to plan a wedding – a one-day event that’s basically a very expensive party – and yet dive into renovating or building with incredible urgency and haste.
This may all sound quite harsh and brutal …
It basically comes down to this:
If you don’t know how to get where you’re going, how can you possibly expect to not get lost?
How can you expect to know how to ask the right questions, choose the right people to work with, know how to ask for what you want, be sure you’re getting what you’re paying for, and reach the destination of your finished home unscathed?
If you have bottomless pockets and all the time in the world, then winging it is certainly do-able for your renovation or building project. But if you have constraints of time, money and resources, then you may want to be better prepared, better informed, and better equipped for the journey to your finished home.
It is possible to have a great experience when you build or renovate your home. You hold the key. You are your future home’s greatest asset. You – what you do, how you choose, what you decide and how you push the progress of your project. It’s within your reach, your power, to be your home’s greatest advocate, and for you to know what you need to know to make your project a success. The fact that you listen to the Undercover Architect podcast tells me that you’re a natural at this … because you understand the importance of being informed and educated for your home’s reno or build to go well.
So how can we work together more closely on this … how can you get better prepared, and better informed for your project?
In this episode, I’m going to be talking to you about “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home”.
This is my 6 week online course that is a super-fast way to get you equipped with the tools, knowledge and resources to make your project a success. From understanding how to speak to council, your potential designer and builder, to be able to set your budget and communicate what you want for your future home, to auditing the design and getting all the details resolved, and through to having a stress-free construction process that runs on time and on budget … that’s what “How to Get it Right” will help you do.
I’ve got some exciting news to share with you about developments we’ve made in this course to improve it, and also a holiday special you can access so that, if 2019 is your year to renovate or build your family home, you can get yourself sorted and prepared in the best way possible.
When I first created “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home”, it was a Saturday morning workshop.
I designed it to give attendees a taste of Your Reno Roadmap, the VIP membership I spoke about in our last episode. And it was so attendees could, very quickly, establish a step-by-step framework for their renovation or building project … and then be off, with confidence and tools to navigate their projects more simply.
It’s been almost 2.5 years since that first workshop, and since then, hundreds of homeowners from all corners of Australia, as well as New Zealand, the UK and the USA, have done this course with me. There’s been single homeowners, homeowners with young families, homeowners with older children, families with kids leaving home, homeowners who are down-sizing, homeowners who are making tree or sea changes … all sorts of different lifestyles and situations.
Each time I’m excited and – I don’t mean this to sound patronising – but totally proud of how these nervous and overwhelmed homeowners gain confidence, and become seriously strong and empowered advocates for their own projects. The courage that comes from being informed and educated … the ability to then dive into and drive their projects … so that they stop spinning their wheels and start making those home dreams a reality.
It’s one of the huge joys and privileges of my work in Undercover Architect. I honestly love watching how this knowledge changes their project experience and their future homes, and it’s such an honour to share their journeys in this way.
Some of those members are now living in their finished homes – which is also so exciting. I know that when you’re at the beginning of the process, that being in the home you’re dreaming of can feel like a long way off down a hard and expensive road … but the whole reason I created “How to Get it Right” was to help homeowners strategise and streamline this process so they could get to that finished home faster, more simply, and saving time, money and stress.
So, first – who is “How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home” NOT for?
Well, it’s not for people who are about to start construction of their new home or renovation. If you’re in that boat, then Manage Your Build, which is another of my online courses, is the right fit for you.
If you’re planning on building with Metricon, or Plantation Homes or one of the other big project builders where you choose a home from a display village and build with one of these volume builders, then “How to Get it Right” is not for you either. With that way of building a new home, you’ll be limited in how much you can change about the house design, and you’re locked into a system of delivery based on the builder’s business model.
If you’re caught in the idea that you need to choose a style, and then hand over all other decision-making and direction to your chosen professional, then “How to Get it Right” is not for you either. This is not the mindset I teach in the course, and it’s a risky way to go about your project – because you’re totally reliant on the professional you choose. And if you’re not knowledgeable about how to choose the most suitable professional, then it can be potluck if you get it right. If you’re interested in a different way of doing things, then keep listening because “How to Get it Right’ may be a good fit for you.
And if you’re determined that your project will be a nightmare experience of heartache and drama because that’s just what renovating or building is like … or you think renovating and building is like what you see on The Block, or House Rules, or the myriad of other misleading television programs about building and renovating – then “How to Get it Right” is not for you either.
If you’re only doing a small project like a kitchen refurb, or bathroom, or cosmetic renovation, then “How to Get it Right” is not for you either.
So, who is “How to Get it Right” for?
Well, as I said earlier, I’ve had all sorts of homeowners, from all parts of AUSTRALIA and overseas, participate in this online course. In it, I teach a step-by-step system … one I’ve utilised in my own projects, and client projects, for the last 2 decades. It works, it helps simplify projects, it saves time, money and stress, and it shares my key tips and strategies to help you have a successful project, and get it right. And it literally super-charges your learning, your experience and your ability to be a savvy, informed homeowner as you navigate your project.
So, if you’re thinking about renovating or building sometime in the next 2 years, then it’s a great time to do “How to Get it Right” …
Because learning all the steps you need to take now, means you won’t waste anymore time getting lost down Google rabbit holes.
It means you’ll know the steps to follow before you’ve invested any serious time, effort or money into the process, so from here on in, you can be efficient and strategic about what you choose to do, and who you choose to work with. Think Ninja designing, renovating and building!
If you’re about to really kick your planning up a gear …
Perhaps start choosing your designer or builder, and start to spend money on getting people involved, discussing your ideas and drawing up your floor plans, then “How to Get it Right” is also perfect for you.
The course will greatly assist with giving you clarity in figuring out what you want for your home … how to go about setting your budget realistically, interviewing the professionals you’ll need, and being able to communicate your ideas effectively and clearly with them. And it will support you as you navigate the process so you can always be sure you’re on track, and not wasting any time, effort or money as you move forward in your project.
If you’ve already started designing …
Perhaps you’re doing your design yourself, or your working with a designer or architect on your renovation or building project, then “How to Get it Right” is also perfect at this point. I’ve had lots of members feel that it might be too late, but have taken that leap and joined, and then been super glad they did. Whilst your home is lines on a page, it’s actually the most affordable time to change your mind about what you want.
And the “How to Get it Right” course will help you audit the design with my recommended dimensions and other layout information and advice. It will help you prepare for construction effectively and thoroughly before you get too far down the track of signing contracts and finalising prices … so you can avoid nasty variations and surprises on site. And it can help you check off all your steps so you haven’t overlooked anything or made choices you’ll regret later.
OK, so now you know who “How to Get it Right” is for, and not for, let me share with you how the course is structured, and what membership offers you – because we’ve changed a few things in our latest improvements, and I’m really excited to share that with you.
Now, as I said, hundreds of homeowners have been through this step-by-step framework, and learnt the best action to take on their renovation or building project. “How to Get it Right” is structured in 4 modules that are delivered across the first 4 weeks of your membership. These modules are based on the 4 stages of any building or renovation project … which I’ve mentioned now a few times on the podcast if you’ve been listening lately.
Those 4 stages are:
- Before you begin
- Getting your design right
- Before you build your reno or new home
- Getting your project built
So, the first 4 weeks delivers 4 modules to you, which take you through the individual steps in each of these stages. Each week contains a video where I share the steps, and let you know what to avoid, and how to get it right. There’s key action tips, advice for questions to ask, and resources to support that part of your journey.
In each week, I also have a deep dive video, which covers a particular topic I know homeowners find challenging in each stage. These Deep Dives share specific resources I’ve pulled from my higher level Your Reno Roadmap VIP Membership, which I talked about last week on the episode. There’s things like my Room Design Guidelines, my Top Money Saving Strategies, my Brief Builder, and other fantastic tools I know homeowners have loved using from this course.
The last 2 weeks share more nitty gritty information about selecting materials, fixtures and products for your project, and helping you define them for your team so you avoid budget blowouts during construction.
And, along the way, I’ve also added specific links and support tools to assist with budget setting, speaking to professionals, commissioning specific work so you do it right the first time, and loads of other helpful information.
Now, the “How to Get it Right” course is structured so it’s fast to do.
Each video in the first 4 weeks is 15 – 20 minutes. It’s literally designed to outline the framework in the most efficient way possible, and give you helpful and time-saving, stress-saving tools.
I know how busy you are … I know that you have to squeeze your renovating and building plans in around busy schedules, very full lives and other demands on your time and finances, so “How to Get it Right” is about expediting, literally speeding up your learning with some concentrated effort in the right places. Rather than you wasting time on information, resources, and people that might throw lots of advice and ideas at you, but not actually help you with the steps to get from where you are right now, to that finished home you’re dreaming of.
Because what happens when you have the right information? The right words, the terminology, the questions to ask, the means by which to know that you’re moving in the right direction? Well, it’s seriously incredible to watch what happens.
One member said this … “With the paperwork presented and questions put forward, they asked what part of the industry I worked in LOL. The great start is all thanks to our not-so-secret Ally!”
Another said this to me … and this literally gave me goosebumps when I heard it …
She said “I feel I have something of my own that I am contributing to. I have taken charge of this project like a part time job and I feel like it has fuelled passion back into my life that I was lacking in some way a year ago. Thank you so much. The men that I am working with in this industry look at me in meetings sometimes more than my husband and I feel that is because of the education your course has provided.”
For me, the excitement, the buzz I get from this is not because I’m teaching information that is useful and helpful as homeowners plan and execute their renovation or building projects. That’s is brilliant – don’t get me wrong, but it’s far more significant than that.
See, homeowners have told me – especially women – that as they go about their renovation or building project, they navigate each decision and discussion feeling like they have a target on their forehead, waiting to be taken advantage of.
So, to picture someone going from feeling like that, to then having designers or builders say to them when first meeting them “So what part of the industry are you from?” … can you imagine the shift that happens for them?
You go from feeling on guard, overwhelmed, nervous, feeling vulnerable … to gaining confidence, courage and trust in your ability to do this. To be your home’s advocate and champion. To be listened to, and feel knowledgeable. This is about helping you be who you need to be to have a successful project.
If you enter your project feeling nervous and like a target, you actually make yourself vulnerable to being taken advantage of unfortunately … because the sharks and cowboys in the industry will tell you what you want to hear, and get you signed on the dotted line, and it’s not until you’re committed that the wheels will fall off and it’s expensive and time consuming and super stressful to fix things at that point.
Instead, you’ll be confident, knowledgeable, have the lingo sorted, and know the steps … so you find great people to work with, know how to ask for what you want, and how to get what you’re paying for … and even enjoy the process as you build or renovate your family home.
Seeing that change happen for people … that passion, enjoyment, excitement come back – even after they’ve had challenging experiences elsewhere, that’s what really excites me. Because I can give you the tools, resources and know-how, and you can then have the confidence to do this simply, saving time, money and stress … and get it right in your future home.
So, as I said, the first 4 weeks of “How to Get it Right” take you through my step-by-step system.
In Week 1, we look at the steps you need to take before you begin your project.
The beauty of these steps is that you can take them whether you’re diving into planning your reno or build in 2 years time, or tomorrow. And what you do in those steps can teach you amazing things about your existing home, or your block of land, and what is the best fit for your project based on your budget, your site and your local area.
These are the first steps I take in any project I work on, because they alleviate huge headaches down the track. Far too often, I’ve seen homeowners work with their team, get all the way through their design process, get their approvals sorted and finalised, and be ready to start construction – only to find out critical information that should have been uncovered at the beginning of the whole journey.
Having the knowledge of these steps can save you months in planning approvals … I’ve even seen previous members realise a specific consultant they were working with was giving them the wrong advice and telling them to change their home in a way they didn’t want to, and they’ve been able to find someone more suitable and streamline the process because of what they’ve learnt in this module.
In Week 2, I help you see how to get your design right.
This involves getting clear on what you want for your future home, and being able to format it in a way that enables you to communicate it to others as well.
If you’re working with your partner and finding you keep disagreeing or struggling to get on the same page, previous members have found the tools I share in the module provide an impartial, professional viewpoint that can settle arguments really quickly.
One member said she loved that the information actually gave her a framework to talk to her partner about things, so she didn’t feel she was being pushed into decisions quickly, or settling for things she didn’t want.
In Week 3, we go through the decisions, choices and work to do before you start building your new home or renovation.
So many homeowners delay decisions at this point, or are not aware of all the various choices to make before signing a contract. They get caught up in the process of racing to a construction start, and set themselves up for a stressful build as a result.
This week shares critical steps to take first so you can avoid those types of headaches, and know that the builder has everything they need to build your new home or renovation the way you actually want it … not the way they’ve assumed, or not properly quoted for.
In Week 4, I take you through getting your project built.
So, this module teaches you the steps from choosing your builder – I even provide a template questionnaire to interview them with – through to keeping track of your project and saving money along the way.
This is a broad overview of the process … if you want a stage-by-stage dive into the actual construction process itself, then that’s what my other online course Manage Your Build is for. But being a member of “How to Get it Right” gives you special access to discounts to add Manage Your Build to your membership, and all of that information is on the website – there’s some serious savings available if you want to continue your learning in that way.
And then, as I said, these modules are delivered over your first 4 weeks, and then I have 2 more weeks of fantastic bonus resources and tools to make sure you’re really ready to start construction, avoiding variations and blowouts, and make confident decisions about your materials, fixtures and finishes too.
So, let me share with you some of the changes we’ve recently made to make this course as helpful and affordable as possible.
“How to Get it Right” was previously done on a launch model … so what I mean by that is that I would open the doors to members at certain times of the year, people would join, and you’d get access to the course and a private Facebook group for 6 weeks, and then your membership would end. I would be available for live Q & A sessions in the Facebook group but only during that 6 week period.
So, what we’ve decided to do instead is this:
How to Get it Right is now open to join. In fact, if you’re listening to this live, I’ve actually arranged a holiday special until January 15th, 2019. I think if 2019 is the year you’re going to move your renovating or building plans up a notch, or even make your project happen, then now is the perfect time to get yourself educated and ready for your project. So, if you use the code “HOLIDAY” you’ll access a $100 saving when joining “How to Get it Right” until January 15, 2019.
So, you can join H2GIR – you don’t have to wait until the doors next open. It’s available to join now.
Now I mentioned that hundreds of homeowners have done this course – and the amazing thing is that we’ve run copious live Q & A sessions in previous rounds of H2GIR. And what we’ve done is created a member’s only section inside H2GIR where all these questions and answers now sit. I kid you not, there are over 140 questions, and answers, asked by previous members. You can search this area of the course website and find some incredibly helpful info for your project. And we’ll keep adding to this library of information as well, so it’s an amazing resource for your reno or build.
AND … it keeps getting better. We now have a dedicated Facebook group for How to Get it Right. This will be a place where you can share your journey with others going through the same experience as you, get tips and ideas from their own projects and talk to other members about recommendations and ideas you need, or you might have yourself. And once a month, I’ll be running office hours – so I’ll have a Live Q & A where I’ll collate all your questions and answer them. This is perfect for those homeowners who don’t want to make the investment of my VIP Membership, but still want to be able to ask the odd question of me for their project.
And, if you want your design reviewed by me, or to jump on Skype with me to talk about your project, then I also make this available as an upgrade to members of How to Get it Right. You save 30% on the value of a Floor Plan Review or a Power Hour on Skype with me, to get ideas, questions answered, and tailored 1:1 advice for your project.
Phwoar – that’s alot isn’t it? So let me just summarise …
- We’ve opened the doors to How to Get it Right so you can join now – and until January 15 you can save $100 when you use the code HOLIDAY
- You’ll also be able to join a private FB group where you can talk with other members, share ideas and advice, and be moving through your projects together
- Once a month, I’ll be there for a Live Q & A
- You can access a library of questions and answers from previous rounds of “How to Get it Right” … seriously fantastic information to speed up your project
- AND you can access discounted upgrades to your own Floor Plan Review where I provide feedback on your design, a Power Hour where you jump on Skype with me, and to my other online course Manage Your Build and membership Your Reno Roadmap.
Now, you can find all of this information, plus more details on How to Get it Right by heading to
This is such a great way to get ready for your renovation or building project, and learn a step-by-step system that is proven, tested and I’ve used on my own and client projects for 2 decades now. Plus, you’ll access lots of additional helpful tools and resources to simplify your project, and help you get it right in your future home.
As Lisa said “You CANNOT renovate or build without first doing the course with UA! The mistakes that you will avoid will save you tens of thousands $!!” That’s a sensational return on investment! And when members are asked “Do you think this course has saved you time and stress”, 100% of respondents said yes.
So, remember to head to www.undercoverarchitect.com/howtogetitright to join now, use the code “HOLIDAY” to save $100 if you’re listening to this before January 15, 2019 … and even if you’re not, still check it out. It’s such a great way to get yourself informed and knowledgeable, and be confident for your project.
Until next year, bye!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:
Join How to Get it Right in Your Reno or New Home here >>> https://undercoverarchitect.com/howtogetitright/