Planning projects 101

Tackling a big DIY project? Don’t fear! Here’s how to nail down a plan that will see it through from start to successful completion.

Bunnings magazine, Autumn 2020

Make a moodboard

If an overhaul of a whole room is on the cards, a moodboard will help you form a plan. Begin by collecting ideas in a folder or online, suggests interior designer Jackie Jones. Look at online sites, flick through magazines and tear out the pages of things you like, she says.

Inspiration can come in many different forms – for example, take photos of colours and textures you are drawn to when out and about. Collecting fabric samples is helpful, too. Reviewing your choices periodically can help cement your own personal aesthetic.

“Once you feel you have enough material, edit it down to get your final overall look; this will provide you with a ‘roadmap’ to your renovation and help to eliminate the stress of decision making along the way,” says Jackie. “Continue to edit throughout the project as things develop and evolve.”

Watch it: How to install and style a pegboard

Create a timeline

Set out a prioritised checklist of activities, assigning each a realistic timeline. For example, if youre painting a wall, you may factor in time for patching dings in the plaster, or a whole day just to prep cleaning, sanding and taping up so you can begin painting the following morning.

If it’s a large project, break it down into manageable tasks, and aim to work sequentially – in other words, finish all the prep first before you move onto the fun stuff, such as painting!

Define the scale

Some tasks, including plumbing and electrics, require a licensed tradesperson. Also be realistic about your skills. If you can’t manage every task yourself, call in the experts for help.

“It’s easier and more cost-effective to bring in a professional early on rather than make expensive mistakes and then seek help,” says interior designer Luisa Volpato of Advantage Interior Design.

Work out when you’ll need professional assistance – for example, laying a new floor – and when you will be tackling the DIY such as painting the walls and trim.

Bear in mind you might want their help in the middle of the project – like after the messy preparation work, but before finishing painting.

Make a list

Measure your project space, noting the dimensions of the areas you need to consider so you can work out exactly what you’ll need to complete the task and in what quantities. There are useful online planners, such as Bunnings’ paint and flooring calculators, which can help.

Make a definitive list of everything you need to avoid mid-project trips back to the store. If youre ordering materials yourself, check and recheck your calculations and always order extra 10 per cent more flooring, an extra roll of wallpaper, for example just in case. Running out of materials before the end is not only inconvenient, but if you’re relying on professionals, it will actually cost you money in your tradies’ wasted time.

It can also make a visual difference, as Luisa explains. A plain white tile can really differ from one batch to another, so if you run out and then buy an extra box from another batch it can be a slightly different shade.

Draw up a budget

Assign realistic costs to each item. Record all estimated costs and include a decent contingency allowance. Allowing at least 20 per cent for contingencies is smart, because there will always be something you forgot, need or want, says Luisa.

Pro tip

“For a large project like a house renovation, make some basic decisions such as finishes and flooring early on. Lock those in and everything else will follow more easily.” – Jackie Jones, interior designer

Try it!

Check out our D.I.Y. Advice section for a huge range of project and renovation ideas.

 

Photography credit: Getty Images, advantagestyling.com.au

kitchen 03:21

Planning & Projects How to redesign and update a kitchen There are plenty of ways to transform your kitchen for a fresher feel. Learn how to create a beautiful, updated kitchen with this simple advice from Bunnings.

Kitchen 03:05

Planning & Projects Getting the right galley kitchen design for your home Long, narrow spaces are perfect for galley kitchen designs. We’ll show you how to design a modern galley kitchen that utilises space efficiently, with maximum storage and dining space. Find out more with Bunnings.

hampton kitchen

Ideas & Makeovers Hamptons sanctuary Bright, open and stylish are the hallmarks of the Hamptons Sanctuary. The island bench doubles as a workspace and breakfast bar, while the bamboo benchtops and window panel cupboards complete the look.

rejuventaed kitchen

Ideas & Makeovers Rejuvenated kitchen You don’t need a big budget to have a huge impact on your kitchen. A fresh coat of paint on the walls, tiles and cabinets, along with some new cabinet handles has given this tired kitchen a whole new lease on life.

budget kitchen 01:15

Ideas & Makeovers How to give your kitchen a makeover on a budget How to give your kitchen a makeover on a budget.

subway kitchen

Ideas & Makeovers Subway kitchen The U-shape design of this kitchen makes it easy to work in and provides plenty of workspace. The two-tone cabinetry makes a bold design statement that is neatly finished off with a stone benchtop with waterfall edges.

French industrial kitchen 01:10

Ideas & Makeovers French industrial kitchen You can transform a tired, outdated kitchen with some inspired French industrial style.

fresh start

Ideas & Makeovers Fresh start kitchen Simple but stylish changes make the Fresh Start kitchen ideal for the budget conscious.

hydrangea

Planting & Growing How to create an allergy-friendly garden If you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, then being out in the garden can, at times, be less than enjoyable. But there are some steps you can take to create an allergy-friendly garden so you can spend more time gardening and less time sneezi...

pallet coffee table

Outdoor Living Five D.I.Y. ideas to update your outdoors Autumn is a great time of the year to tick off a few D.I.Y. projects from your to-do list. Here are a few good ideas to get you started.

pot

Planters How to choose the right plant pot Pots are a great way to add colour, interest or texture to your outdoor space. Tuscan Path’s Elaine Foster shares her top tips on how to choose the perfect pot.

sunflower

Planting & Growing How to plant and care for sunflowers Sunflowers are a great way to add colour to your garden, and they’re easy to grow and care for. Bunnings Greenlife buyer Katie explains the basics of how to grow sunflowers and shares some tips on how to care for them.

orchid

Planting & Growing How to care for orchids Orchids are a low-maintenance flower that can be grown indoors or outside in a protected location. And, with a little care, they will provide you with lots of colour.

paint

Guides & Projects How to upcycle almost any piece of furniture with paint Rather than throwing out old household items, you can restore them with paint. It’s a quick, easy and affordable way to give anything from furniture to fences a new lease on life. Learn how to paint and prepare different surfaces to get the finish y...

DIY balcony and courtyard garden

Planters D.I.Y. balcony and courtyard garden Even if your outdoor space is limited to a balcony or courtyard, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a garden. The team at Tuscan Path, who have been supplying pots to the Australian marketplace for over 40 years, share some ideas on how ...

 kitchen benchtop materials

Benchtops & Cabinets A guide to kitchen benchtop materials The perfect benchtop will add style to any kitchen. It’ll also see the most action, so choosing the right benchtop for your kitchen – and budget – is an important decision explains Bunnings Kitchen Designer Ben Carey.

Top of the content