procurement programme

Renovating your home? Here's a list of decisions to make early

If you're thinking about renovating your home soon, you might want to start thinking about some of the items shared here.

Some decisions have a flow-on effect to construction.

For example, if the materials specified take a long time to be manufactured or to arrive in the country.

So, what decisions require your attention first?


Floor finishes can have an impact on your project in several ways. Depending on how specialised they are and where they’re coming from, the lead time for your floor finishes can be longer than your construction period.

Ordering early can ensure they arrive on time.

All floor finishes come in different thicknesses as well, so if they’re sitting adjacent to one another (i.e., from a carpeted bedroom to a tiled en-suite), you’ll either need to make allowances for floor leveling or accept the step.

Allowances could mean leveling compound to bring it up, or it could mean cutting down the sub-floor. Both of these strategies cost money, and the former requires pre-planning for construction.

Ever tried to open a door and have it drag on the carpet? By knowing your floor finishes upfront, your door frames can be installed to avoid this.

Check out my Guide to Specifying Finishes ebook to give you a head start with choosing your flooring.


Lighting layouts

Although the exact fittings and locations don’t need to be confirmed early (subject to lead times), their approximate locations should be.

This knowledge enables the electrician to run cabling in the walls and ceiling cavity to the general location and with a bit of extra slack in case the location shifts more than a few centimetres.


Power outlets

Much like the lighting layout, you need to have an idea of where and how many power outlets you’ll require early on, to enable cabling through the wall framing before plasterboard linings are installed.

Remember what Dave said in my interview with a sparky blog? You’ll never wish you had fewer power points, so don’t hold back when completing your layout.


Plumbing fittings

Different fittings have different requirements.

The location of your shower or bath drain, whether your toilet is plumbed through the wall or floor, and the position of your basin water supply and waste are all determined by their specific fittings.

The bonus of making these decisions early is that you might be able to secure a package deal if purchasing everything from one supplier.

I share everything you need to know to make your plumbing decisions in my Heating, Engineering, Insulation & Services ebook - you'll also find information to help with your lighting layouts and power outlet decisions too!



You’ll need to include the size and location of new windows in your documentation, especially of the project requires a Building Consent.

The supplier will also need to be notified of the programme so they can book you into their manufacturing schedule. Otherwise, if you wait until you’re ready for site measures to let them know, they may not be delivered on time.



Although standard profiles of skirting and scotia are easy to source, custom profiles are not.

If your home has a mismatch of trims, you’ll need to decide upfront if you’re going to replace any to match.

Depending on the decision, your builder may need to measure up (off the plans) and place an order before walls are built.

For details of all the different types of trim (scotia, architrave, skirting...) check out my Windows, Doors, Ceilings, Stairs & Trims ebook. It'll help with locking in those window decisions too!



Particularly in a home you don’t currently live in (e.g. a new build, or if you’re commencing renovations as soon as you purchase/settle on a property) you will need to submit applications for water and power accounts so your tradies have services to connect to.

In a subdivision scenario where a new water meter and pillar-box (for power) is required, the lead time can be weeks if not months, and ideally both will be connected when the build commences.


Window coverings

Be it blinds, sheers, shutters, or curtains, choosing your finish, fabric, and style early is a necessity.

Much like floor finishes and windows, lead times for the material, as well as booking the manufacturing, could delay your project.

More on this in my Furniture & Furnishings ebook.


Custom anything

The benefit of ‘off-the-shelf’ is just that; it’s off the shelf.

Bespoke items, however, can take time to be designed, have materials sourced, and made – often by hand.

Think custom joinery for your kitchen or bathroom.



As with custom products, anything that requires a site measure (structural steel, kitchen joinery, bi-fold doors) will need to have the site measure booked in advance to secure the spot – even if the timing is indicative only.


Did you miss the boat with any decision-making on your home renovation project?

Share this blog post with any friends who are renovating so they can learn before it's too late!