Jen Jones | Renovation


Are you thinking about renovating?

You’ll want to have a read of this…

Renovating can feel overwhelming, but breaking it down into smaller tasks and creating a plan can help make the experience more manageable. Don't hesitate to seek advice from professionals, who have gone through the process before...

If you’re thinking about renovating your home and worried about budget blowouts, you’re not alone. Renovation Project Manager Jen Jones from Nine Yards Consulting sees it all the time “most homeowners realistically need to 2-3x their budget to achieve the inspo image they have in mind”. Scary thought! Especially with rising interest rates, labour shortages, long lead times on materials, and the overall (ever rising!) cost of construction – as a result of all of the above.

So what exactly does a Project Manager do, and is it worth hiring one given the prevalence of budget blowouts on renovation projects? From where we’re standing, it makes the homeowner’s life a whole lot easier. Project Manager’s like Jen often place their orders well ahead of when items are needed, ensuring fabrication lead-times don’t impact progress on site, and protecting their client from future cost increases by locking in today’s price. Win: win.

Scale that up to all aspects of a renovation project, and you can’t really go wrong. In fact, having Jen on your side will most probably save you money as well as achieving the elusive ‘on budget’ renovation that no one seems able to obtain. It can be done! You can also expect your renovation to be completed to a pretty high standard, with regular quality checks on site as things progress – this after a very thorough review of your architect’s drawings, preparation of a scope of works, and a comprehensive dissection of your builder’s quote and contract to ensure everything is captured.

Throw in comms with the team on site (including translation of tradie talk), and a mediator for any issues that may arise, and you’re onto a winner. But what if the price tag of a Project Manager feels out of reach? Even if the value is highly likely to surpass the investment? This is where we get to share one of our favourite things about Jen… she’s created affordable resources for homeowners from $7+ including cheat sheets, checklists, workbooks, eBooks / guides, template documents and even an eCourse that teaches you how to do her job for a fraction of the cost. If you need extra support, you can even book ‘pick my brain’ sessions with her or sign up for a monthly support package as you work through your reno.

If you’re still wondering what it is that makes Jen the best secret reno weapon you can have, you might be surprised to hear she has almost 15 years’ experience in the construction sector. With so many self-taught renovators sharing tips and tricks on Instagram, you can be forgiven for thinking that’s all Jen is – but no, she’s managed renovations from $50k - $2m right up to commercial projects valued at $220m+.


              We asked Jen to share some of her top tips with you today,

and here’s what she came up with…

“With the biggest issue for homeowners being budget blowouts, I recently pulled together a 40min webinar taking viewers through my three secrets for preventing just that: budget blowouts. Here’s a summary of what they are:

1.      Align your expectations with reality. If you’ve never renovated before then of course you’re not going to know what to expect it all to cost! Homeowners are notorious for underestimating the cost of renovations and it’s down to inexperience – which isn’t your fault! Like anything that you’re new to, you have to fumble your way through it once to fully appreciate what it takes.

2.      Identify the risks and mitigate them. There is always an element of ‘unknown’ on any renovation – but often for me it’s the same half a dozen ‘surprise’ items that come up. Asking around will help you to identify what when wrong for your friends and family, and then you can figure out if it’s a risk for you too. If it is, you can mitigate or allow for it so there are no surprises.

3.      Know your scope. Architectural drawings are notoriously lacking in the detail required to obtain an accurate quote from a builder. This is why there can often be such a huge price disparity between builder’s bidding for the same project – the drawings are totally open to interpretation and they’ve each looked at them differently. Being able to articulate exactly what your expectations are upfront will serve you in the end.

“To learn more about these three secrets to preventing budget blowouts, watch my free webinar where I dive into each of these in more depth, with examples to help explain them.”

Read more about Jen Jones Consulting here