Josh and Jenna Densten are renovating experts with 10 homes, two series of The Block and one of Reno Rumble under their belt. With this in mind, the HPM ambassadors have had their fair share of triumphs and trying times when wearing their hard hats.
We sat down with Josh and Jenna to chat about their top tips for surviving a renovation (and your relationship).
A tradie who’s happy to take off their boots and clean up after themselves is a huge bonus!
Research the look and logistics of your finished home with mood boards and samples.
”We have found that having a clear vision of your desired room and style is the best way to achieve the perfect renovation,” Jenna said. “Do your homework and make a mood board of the products you want in your new home, from the couch to light switches, to help you understand if this style is what you want to have in your home. While you are also out sampling products, take note of the specifics of the items you like, so you are able to make informed and correct decisions about fixtures, fittings and trades that will prevent you from having a meltdown or stressing in the future. Always consider what your end use of an item is – for example, will you require a dimmer switch for your new chandelier?
Find tradespeople you trust and have good communication with.
Save your sanity by ensuring your team of tradies, and partner are all on the same page.
“Renovating is an emotional time, with many people having different opinions and ideas,” said Josh. “You want to ensure that who you are working with is able to share your vision and understand your ideas. Just because someone is a good designer or carpenter doesn’t mean they are the right fit for you. Do you have the same style and priorities? Ask your friends and family or join local Facebook groups to ask for local trade recommendations. We like to choose a tradie who’s neat and tidy with a can-do attitude – a tradie who’s happy to take off their boots and clean up after themselves is a huge bonus!
“The right person for your renovation will ask you a lot of questions about your needs, desires, and the way you live. If your tradespeople aren’t doing this, we recommend you find someone else.”
Keep functionality at the front of mind.
“When renovating, it is important to remember that you probably won’t be updating your house for at least another 10 years, so you should make sure your home is able to last the next decade in a functional manner,” said Jenna. “That means making sure your home will be keeping up with style and tech trends that will be around in 10 years time.
“Arteor with Netatmo is a collection of smart switches and sockets that allow you to create tailored scenarios to make life that little bit simpler. The app allows you to turn on the coffee machine or switching off the pool pump, all while from the comfort of your own bed or on the couch. It’s perfect for our busy lifestyle.”
Know where to spend.
According to Josh, budgeting is one of the biggest worries when it comes to renovating. “The best advice we can give is to plan how much you think your reno will cost and add 20 per cent, to act as a cushion should anything go wrong,” he said.
“We also recommend spending a decent amount of money on the things you use every day.” Jenna said. “Items like taps, doors and fans are tactile and are constantly being used within the home, so should therefore be invested in and be made a feature.
“Bigger items don’t need to cost the most either. High quality feature lights can bring a drab dining table to life, while high end throws or accessories can dress up an average bed or sofa into being a stylish statement piece. Being smart with your budget and purchasing quality items that are important to you will make your renovation stress free. Smaller statement pieces such as light switches and cover plates are a great way to build up your feature item courage, and are inexpensive too.”