Question Seven – what type of materials do you love?

Often the first consideration in choosing custom renovation building materials and parts for your house is cost. But, cost is a relative term. With building materials, as with most things we buy, the less expensive something is to buy, the shorter its life-span usually is.

There are some exceptions to this rule, but most of the time you can count on replacing or repairing the less expensive item sooner than the one that costs more at the outset. Unless your budget is extremely limited, I suggest you consider the life-cycle cost method of analysis.

Life-cycle cost refers to the actual cost of a building material over a period of time. Think through whether life-cycle cost is lower because one installation of a more expensive product is cheaper than two installations of the other product, over its life-cycle. If you plan to own your house for more than a few years, you’ll want to consider the cost of building materials and building components in this way.

What type of materials do you love?

Whether you prefer sleek and shiny surfaces such as lacquer and glass, or are more attuned to subtle matte finishes, your taste and style will affect just about all the material and finish selections throughout your home. Floors, bench-tops, walls, doors, you name it – all of these items come in a variety of materials, so discover which ones fit your personality and design best.

With a custom renovation, fortunately, many of these choices are made easier as you will want to ensure that your renovation or extension flows comfortably from your existing home.


Because flooring has a major influence on the feel and mood of a room, it’s important to make the right choice. And, ka-ching, it’s expensive, so even more reason to get it right. You have to consider how much traffic it’ll get and factor in maintenance and durability, as well as appearance, comfort and cost. There are so many options these days; how you use your space will dictate which is the best one for you. Do you prefer hardwood, bamboo, tiles, polished concrete, laminate or carpet? Let your designer and builder know your floor preferences because it will be easier to select other finishes once the flooring is determined.

Front Doors

As the ‘face’ of your home, your front door choice can make a lasting impression. Upgrading your front door during your renovation will not only improve the look of your home, it can also boost security and improve insulation.

Interior Doors

Choosing the right interior door is not a decision based on aesthetics alone. You may want a smart solution to divide a room without sacrificing too much space, or you may want to improve the noise reduction qualities in your home; you may want a lightweight door or discreet sliding door.

Door Hardware

With door handles and other complementary products, you can achieve a seamless blend or make a slightly bolder statement to give your interior design that architectural finishing touch.

House Paint

Both interior and exterior house paint has changed in recent years. Sustainability and environmental responsibility in building materials have raised new concerns about off-gassing and chemical content.

Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets and Benches

From totally custom cabinetry to factory made cabinets, you again have almost unlimited choices. Try to find the three-way balance of cost, appearance, and function that meets your needs. We will revisit kitchens and bathrooms again in a later blog as this is nearly always one of the biggest, most complex choices to make.


Your renovation is an opportunity to fine-tune the size and orientation of your windows. Minimise the size of east and west windows and maximise those facing north where they receive solar access. Where it’s possible to make the most of the view or aspect of your home to capitalise on the outdoors. Update the style of your window to improve the airflow or add to the style.

Shower Enclosures

Full-framed, semi-frameless, or frameless. Which one is best for your shower? And then there are all of those glass choices.

Deck Materials

A deck can make your outdoor space more accessible but you need to consider how much maintenance you are willing to do and how exposed to the elements will the deck be. Consider traditional timber decking or bamboo, composite, PVC or synthetic materials.


With your renovation complete, your driveway will occupy a large portion of the property’s frontage and play a big role in forming impressions of your home. The most commonly used driveway materials include concrete, bricks and paving, gravel or bitumen.

Usually, the decisions are not easy, at first.  But, if you consider things carefully, ask questions and do your homework, you can be sure your home
renovation budget will go toward the things that are worthwhile to you and best for both your house and your lifestyle.

Contact Constructive Homes to see our on-line project management system which ensures that your custom renovation selections are clearly recorded, so that you will love your renovation – no matter what materials you choose!

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