Renovating your home can significantly increase its resale value, so it’s important that you get it done right the first time. You want to make sure you avoid mistakes when planning your renovation.

Many resources exist to help you plan and get through each stage of a DIY renovation project. We’ve put together a list of the best ones, to help you make great changes to each room of your house and elevate its resale value instantly.

Before you even think of planning a project, you need to make sure you have the essential tools to use. Not sure where to start? Here is a list of everything you’ll need in a renovation kit.

Online kitchen guides and planners

1. Kaboodle

Before you even put together a concept for your kitchen, you should consult Kaboodle. Their 3D planner will help you try different kitchen designs, colours, layouts and styles before you implement actual changes to your kitchen. The planner even comes with YouTube tutorials to help you along the way.

2. IKEA 3D kitchen planner

The IKEA 3D Kitchen Planner is fantastic because you can either start from scratch or select from existing concepts that IKEA designers have constructed. It’s up to you! Easily access a range of furnishings which can be incorporated into the planner. You can then go purchase them at your nearest IKEA store.

3. Home hardware planner

The Home Hardware’s online 3D planner plus quote tool is useful because it gives you an idea of how much you need to spend on specific renovations. This is handy because you can plan what your kitchen will look like and how expensive it will be once renovations are complete.

4. Easy planner

The Easy 3D Planner is great because you can generate a 360-degree panoramic view of your kitchen plan and actual gain a sense of what it would feel like to be inside it. You can be pedantic about what every angle should look like, make updates and verify them till you’re satisfied.

5. Bunnings kitchen planner

Browse shared kitchen plans or create your own design. The Bunnings 3D planner allows you to envision your kitchen shape, layout, style and design while estimating costs as changes are made. The best part is once you’re done all you have to do is pop down to your local Bunnings store and pick up the furnishings of your choice that you customized on the software.

6. SmartDraw floor planner

Create the kitchen plan of your dreams with the SmartDraw floor plan software. The best part is you won’t be overwhelmed by a blank screen. SmartDraw comes with a variety of kitchen templates to choose from. This means all you have to do is customise them to fit your preferences.

7. Art of Kitchens - kitchen design checklist

Art of Kitchens has released a practical online checklist with everything you need to think about when planning your kitchen. Prioritise things better when renovating your kitchen with this simple checklist.

Online bathroom guides and planners

1. Reece 3D bathroom planner

Plan your bathroom in 2D and see the results in 3D. The Reece Bathroom Planner will help you design the bathroom and furnish it with Reece’s fantastic range of bathroom furnishings and products.

2. Better Homes and Garden’s YouTube channel

Watch this online youtube video to get some expert tips and advice from Better Homes and Garden’s own Tara Dennis. She explains how you can update the look of a bathroom in an old property without spending too much money.

Online living room planners and apps

1. Digital Decorator

The Digital Decorator will help you make multiple personalised designs for your living room and allow you to make comparisons. Pick which one you like best and try making real life changes to your living room. You can even incorporate soft furnishings. Digital Decorator is helpful because it helps you visualise what furniture types and textures complement your space.

2. Roomstyler 3D home planner

Insert doors, windows, and even walls into the space using the Roomstyler 3D Home Planner for a holistic overview of how your living room could look. Have a play with your own floor plan or choose from a template, this program also gives you the option to add decor for a truly in-depth living room plan.

3. MagicPlan app

Because the living room can be one of the biggest spaces in your home, measuring it can be tedious. Don’t worry, because with the MagicPlan app you can measure a room and create a great floor plan. Simply take a picture on your phone and let algorithms work out the measurements.

4. Houzz interior design app

Be inspired by design ideas from people’s homes from all over the world. Mix and try out proven concepts in your living room and see if they work.

5. Sun seeker app

One thing to always consider before renovating your home is where the sun will be shining at different parts of the day. It may also help you save on electricity as you can utilise the natural sunlight to your advantage with windows, skylights and maybe even exterior solar panels.

6. iHandy carpenter app

iHandy Carpenter comes with everything you need for a DIY renovation. Featuring a surface level, bubble level, protractor, ruler, and plumb bob, the iHandy Carpenter App is simply an interactive toolkit with really fundamental tools to help you measure surfaces.

Bedroom online planners and apps

1. Homestyler interior design app

Use the Homestyler app to create a 3D model of your room. The best feature on this app is that it lets you incorporate rugs, mirrors, paintings and other decor to get a clear idea of what you want your room to look like. You can even hang light fixtures from the ceiling on the app.

2. Magpie

Collect the things that inspire you with this scrapbook app. Magpie collects the images of things that inspire you and stores them as future references for your design decisions. Renovating can be stressful so it’s good to store pictures of anything that inspire you.

3. Pinterest

Because the bedroom is the most personal and intimate space in the home, you want it to be exactly right. Pinterest has all the inspiration you need and more at your fingertips. Collect everything you love, and make note of everything you hate. This will ensure that every bedroom in your home is a standout space.

4. My Pantone

Pantone Colours of the Year for 2016 are Rose Quartz and Serenity, a chic pink and blue combination that is sure to inspire many designs. So why not be inspired by the My Pantone colour app? Browse the 13,000+ colours and search through the libraries and trending palettes to create a bedroom with the perfect hues.

Garage blogs, videos and online tips

1. Garage Living

This blog has everything you need from tips, tricks and inspiration to transform your garage into a stylishly practical space that potential homebuyers will love. Follow the tutorials, watch the Youtube videos and even discuss all things garage with the online community.

2. Garaga blog

Garaga has very practical tips and advice for anyone looking to renovate or build a garage for their home. They even have a blog post on how an an eye-catching garage door will help you sell your home faster. So check it out!

3. Hi Pages

Maybe you need to capitalise on space and renovate your garage into a new room. Find tips on how to contact your council about renovation approval. Learn about essentials that you can add in your garage to make it habitable (e.g. toilet, lighting, heating, etc). Use this resource as a checklist. This piece will make your garage the new standout feature of your home.

4. Extreme garage makeover tutorial

This Youtube video will show you how to undertake a complete garage without the large renovation costs or resources. Be inspired to start your own makeover and transform your garage into a functional space that isn’t just a hub for clutter and boxes.


1. Tape measure

Don’t rely on assumptions when measuring areas for renovations. Builders, architects, and designers are strict when it comes to measurements, and you should be taking the process as seriously as them.

You’ll need a tape measure to make length, width and height estimations with anything from wooden beams, walls, windows and more. Making a wrong measurement could cost you both money and time.

2. Spirit level

A spirit level is a glass tube with an air bubble that aligns itself within the boundaries of two lines when a space is perfectly flat. It’s commonly used on building sites and road development projects. Using a spirit level helps you ensure that a surface is horizontally at level. You can use one when you’re deciding to construct a driveway, or flatten a slope in your garden to make a larger lawn.

3. Paint brushes, rollers, and sprayers

Home renovations involve some paint work, so it’s important that you have an array of paint brushes and rollers before buying paint. Available in a variety of sizes, handle lengths and brush types, paint brushes and rollers are essential to any DIY renovation kit. However, if you are going to be painting large spaces like walls, you’ll also need an industrial paint sprayer to cover more area. Sprayers eliminate time and will leave you feeling less tired.

4. Cordless power drill

Depending on the type of renovation that needs to be achieved, you may have to shutdown the power supply. In situations like these always opt for a cordless drill. They reduce trip hazards and are practical as you don’t have to rely on a power source.

5. Hammer

Using a good hammer with an excellent grip allows you to efficiently drive nails without injuring yourself and damaging surfaces. Hammers come in different shapes, weights, claw sizes, and materials. Research and find out which one suits the job at hand. If your needs are basic, you can invest in an all-purpose hammer.

6. Cordless power screwdriver

Using a cordless power screwdriver can reduce the amount of physical strain you have to undergo. It’s a great option if you are thinking of renovating multiple spaces over an extensive period of time. Because they’re fast, you’ll find them to be time-efficient.

7. Gloves, masks, and eyewear

Safety and protection can be overlooked when it comes to renovating, especially if you’re new to the whole process. Always remember that your safety comes first. Buy gloves, masks and eyewear. It’s paramount that you purchase these basics before you start any renovation. From asbestos to chemical spills, keep yourself properly protected at all times.

8. Buckets

Keeping a bucket with you is always useful. Store tools, mix paints, plasters or glue. Transport liquids, solids and place nuts and bolts inside to reduce the chance of injury around a site that is being renovated.

9. Circular saw

You can use a circular saw when you need to cut through a variety of materials when renovating your home. Cut through tiles and a variety of wood types.

10. Nail gun

Nail guns are great gadgets because they don’t require you to purchase a hammer. Unlike a traditional hammer, nail guns are very precise. They are very powerful machines that can drive nails into different types of surfaces.

11. Crow bar

Removing old skirting, carpet tacks and rusty nails can be a difficult task. Crow bars give you a better grip and control when dealing with stubborn nails that refuse to come out. Available in different sizes and materials, find the one that best suits the task (and your strength).

12. Industrial vacuum

You are guaranteed to leave a mess when completing a renovation.You’ll need an industrial vacuum cleaner to remove the mess. These machines are capable of powerful suction compared to vacuum cleaners used in residential properties. Rental options are available if you are not keen on spending a lot of money.

13. Adjustable wrenches

From plumbing to assembling the kitchen sink, adjustable wrenches can be used for both renovation and repair jobs. Wrenches with a longer handle give you better leverage, but if you are working in a smaller space you’ll need something that has a smaller handle. Having several sizes in your renovation tool kit is handy.

14. Saws

You’re going to need a saw especially when your renovations involve working with wood. The common ones being a handsaw for cutting wood, and a hacksaw for cutting metal. Electric saws make it much easier to get the job done, and you’re more likely to have a cleaner finish.

15. Allen key set

Many products that require assembling like flat pack furniture, built-in wardrobes and shelving may need an allen key. Allen key sets come in different sizes and styles. Have a look around and pick one that is perfect for the job at hand.

16. Pliers

Pliers are a necessary piece to every renovation toolkit and come in different types for various operations. Ordinary pliers include:

  • Ironworker’s pliers - cut nails, screw or clips
  • Diagonal pliers - trim cable sheathing and paper
  • Electrician pliers - crosscutting electrical cable
  • Bolt-cutting pliers - cutting thick and sturdy metal rods

17. Sandpaper

Sandpaper helps you smooth and bring elegance to wooden surfaces. You can also use it to get rid of old paint before applying a new coat. You can buy a variety of sandpaper with different grit types. Fine grits are used for finishing and smoothing, whereas coarser grits remove materials such as paint from surfaces. Most hardware stores offer an extensive range of grits to choose from.

18. Screws, bolts, and nails

Keep a steady stock of screws, bolts and nails handy. Save yourself time and avoid unnecessary trips to the hardware store. However, depending on the job at hand you might have to order the right types ahead of time from specialist shops.

19. Surface protectors

If you are doing paint jobs or drilling you will need a surface protector to ensure damage isn’t made to surrounding areas like carpets, windows, counters and floorboards. Accidental damage can be costly and could taint the value of your home. You could easily make one using excess material lying about in the house, but a proper surface protector from a hardware store can handle different types of liquid spillage.

20. Power washer

Power washers could be what you need to get rid of smudges and stains outside your home. They are used for industrial tasks, but having one when renovating your home is a good idea. Quickly eradicate any mess that could affect the resale value of your home.