Yes, renovation did help (unlike Emu pictures in photoshop?). It gave me somewhat experience, e.g. negotiating price, writing a contract (a list of work to be done), paying at stages, hiring separate company for central heating, sourcing designer radiators (ebay), liaising with building control officer, architect, etcEmu's are probably a bit above your skill level at the minute.
Your renovation must have helped though
However, it was only one builder (contractor) who did the complete work and they sub contracted where necessary.