tips on renovations

Renovations require careful thought

When you combine the inspiration generated by a steady stream of home renovation-based reality TV programs with the motivation created by all that extra time we spent at home during the lockdowns of the past year, it’s not surprising that there has been an increase in interest in home renovations around Australia over the past year or so.

Everyone from first home buyers, (with surveys suggesting that around 80 per cent of market entrants are planning on undertaking renovations of some kind), to existing homeowners, (with over 18,000 applications for major renovations being lodged under the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder program alone), seem to be getting actively involved in renovations rather than trying to purchase a property that offers all the features that they want.

In fact, one source has suggested that with many Australian households redirecting funds from planned overseas holidays to home renovations, as many as five million homes could be undergoing renovations in 2021.

With this in mind, we thought it might be an opportune time to share a few cautionary thoughts before you send your credit card into meltdown at Bunnings.

Three quotes – minimum. It’s important to get multiple quotes from experienced professionals for each task you are planning.  Not only will this help you to get the best deal, but it may also flag issues that you may have overlooked.

Itemise your budget. When planning your renovations, itemise each task separately so that you can identify a potential cost overrun as you start getting quotes.

Add a contingency, then add a bit more. It is common to allow a contingency buffer of 10 to 20 per cent of your budget to cope with unexpected costs or even fees you weren’t aware of. However, there is a lot of talk among the trades at the moment about increasing material and labour costs in the face of growing demand.

Allow extra time. Another factor in the current market where demand for renovations has increased is that it is taking longer to get a wide range of building materials, particularly those from overseas.

Consider the end result. As we always say to our clients, if you are considering taking on renovations with a property sale in mind, always get independent and objective advice before you start. The last thing you want is to complete renovations that cost you $80,000, but only increase the value of your property by half that amount!

If you are at all unsure about this topic, don’t hesitate to chat with one of the team at Ian Reid Buyer and Vendor Advocates about your options. You can call us on 9430 0000 at any time, and you will also find lots of helpful tips on selling your property in our free booklet, “Fatal Real Estate Traps Exposed”,  so feel free to download a copy while you’re here.