Bessie Hassan | Money Expert at finder.com.au
Whether you’re a seasoned renovator or it’s your first time, there are many mistakes that you should actively avoid when starting out on a new project.
From overcapitalising or renovating the wrong rooms to re-locating plumbing and electrical work, there are several renovation blunders that you should steer clear of if you want your project to be a success.
Top Renovation Mistakes
Here are some key renovation mistakes that you should avoid to ensure that your time and money is used effectively.
1) Underestimating material and labour costs
Failing to research material and labour costs is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to property renovation. Whether it’s researching labour costs online, comparing quotes from different suppliers or finding out which materials are the most durable or environmentally-friendly, there are many things to consider when embarking on a renovation project.
There’s plenty of support available to help you make all the right decisions, including online calculators, free suburb/profile reports, online retailers, industry bodies and much more. For instance, if you’re taking out a loan to cover your renovation costs, use a calculator to forecast your repayments.
Soak up all the information you can to ensure that you make the right decisions for your project and don’t fall into the trap of underestimating costs, as this may lead to you overcapitalising on your project (ie, selling your property at a loss).
Remember to also factor in any other indirect renovation costs including local council fees, professional fees, finance repayments, rental payments (if you have to move out during the renovation) and so on.
2) Not setting yourself a timeline
While a lot of people emphasise the importance of budgeting (which is important, of course), many forget to create a project timeline. Once you’ve mapped out the scope of your work, you should estimate how long each task will take and come up with a project completion date. If you don’t set yourself a deadline, you’ll never finish!
For example, you may allow yourself two weeks to measure the areas properly and four weeks to prepare and finalise your administrative work (eg, submitting plans to the council or applying for a DA).
3) Going overboard with DIY tasks
There are some tasks you can definitely do yourself, such as painting or basic landscaping, but there are also certain things that you shouldn’t attempt. When it comes to more complex work such as plumbing or carpentry, you should always consult a licensed professional.
Attempting DIY projects for complex tasks, particularly those that require power tools, is not only dangerous but it may end up being more costly if you do it wrong and then have to rectify it later down the track.
4) Not doing some field work
Combined with your online research, you should also do some field work prior to commencing your renovation project. Speak to local real estate agents about the types of upgrades or features that will add the most value to your property and stroll through your neighbourhood to get a feel for other renovations happening in the area.
You should also consider the demographics of the area so that you know who you’ll need to appeal to when it comes time to put your property on the market. Knowing the demographic profile of potential residents, such as their age, disposable income or living preferences (eg, do they want to own outright or rent?), will help you reach more informed decisions.
5) Renovating the wrong areas/rooms
Spending $15,000-$20,000 on a laundry upgrade is just ludicrous. When planning out your renovation project, focus your energy (and money) on the areas that are most frequently used or occupied throughout the property.
Generally, you should focus the majority of your renovation budget on areas such as the master bedroom, the living room and the kitchen (and less on areas such as the laundry or guest bedroom).
6) Relocating electrics and plumbing
Moving around your electricals and plumbing can be extremely costly, so if possible, you should try to leave them in the same location.
Planning and seeing through a renovation project can be timely, costly and emotionally draining, so it’s worth doing some research to learn about common mistakes and how to avoid them. Spend some time reading up on prices, materials, installation methods and industry trends so that you can achieve your desired outcome and live in your dream home.
CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How Much Does it Cost to Remodel a Bathroom?