The cost to renovate your house can range from $20,000 to $300,000 or even more if you are willing to burn cash to ready your home.
Don’t panic the 6 figure, your renovation project might not require that big a budget. In fact, most renovation projects in Australia costs around $100,000 for a 3-bedroom house.
So here is a complete guide to finding the budget for your dream home. If you don’t have a renovation idea in mind, it is still advisable to know the basics first and then find a design that fits in the budget.
Renovation cost per square meter
The renovation cost per square meter will give you an approximated figure on how much you will be spending on your house.
According to industry data, the average cost to renovate a house is between $2,000 to $2,500 per square meter here in Australia. In my experience renovating custom projects, the price can go up to $4,000.
How do I get to this number? Well, I have taken all the financial data from every house I have renovated over the last 20 years and the average from all of my projects is closer to $3,000.
That takes into consideration that most of my renovations were custom designs by architects and usually involved putting a second story on a single-story home and fully refurbishing the existing dwelling.
You can get project home builders that pump out the same design over and over for as low as $1,500 per meter square. But if you are on this site you are most probably not looking for that option.
Now, is calculating the cost per square meter the best way to estimate what your renovation project will cost you? In my opinion the answer is NO!
So, how else to estimate the budget by yourself.
Cost Calculators? Yes, they can be helpful to an extent. But most of them generalize the amount and do not provide options to select every varying factor.
Or you can handpick the elements and rooms to be renovated from the list below and nail the budget.
Interior renovation: Room wise split-up
Do you know the kitchen and bathroom are the most renovated rooms in the house? Not only it has the most potential to be damaged and look outdated over time, it is the most valued areas home buyers look into as part of home evaluation. They are also the most difficult rooms to renovate that requires many different tradesmen.
Kitchen renovation cost: $10,000 to $45,000
This is will factor in the costs of countertops, kitchen appliances, cabinets, and the labour involved in the relocation/re-laying of pipes and electric line.
Bathroom renovation cost: $10,000 to $40,000
The average bathroom renovation expense is around $30,000 for a modern bathroom with bath. Though there isn’t much to buy new, the tiling across the wall and floor, resurfacing the bathtub and many other things bloat the expenses.
Living room renovation cost: $10,000 to $15,000
The most viewed room of any home. Though there isn’t much except furniture, the expenses are directed towards interior design and décor to give a good impression.
Bedroom renovation cost: $2,000 to 25,000
You can do just the paint and flooring for $2,000 or go full on to get a fresh look for $25,000. The price can go up to $35,000 for en-suite bedroom.
Laundry and wash area renovation cost: $15,000 to 20,000
There is not much to choose in this small portion of the house. You can do a luxury laundry renovation for $2,000 more than regular.
Exterior renovation and maintenance is something not many touch unless they are planning to sell the house. But it shouldn’t be the case. You must take care of the exterior paint and garden from time to time.
Exterior painting cost: $10,000
An average-sized, single storey 2/3 bedroom house costs no more than $10,000 for painting the exteriors. If you factor in the recladding and insulation work you might expect a bill around $35,000.
Garden and deck renovation cost: $2,000 to $10,000
Depending on the surface area of the garden and deck you will have an expense lower than 10,000 for landscaping, basic light setup and fencing. For additional elements like an outdoor kitchen, BBQ or bar you might have to go beyond the budget.
Ventilation system cost: $2,000 to $5,000
One of the cheapest in home renovation is the roof ventilation replacement.
Roofing cost: $10,000 to $20,000
The cost of taking down and replacing the roof is going to largely vary with the choice of material. Corrugated Iron Roof is estimated to cost around $15,000.
Some times you do not stop with the house renovation. You might need to add an extra room to accommodate the new member of the family or add a pool. Either way here is the cost involved in home extension projects.
Keep in mind this is going to bounce your budget way more than you think.
Swimming pool installation: starting from $35,000
The starting range of 7.5*4 meter fibreglass pool installation is going to cost you $35,000 without taking into account the cost of covers, decking, landscaping, etc. Concrete pools of the same size cost around $55,000.
Loft conversion cost: $200,000 to $450,000
This one thing is going to cost even more than the whole renovation budget itself. But it is an easy home extension if you need an extra room.
Miscellaneous renovation cost that you must know:
Individual prices of some of the common renovation work carried out in a house is listed so that you can add them in your budget. Please note, these work costs are already added in the room wise price if they are required. If you are looking for doing any of the specific tasks but not the whole room, only then add these costs to your budget list.
Designing: 5% to 20% of project value
The design and planning play a larger part in the pre-construction phase that can not be overlooked. You will most often require an architect or builders help to plan your home renovation. The price ranges from $1200 to $1800 for new builds and house extensions.
License, permits, insurance and other documents:
Contact your local council for more information.
Double glazing cost for the bathroom: $10,000
It can almost reduce the expense by half otherwise spent on buying new joinery.
Asbestos removal cost: $500 to $9,500
An unsafe process handled only by professionals will vary depending on the size of the house.
Rubbish removal: $300 to $2000
Skip bin is a buffer to store the demolished remains and other waste from the construction site that will later be disposed of. Depending on the waste, you need to order a bigger skip bin.
Flooring installation price: $50 to $200 depending on floor type
Carpet installation price: $175 to $750 for installation alone.
Interior house painting: $600 to $3,400 including labour and paint.
Interior decoration: $170 to $320 per hour (decors to be bought separately)
The budgeting doesn’t end here. There are some un-accountable expenses like transportation of materials and then there is the risk factor – unexpected expenses. Every project is different and has its own unique cost factors such as:
- Access to the property, is it easy or hard to get materials and trucks into?
- Is the renovation just a square box added to the back of the house, or an architectural masterpiece?
- Are there any specialised building materials being used?
- Are the finishes high end or budget?
- Will major structural modifications be made to the existing house?
The above are just a handful of questions that you need to ask yourself before you take the cookie-cutter approach of adding a cost per square meter to your design. Leave a good headroom of 5-10% of the total cost for such expenses to avoid nightmares amidst construction period.
The geography of the house is a varying factor that you need to take account of while budgeting. It reflects in the cost of material and costs involved in licensing and buying permits and most of all labour costs. For example, the kitchen renovation labour costs an average of $50 in Queensland compared to $80 in New South Wales.
So, what is your budget?
Is the number bigger than you anticipated? It is to most of us. The main reason being the numerous renovation TV shows we are used to.
It doesn’t mean renovation shows are false either. Remember they do most of the work by themselves and do not have a profit margin at all. I know you are already thinking about DIY home renovation. But wait.
DIY home renovation: Things to know before you start
Taking responsibility and doing as much work by yourself is the best way to save money and get more involved in your home renovation project. But there are some caveats.
- Construction is not easy. You need proper training to do work with the same quality as professionals.
- Even with utmost dedication, you need to draw a line. You can’t take responsibility for all of the work. Speciality work like plumbing, electrical and Asbestos removal requires proper licensing along with online courses and training.
- You need to spend money and time in the pre-construction phase if you are serious about taking complex DIY renovation work. The money you need to spend on licenses is going to be lesser than that you pay to the professional otherwise. But make sure you have enough time to spend on learning and on the site, especially if you want to be an owner-builder. Owner builder has a responsibility equal to the fulltime job of a building contractor.
- With all that set, the risk of falling is higher when you swap out professional workers with yourself. So, have a larger contingency fund. Take proper insurances and be prepared for any mishaps.
My advice is to take DIY work only if you feel so short on funding and have plenty of time in hand.
To wind it up, there is an easy and straight forward way to get an accurate figure or even a ballpark cost before starting your design is to talk with two to three professionals (I.e. Architects or Builders) about what you are proposing to do and take the averages of the estimates to get a starting point.
If you proceed to the next stage of getting your concept plans drawn, this will be enough for you to get tenders on before you move onto the final design, and give you room to scale up or down depending on the estimated costs.
Have you recently been given a square meter price to renovate your home? If so tell us about your experience in the comments section below to start the conversation.