Whether you plan on doing some small touch ups or redesigning your home, renovations are a great way to improve your quality of life and property’s value. However when you’re carrying out renovations for the first time there are some easy mistakes that could cost you. Here are our 5 common mistakes to avoid for first time renovators.
While there is DIY and cheap renovation options, it all costs money and major renovations are very expensive. It is critical that you determine how much everything will cost and how you will fund the renovations before committing to the work. A common funding option is to use the equity in your home or surplus in your mortgage. You must make sure you don’t over extend though and leave a buffer for unexpected costs. We recommend a minimum safety margin of 20% on top of your projected costs.
Whether it is your forever home or an investment property, you must take the emotion out of all decisions. You need to weigh up the cost of any work as the key deciding factor and whether it is a worthwhile investment. If you are carrying out the work before selling your home then every dollar you spend needs to get you at least a dollar back but ideally much more. If you are living in the home, you must decide what work is necessary and will improve your quality of life. It is very easy to end up spending a small fortune on renovations that you later regret.
A lot of the time renovations don’t require council approval. However even if you assume you don’t need approval, you should still always double check. The main risk is that you may have trouble selling your home if there is non-approved work. In rare cases council may also request that you pull down any renovations/extensions also. You’re much better to be safe than sorry in this regards particularly before committing large sums of money to renovations.
Many people perform their own DIY renovations to save on the costs of a quality tradesman. While it may be beneficial in the short term to save some money, it will often come back to bite you in the long run. It is rare that even the best home handyman can do a quality job to the same level as a professional. This means the quality of your renovations may suffer along with potential issues down the track. This could end up costing you far more than just paying for a tradesman in the first place as they also provide warranty on the work if there are any issues. Home insurance policies also often do not cover DIY renovations which also poses a substantial risk. If you would like control over the project, you can always manage the overall job and hire contractors to perform their various tasks rather than having a builder manage the project for you.
Unfortunately, it is all too common now a days for people to have very bad experiences with dodgy tradies. You can no longer go off face value and should always check online reviews and even references from past clients before committing to any trade. This could prove invaluable as you can find out upfront if they are trustworthy before having to find out the hard way yourself. It is also a good idea to get at least 3 quotes to ensure the price you’re being charged is fair. This is also a great way to save a bit of extra money on renovations by shopping around.
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