If you’re inspired by home renovation TV shows and think ‘I could do that’, remember that TV only shows half the picture so we’ve explored what renovations really cost.
Despite the long hours and exhaustion that goes into shows like The Block and My House Rules, the design and styling can be enough to entice any budding interior decorator. But remember, paint, pillows and other puffery are just the icing on the cake.
Home renovation costs are more complicated – and I should know – I undertook a substantial reno on my investment property not long enough ago to have forgotten the headache and stress. So before you start planning your renovation and colour matching your carpet to your cushions, here are some other costs to consider.
Depending on the scale of your renovation, you might need to obtain permits through your local council. These can be both time consuming and costly, so talk with your builder or check with your local council before you get under-way. Smaller renovations like a new kitchen or bathroom probably won’t need council approvals, but if you’re in an apartment block check with your body corporate that your renovations comply with the Strata Agreement.
Expect the unexpected
Have no doubt, renovation projects always offer up surprises. Your builder or contractors might find decayed wood or old wiring that needs to be replaced, need special equipment to rectify a problem, or need to call in a specialist to work on part of a job. This could add money to your bottom line so it’s always worth allowing an additional 10% of your total renovation budget to cover any unexpected surprises.
Oops… mistakes happens
Did your builder knock a hole in the wrong wall? Has one of the workmen dropped and shattered your new shower screen? With so much going on there’s always the potential for something to go wrong, becoming unexpected expenses you probably didn’t allow for in your budget – so prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
Changes in supply costs
In the time between quote and work starting, costs for supplies and materials might change. Try to get your builder or contractors to provide fixed price contracts to help avoid any nasty surprises come invoice time.
It’s important to know what is and more importantly, what isn’t, covered in your contract. Sometimes your builder may exclude or neglect to mention some additional costs for building materials, tools and specific repair work from your contract. Understanding your contract is vital and if you’re not sure about something – ask them to explain just what it is that isn’t clear in the contract.
Major renovations can be very disruptive, and trying to run a household around them can be a challenge to put it lightly. Depending on the scale of your renovation, you might need to budget for the cost of alternative accommodation or self-storage space even if it’s just for a short period while major works are carried out.
Ideally the renovation will add value to your home, so once it’s complete make sure you upgrade your home and contents cover, which will likely mean a rise in the premium.
If you’re still set on rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck into a reno, you can find more tips and advice in Aussie’s free renovating guide, as well as information on the smartest way to fund your renovation.
Have you recently renovated your property? What unexpected costs did you discover along the way – share your stories in the comments below!
If you found this article useful please share it using the buttons below.