Guide to Renovations

. 4 min read

Reasons to renovate

There are a number of reasons to renovate and one of the great advantages of owning your own property is the opportunity to renovate. In fact, in the last financial year (2015/16), Australian’s spent a record $7.7 billion on renovations. Whilst it is a very exciting concept, it is important to ensure you plan carefully and understand all the ramifications renovations may bring. The process can be a massive drain on you financially and emotionally and the inconvenience of living through a renovation can be very difficult. However, with careful planning there are a number of great advantages to renovating, we have listed some of the key ones below.

  • A well-executed renovation can add up to 10% value to your property which can be leveraged when it comes to selling.
  • You are able to increase the comfort and functionality of your home.
  • By renovating instead of moving, you can save on stamp duties, agent and legal fees.
  • Renovations can be as big or as small as you want, it could be putting in a new kitchen or knocking half the house down. It’s totally up to you.
  • You can save on utilities by making your home more environmentally stable.

What will it cost?

Everybody has heard horror stories of renovations blowing way over budget and taking twice as long as projected to finish. The truth is every house is different and there are no hard and fast rules to budgeting how much your renovation may cost. The key once again is planning well and having a good understand of exactly what your renovations are trying to achieve and sticking to that plan as strictly as possible. We have included a rough guideline below to give you some kind of an idea of how much your renovation could cost.

  • Bathroom – $20,667
  • Kitchen – $36,666
  • Living Room – $15,795
  • Laundry – $17,550
  • Master Bedroom – $26,325

Often people become so caught up in budgeting for material, labour and design (which make up around 80-90% of your costs) that they fail to plan for a lot of the hidden costs associated with renovating. It is important to include a 10-20% contingency plan to cover council fees and alternative accommodation may you need it.

Mistakes to Avoid

There are a range of mistakes to be made when renovating and it mostly comes down to planning properly and doing your research. We have included our top 4 mistakes to avoid below.

  1. Ignoring Market Trends: You may want to renovate your house in a style that suits your own tastes and creativity. However, this decision may come back to bite you down the track if you wish to sell. It is important to make sure you don’t depart to far from market trends, otherwise you could severely decrease your potential resale value.
  2. Not Seeking Approval: Building illegal extensions can mean you face a hefty fine if you’re caught out, which will also affect your ability to sell down the track. Also for you DIYers it is illegal to attempt your own plumbing and wiring unless you happen to be a qualified professional.
  3. Cutting Corners: Choosing the cheapest builder, not addressing small fixable issues, using cheaper materials etc. may all be tempting decision to stick under budget. However, more often than not these decisions end up costing overs in the long run when they need to be readdressed.
  4. Renovating the Wrong Spaces: Renovating does not guarantee an increase in market value and it is important to research what type of renovation brings value to your property type and location. For example, you may have renovated the bedroom whereas properties in your area draw greater value from outdoor spaces.

Easy Renovations Tips to Boost Value

We have included 5 tips to improve the value of your home on a budget that you can easily control and that will be sure to add value to your property.

Update your kitchen

Kitchens are usually one of the biggest selling points on a listed property, as they are equally valued for their functionality as well as their entertainment potential. If you’re looking to DIY, the biggest impact can come from some of the most commonly overlooked details.

New taps, knobs and handles can go a long way towards giving your kitchen a contemporary feel, and are inexpensive to install. Go one step further and fit new cabinetry doors that tie in well with your home’s overall colour scheme. Add a statement light fixture or a series of stylish pendant lights over your counter, and you’ll feel like you’ve got a whole new kitchen.

Create an outdoor living sanctuary

Make the most of our great Australian weather by investing in an outdoor living area that you’ll want to relax in all weekend. Whether it’s a sleek timber deck, fans and down‐lighting in a gabled alfresco ceiling or even an outdoor kitchen fit‐out, there are many ways you can transform your junk‐filled patio into your home’s best feature.

The best outdoor living areas find the right balance between letting nature in but keeping the elements out. Consider café blinds and outdoor heaters to offer some protection from extreme weather, and fill your space with shade‐loving plants for a resort‐like feel. With a few simple touches, you’ll be taking the party outdoors before you know it!

Spruce up your window treatments

Whether you’re adding sheers, pelmets, shutters or blinds, sleek window treatments will definitely add value while giving your home a polished look. If your windows are standard sizes, many blinds and curtains come ready‐to‐hang. Choose options that will also help with the heating and cooling, as windows are the source of the biggest heat loss and heat gain in a home.

Install quality lighting

Natural lighting is always best, but having good quality light fixtures are a close second. Every room in your house will gain a huge value boost from the addition of quality, contemporary light fixtures. Don’t forget, not all lighting has to come from the ceiling! Consider wall sconces in living areas or strip lighting under cabinetry for a cool touch.


Is there anything a lick of paint can’t improve? Ask your local hardware store’s paint experts for help choosing colours that will enhance your home’s best assets. Take extra care to make sure your walls have been properly patched, sealed and prepared and you’ll be left with a perfect finish.