When renovating an existing property or buying a property for renovation, there is a lot to consider. What needs to be done? How much will it cost to complete the project?
When renovating, especially for profit, it is important to stick to your budget and avoid any blow outs. This can turn your investment from a property that gains value and cashflow, into a deep dark pit of spent money and regret.
Here are some tips of what to look out for, what to avoid and how to make sure you keep on track.
1. Get an Inspection Before You Buy
Or, if it's too late for that, get an inspection before you start renovating so you know what you're in for, what needs to be done and can budget accordingly.
Unforeseen issues to look out for are:
- Rising damp
- Extensive cracking
- Structural faults
- The need for rewiring or re stumping
These issues, if overlooked, are sure fire ways to blow your budget in one go. They can be very expensive to fix, and if discovered halfway through a project, can leave you with a half finished renovation.
2. Research What Permits You'll Need
Make sure you know if you need council approval to undergo your plans, and how to go about getting that approval.
Checking with your local division and being prepared for council approvals or relevant permits can avoid a very costly mistake.
Your renovations can be put on hold for inspections and clearing the red tape.
If you have chosen to move out while renovating that will mean weeks or even months more in rent or hotel costs, and more time spent in a half finished home if you are still living there.
If the property you are renovating is an investment property, the longer your renovation takes due to delays, the longer it will take to get tenants in and start getting rental returns.
There are also plenty of horror stories of whole extensions being torn down because they don't comply with regulation. It's just not worth it.
While you're at it, checking in with neighbours and telling them of your plans is good practice and may save a headache later too.
3. Be Realistic With What You Can DIY
Doing it yourself can be a great idea. It can cut costs on labour and can be done in your own time. However, it may be worth a second thought.
The first thing to consider is if you are actually capable of the tasks you have appointed yourself. Remember that just because they did it on The Block doesn't mean that you can too!
If you injure yourself in an attempt to play tradesman your medical costs and potential delay to your project will be a time and monetary cost you certainly didn't factor in.
Secondly, if you do a job yourself that needs to be re-done by the pro's because you overestimated your prowess, you'll have to fork out for the labour and materials to fix your mistake, as well as for the materials and equipment you paid for in the first place.
All things considered, it may just be easier and cheaper in the long run to shop around for a suitable tradesman to get the more technical jobs done without risk to yourself or your pocket. Remember it will probably take you twice as long to do as a professional, and your time is valuable too.
4. Have a Set Plan
If you aren't sure exactly where you are going with your renovation, it's easy for things to get out of control quickly.
Ensure you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and plan exactly what you're going to do, who will do it, and in what order.
Changing your mind on style or theme can be an expensive exercise.
Do your research, shop around, and be really sure that you're making the right choices before you embark on your renovation journey.
Try not to choose too many 'on trend' features - they are unlikely to stay trendy.
Instead stick to more traditional styles. If you're renovating to sell it's better to aim for your audience and go with more neutral colours and features.
Work out exactly what your renovation is going to cost you with our free renovation calculator