Taking On A Renovation Project? Read This First

A home renovation is never going to be a cheap undertaking.

And while DIY might appear to be a cost-effective way to spruce up your home, there are always hidden expenses and limitations to what building work home renovators can achieve without the help of building professionals.

To help achieve your best renovation SiteFinder has listed our best tips on how you can save money undertaking your home improvements.

Our tips focus on more than just budget to help you keep home renovation costs down and also ensure your home renovation adds value to your property at sale time.

1. Know your limitations

Watching online instructional videos on YouTube might give you some idea of how plumbing works, but at the end of the day, tackling the tiling, plumbing and structural fit out your ensuite over the weekend is probably not the smartest move. Especially if you have never picked up a power tool before.

Start small with jobs like sanding and painting.

When it comes to larger jobs involving structural work, care must be taken. Electricity and plumbing, not to mention the structural integrity of your entire home, could be undermined.

2. Seek Advice From the Pros

Some tasks are simply better left to the experts, and if they are not done properly could end up costing you not just thousands to repair, but cause damage to other parts of your home that may not be covered by your insurance.

Poor handy work could also decrease the value of your property.

If you are sticking to painting or garden work, you will find your hardware store a wonderful source of information, however for plumbing or electrical work always seek the advice of a qualified professional.

For structural changes to a property, your first port of call is always a town planner, who can guide you through your local Council’s laws and regulations.

3. Be an Onsite Labourer

If you realise you don’t have the skills for a particular job, offer to be the site labour for the day.

Speeding up the time it takes for a job to get done will cut down costs, plus give you first-hand knowledge about how the work is done. This is a win/win solution as you get to learn new skills and keep cash in your building budget.

Other tips for ensuring your trades have an easy and quick day onsite include:

Complete any prep work that will speed up the job, like removing doors, and clearing access paths

Have all materials onsite and ready to go

Help keep the work areas clean and tidy during the day so your trades can get straight to work without having to clear a space

Complete the smaller finishing touches that are time-consuming yourself, such as assembling door handles, putting back on power switch covers and screwing in light bulbs

Clean up after the work is done. Pressure hosing outdoor areas, vacuuming internal work areas are time-consuming tasks

4. Follow the Rules

Structural changes to your home will require planning approval from your local authority. Although there will be costs in getting this approval, if you renovate without approval you may be subject to huge fines, and also may lose yourself a buyer when it comes to selling your home.

Also, remember there are strict noise regulations about when you can bust out the power tools, so check out your local council’s website before you wind up the nail gun or chainsaw at 5 am on Sunday morning. A hefty council fine will definitely break the budget.

5. Don’t Cut Corners

Water, gas and electricity are outside the realms of DIY renovations and repairs.

You must leave these areas to the professionals. No DIY wiring, electrical cabling or gas installation. Only registered trades can perform these tasks (and with good reason!).

6. Don’t Cheap Out

Cheaper isn’t always the best option when it comes to home renovations.

Research what brands offer quality materials, hardware and fittings.

One of the worst mistakes a home renovator can make is purchasing the cheapest possible products, only to find yourself replacing cheap fittings that rust out after a year or screws that crumble when used.

Sure, you don’t need to buy the most lux items in the showroom, but it makes financial sense to search for value for money with end of run stock, or discontinued lines made by brands with solid reputations.

7. Hire Don’t Buy

Tools and building equipment are expensive investments. Unless you plan on turning professional you will find little use for a table saw after your home renovation project.

Hiring power tools, ladders and even a wallpaper stripper is a great way to keep down your renovation costs. As an added bonus you will find that often get a free lesson on how to properly use the reno equipment.

8. Prep Well

Don’t cut corners when preparing your surfaces. Taking the time and plan and prepare ensures you stay on budget during your DIY renovation.

Our best preparation tips are:

  • Carry out a search with Dial Before You Dig so you are aware of where pipes and cables are positioned on your property
  • Know where wires and pipes run through your walls, and which walls are load bearing walls
  • Always use dustsheets to cover furniture, or better yet move items out of the way before sanding and painting
  • Carefully cover carpets and flooring before painting
  • Use professional tape to cover windows and edging before painting