Bitten by the do-it-yourself renovation bug? We sort the facts from fiction to put you on the right track for a successful project.
Fact: Our DIY project will be personally rewarding
Absolutely. There's nothing quite as satisfying as looking over a completed DIY renovation and knowing it was all your own work. It really is an undertaking that makes your home all your very own.
Fact: It will improve the value of my home
A high quality renovation that enhances your home and lifestyle will almost always add value to the property. But – and it's a big but, plan wisely. Some projects can detract from your home's value like renovations that don't fit with the character of a period home, or opting for ultra-trendy colours and fittings that will date quickly.
Fact: I could save money with DIY
Licensed tradies can charge upwards of $50 per hour, so, yes, a DIY approach has lots of potential to save money. Just be sure to stick to tasks you have the skills to finish to a high standard. According to the 2013 Gumtree Tradies Report over one in five home renovators have botched a DIY effort, and calling in a tradesperson to fix the job can cost a lot more than having them complete the project from scratch.
Fact: I could injure myself
The emergency departments of our hospitals are regularly called on to bandage, stitch and generally patch up DIY renovators who've copped an injury. In fact, a report by Monash University Accident Research Centre found DIY injuries can account for 9% of adults presenting to emergency departments. Ouch! The message is to put safety first especially when working with power tools, use safety equipment and weigh up whether it would be safer to hire a tradesperson.
Fiction: I've watched the TV shows, renovating is quick
The smorgasbord of home renovating shows gracing the small screen are more about entertainment that reality, and that total home makeover you watched in a half-hour timeslot was probably weeks in the making. Good things take time and allowing a decent timeframe for your renovation project means you're not under pressure to cut corners in a rushed job.
Fiction: I can cut red tape by doing the job myself
Whoa there! There is a whole raft of rules, regulations and building standards that most home renovation must abide by. This doesn't just ensure the safety of your home, it also means you won't face the wrath of the local council or encounter problems if you sell the property further down the track. For an idea of the building requirements in your area, be sure to contact the local council.
A DIY renovation can be both fun and fulfilling, and having an expert on your side can make a valuable difference when it comes to securing finance for your home improvements. This is where your local Mortgage Choice broker can help, giving you a clear idea of the options available including the possibility of drawing on home equity.