Top 3 renovation mistakes, and how to avoid them

To make your home improvements a success, let’s look at the three key mistakes first-time renovators make – and how to avoid them

A good renovation can transform your life - improving your home's value and your lifestyle. But the bigger the project, the more critical it is to get things right.

To make your home improvements a success, let's look at the three key mistakes first-time renovators make – and how to avoid them

Mistake 1 – Not having an accurate renovation budget

Seasoned renovators know there is plenty of scope for renovations to end up costing far more than initially anticipated. That's why drafting a watertight renovation budget is so critical. Without a clear idea of the cost, you could be left scratching for funds mid-renovation or face the prospect of living with an incomplete project.

An accurate budget takes a conservative view. Make allowances for possible price hikes in materials or delays in building work. Importantly, include every cost. It's easy to overlook hidden expenses like rubbish removal, or short term accommodation costs if you need to vacate your home while major work is underway. Above all, have a contingency fund for unexpected costs like the builder encountering dodgy wiring that needs to be replaced.

Bear in mind, the way you fund your renovation will impact the cost of the project. Your Mortgage Choice broker can help you weigh up various options here.

Mistake 2 – Completing renovations that detract from your home's value

Home improvements should add to your home's value. More precisely, the market value of your place should increase by at least the cost of the renovations, preferably more. At some stage you may want to sell the property and move on to your next home, and that's when overcapitalising takes a toll.

Some renovations simply don't cut the mustard in terms of adding value – like additions that are out of character with the rest of the home; swimming pools and overly complicated landscaping (too high maintenance); and features or colour schemes that are highly personalised or simply outlandish. Add your own touch with accessories but skip the Taj Mahal replica cabana in the barbecue area – it's never going to be a selling point.

Mistake 3 – Aiming to do too much of the work yourself

Yes, it's going to cost to hire licenced tradies to do the wiring or plumbing but trying to do an expert's job yourself can be false economy.

A high quality finish can be the lynchpin that sees a renovation boost your home's value, and frankly few there are worse than a bodgy job that screams do-it-yourself. Tradies don't just have the expertise to achieve a great end result, they also have an armoury of specialist tools at their disposal. If you need to invest in a mountain of equipment for your renovation, stop and think if DIY is really a money-saver.

Note too, building work can be dangerous and unless you know what you're doing, the risk of serious injury on a renovation project can be high. Only tackle those jobs you know you can competently complete to a high standard.

As part of your renovation plans, think about how you will fund the project – cash, personal loan or by using home equity.   Your Mortgage Choice home loan expert can guide you through the options and explains the associated costs and benefits of each. Call 13 77 62 to book an appointment today, or click here to fill out an enquiry form and we'll be in touch shortly.

Posted in: Renovating