Renovations don’t need to be painful
With Australia’s housing market being what it is, renovation is becoming more and more essential for the modern home buyer. Starting your first renovation can be daunting. You’ll need to be comfortable in dealing with tradies, banks, councils and everything in between. Not to mention you’ll probably have to roll up your sleeves and pick up the tools every now and then yourself! Don’t be put off though, managing a home renovation yourself is not only very possible, it can be extremely rewarding too. Here’s our 7 tips to get you on the right track!
1. Create a comprehensive plan
Start the process by looking at the renovation from a big picture perspective. Some of the things you’ll need to consider from the outset:
- Try and avoid over-capitilising during your renovation. Don’t go over the top with features that may not correlate to an increase in the value of your home. A pool is a classic example of an over-capitilisation. They can be incredibly expensive yet you may not see a corresponding increase in your home’s valuation. One rule of thumb is to not spend more than 25% of the home’s valuation on any renovation.
Rules and regulations.
- What legal requirements do I need to meet? Ie plumbing and electric work standards etc
- Council approvals (if any). This can be a show stopper or expensive mistake if your amazing plan does not conform to council standards. Get this squared away as early as possible!
- Create a realistic budget and try your best to stick to it!
- Factor in things like weather, time of year (ie holidays etc) and accessibility to your property.
- Save 10-20% as a contingency fund for unforeseen costs (you’ll probably need it!).
- Create a timeline to allocate your resources and budget.
- Some things will need to precede others during your renovation. Make sure you plan these out to avoid wasting your time or efforts.
2. Figure out what you can do yourself and where you’ll need help
A common trap for first time renovators is trying to do too much themselves to save money. Although this is an attractive thought there are often things that will need to be done professionally. For example plumbing and electrical work needs to be done to a certain professional standard by a licensed individual. Completing this work yourself will not just open you up to crippling lawsuits it will be incredibly unsafe!
Even the work that doesn’t require a licensed professional may be unsuited to tackling yourself. Often DIY’ers will persevere with a project for far too long costing themselves time and money only to have to get a professional to come and re-do it all anyway.
Honestly assess your skills and available time. Do as much as you can of those tasks you deem are manageable, for the others do yourself a favour and call in a professional! CanYa has a huge range of capable, reviewed and willing professionals with all of the renovation help you may need; you can also view their prices before you book. CanYa will also not cost you anything to use so check it out during the early stages of your renovation here: Australia’s easiest way to hire local professionals is available for download here.
3. For the DIY tasks you choose to tackle; educate yourself!
DIY’ing can be difficult and frustrating, or, manageable and rewarding, it comes down to how well you prepare yourself! Luckily in today’s age there are heaps of awesome, free resources available for the budding renovator. Here are some online resources to get you going:
Also, use as many non-digital resources as you can get your hands on. Bunnings runs lots of free courses on the weekends, there are also many other community run workshops you can find in your area. Often the best help is from a friend or family member, don’t be ashamed in asking as I can guarantee they did the same their first time!
4. For the tasks you outsource; choose the right professional!
Choosing the right tradie for your job will be crucial. An extra bit of effort during your due diligence will save you a lot of time and money down the road; so choose wisely!
Step 1: Get recommendations
Use friend or family recommendations for tradies they may have used in the past. If you come to a dead-end here or want to expand your horizons download CanYa for free (app.canya.com.au). CanYa was designed to make this experience as easy as possible. All CanYa providers have passed a vetting process relating to their specific service. Most of them are also reviewed. This way you can see a number of un-biased recommendations by other renovators who have used them in the past, an awesome resource for any renovator!
Step 2: Get multiple quotes
Getting multiple quotes for the job will give you a solid understanding of what the job should cost on the open market. Make sure when requesting quotes the service provider has all the information required to send an accurate quote; this will prevent any future surprise costs once the work starts.
If you’re using CanYa you can achieve this step with two methods. Either browsing the provider list and selecting a provider who’s profile and hourly rate match your needs. Or ‘broadcast‘ a job to multiple providers. They will all send a quote and you can negotiate and select as appropriate. Don’t worry, it is free to Find, Quote, Book, Pay and Review for the user!
Step 3: Communicate
Once you’ve selected your tradesperson or service provider make sure you communicate with them clearly and regularly! Don’t leave anything important to interpretation. Again, CanYa has you covered here with free texting and calling. Also all of your previous messages and photos are saved on the app’s chat log for both you and your provider to view at a later date if anything needs to be clarified.
5. Learn to compromise and get creative
If you’re a first time renovator you probably won’t have an unlimited budget. You’ll need to be able to compromise on certain elements of the renovation to keep it within budget and avoid over-capitilising on the renovation. Or, even better, you can come up with a creative new way to tackle the problem and stay within budget that way.
One example is, instead of paying for a whole new tiling job on, say, a bathroom you may be able to paint the existing tiles in a fresh new colour and achieve a similar effect for a fraction of the cost. There are heaps of renovation resources that cover cool tricks like this to save on cost when renovating.
6. Sort your Finance
There are a lot of ways to source the finance for a new renovation that people aren’t aware of. Your first step should be seeing if there are any government grants available for your renovation. This is not as unrealistic as it might sound, state governments can offer these grants to stimulate the local economy, in fact, home owners in the NT just benefited from a $15m state grant to do just that.
If you aren’t lucky enough to be eligible for a grant then speak to your bank about some other ways to finance your renovation (if you don’t have all of the money ready in your bank account). A quick loan and renovation before selling a house may reap you a much greater return come sale day. Some options the bank may provide include:
- Drawing on existing equity in your house
- Lines of credit
- Building and construction loans
Each person’s case will be different but securing your finance early will significantly reduce the stress involved during the renovation.
7. Ask for help!
Some jobs on your renovation may require many hours to earn your ‘sweat equity‘. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family around for a few hours of help to ease the burden…just don’t forget to provide them a BBQ and some drinks afterwards!
Also, friends and family who have been through the renovation process are often great sources of information and tips that are locationally relevant. Don’t overlook all of the great resources that may be in front of you every day!
There are our 7 tips to all new renovators. Although these may not cover everything you need to know for all renovations they serve as a pretty good starting foundation. Think we’ve missed anything important or have any good renovation tips yourself? Let us know in the comments below or email our support team. We would also love to hear about your suggestions, experiences or tips on our CanYa Facebook Page.