DIY renovations can save money and give a great deal of satisfaction to those who love working with their hands. Whether you love working with timber, painting, or simply planning it all out, the working out when electrical contractors and other trades should come and fitting the other pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle, doing home renovations is what makes life worthwhile for many people.
If you are into home renovations and improvements it is essential to know what is legal for you to do and what is not, when council permission is needed and what all those other rules and regulations are. No one likes red tape, but it is a fact of life and ignoring it can be costly. Here are some ways to avoid any problems with your renovations.
- Cost out the job. If it is going to cost more than $3,300 you will need council permission.
- Work with the council in finding out what is needed in your state as the rules and regulations vary by state.
- Make sure you don’t do work that needs a licensed professional, such as an electrician or plumber, even if it looks simple.
- Make sure all your tradies are fully licensed and have insurance.
- Have your plans are approved by council and get the necessary inspections as the work progresses, even if it means a delay waiting for the building inspector to come.
- Don’t attempt to do work you are not qualified for or skilled enough to do. It may seem like it’s going to save money, but in the long run problems can pop up and can be more costly to fix.
- You can often save money by doing those fiddly jobs that require no skills. Taking out the old carpet or dismantling old cupboards takes up time that your tradie will charge for.
- To develop skills on the job, start on a less visible part of the house. For instance, do your first tiling in the laundry where small mistakes won’t be seen as much.
- Remember that shortcuts often lead to long term problems that are costly to fix.
- Use the best quality paint and other finishes you can afford, otherwise your hard work will be wasted.
- Make sure you budget for the job and allow an extra 10% for cost blowouts or other unavoidable problems.
- If you are renovating to sell, don’t throw money away on things that will not add value to the home, or that are not in line with what other homes in the neighbourhood have.
- Renovate to suit the climate and location; homes in hot or coastal climates would benefit from a deck, while those in cold climates will need a good fireplace.