Home Renovation Costs

Arm yourself with a practical and thorough approach to curbing your home renovation costs irrespective of budget constraints.

Turning your existing home into your dream home can be one of the most rewarding experiences that you may encounter at some stage in your lifetime. But just as easily, it can be a daunting challenge, if it is undertaken hastily. without


You need to be CLEAR about what it is that you want to achieve with your home renovation costs. Building an addition onto your existing home would be a cheaper option than buying/ building a new home, especially when you factor in the legal and resale costs.

If you want to create space in your existing home, building an addition is the correct format to use apart from building upwards, as every other method simply redistributes existing space. Home remodeling may be best suited for individuals who are apprehensive or unwilling to make a big leap.

While most homes will suit a second level, it’s not as easy as just lopping off the roof and plonking another floor on top, as additional shoring up is required. Safety issues are paramount as this is one area that should be handled by a competent expert.

By taking the right approach, you can prevent budget blowouts while your sanity remains intact. By implementing the correct procedures from the start, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home transformation, small or large is truly achievable.


It’s vital that the relevant decision makers are on the same page and so, to this end, we have created “10 TIPS TO SAVE YOU A BUNDLE ON YOUR HOUSE RENOVATION” to ensure you don’t get side-tracked.

Tip 1. Have an idea of your renovation budget. Know what you are trying to aim towards, as a starting point. Do you really believe a $30,000 kitchen remodel is necessary, or are you just keeping up with the Jones’s?

You need to be brutally honest with yourself. You may only want to do the cosmetic changes that will bring your current home into the 21st century.

Know what you really want and start tailoring your ideas and changes into a plausible reality — your dream home.

One of the best ways to do this is to start a list. List what you like about your home and its current functionality. Be sure to consider things like sunlight and breezes.

When you have exhausted your favourable points, list your dislikes and needs. These are not the same thing, so be sure you analyse and scrutinize your list thoroughly.

Integrate the ideas you have in mind with your lifestyle and how you use each space in your home. You need to be quite specific about the usage of space and traffic areas.


Tip 2. Design – Try to utilize your existing house in your home remodeling design.

Should you decide to rebuild, your first step will be the demolition process. This demolition will also be your first big cash payment and leave you with a vacant lot.

Years ago, homeowners could fairly tear down and rebuild as zoning laws were far more lenient than today. The tide towards recycling, rather than throwing away has taken a sharp upturn since the 1990’s and this includes the housing industry, hence our current stringent zoning laws.

Due to changing zoning laws, not all houses can be demolished. Check with your builder, he usually knows what you can and can’t do in your area and on your block.He is your technical solutions expert with industry-specific know how.

If you don’t like what you have and you’re allowed to demolish, it can actually be cheaper to do that. Changing a roofline, both structurally and cosmetically, can enhance and compliment your existing house and give you a completely new outlook on your home.

It’s pretty much the equivalent of a facelift and you may find this to be all that you really need to consider, rather than demolishing.


Tip 3. Don’t waste your time, money and potentially having to go through lots of headaches by going to the council, architects etc. yourselfGo to the builder FIRST. You could end up spending thousands of dollars unnecessarily through hidden costs by not going to the expert first.

Avoiding the red tape can be a wise move here, to eliminate unforeseeable problems. This will help avoid the possibility of flaring tempers and arguments between you and other decision makers.

Permits and approvals from council must be obtained for structural changes prior to commencement of work. Stringent guidelines and compliance with the latest building and planning regulations must be met.

Your competent builder will have all the right questions and answers. As a bonus, his years of experience can help identify places where you can cut on your home renovation costs.


Tip 4. Who is doing the work? Using a building designer (also known as a Draftsman) rather than an architect can be a huge bonus to your budget.

Both building designers and architects have done years and years of training on the technical expertise in house design. Hence, the potential to save in home renovation costs is high as you can get equally fantastic results from a building designer as opposed to an architect.

Your builder can help you with a building designer they have already had great success with in the past. The builder usually knows which building designer is the best fit for your house renovation style. A building designer is your technical solutions expert.

Be sure you have your list of “things to find out” from your builder before moving to this preparation stage.

One example I recall, is a friend who bought a two-storey house that they renovated . The prior owners started in the downstairs area with some office space. The downstairs area was huge and virtually unused, so they decided to turn a section of it into another two bedrooms and a media room. A few years later, they decided to sell that home. To their dismay, they lost a large amount of extra revenue because the roof height was incorrect and therefore illegal. It pays to get sound advice.


If you are an avid fan of ”House Rules”, you would have noticed that knocking out walls is one of the most popular ideas in order to create a spacious open plan living area. It can no doubt be the most obvious improvement used in current modern home renovation improvements.

Remember, it’s always easier and more cost-effective to avoid tampering with load-bearing elements throughout your house renovations. Check with your builder as he may suggest alternatives that are both attractive and ideal for your needs.

Tip 5. Area living space for your extension – Usually, the bigger the space, the more the cost. Perhaps just enlarging a window can totally transform a section and will also minimize your house renovation costs.

Substituting existing windows with larger double glazed or energy efficient replacements will allow more daylight in. It can also help to improve insulation and energy efficiency.

Some renovation clients have been able to reduce their renovation cost by utilizing more deck “living space” rather than internal living space. Again, your builder can advise you on this.

Decks are the rage in house extensions and considering the current shift in lifestyle changes, as thankfully in this lucky country, we have so much beautiful sunshine freely available, we can readily tap into nature.

A good lick of paint goes a long way in rejuvenating the exterior of a hom e. A feature colour can add zest to the overall street appeal, be it on a door or a wall panel . So head for the nearest Bunnings or Mitre 10 paint shop to arm yourself with a myriad of colour swatches. Ponder over them and get your creative juices flowing. The same applies to rendering or plastering finishes on brick as a modern alternative.


Tip 6. Hidden plumbing costs. With bathrooms, utilizing or staying with the existing plumbing is a very cost effective point that should not be overlooked.

Modernising bathrooms or adding an additional one to your remodelling are usually among the priorities included in renovation costings today. These are also the prominent places that budgeting can so easily go out the window. Sadly, this is true for the majority of us, so beware.

Thankfully, we have a “helpful tool” to keep us from getting too easily side-tracked. (Click here to get a FREE template “Wishlist vs Must Haves” as part of the ultimate house renovation “NO STRESS Success Pack”).

When choosing a sink for your bathroom, be sure it is deep and wide enough to wash your face. This is often overlooked for the man of the house who still likes to shave closely as my friend Maggie pointed out.

Go with the tried and tested especially if you’re looking for cheap new kitchen and bathroom products. Long-term usage should be your focus, so keep tabs by checking reviews on products. But always remember, the time you spend researching alternative products can really save you a bundle.

Tip 7. Tiling – Floor to ceiling tiling is an expanding trend that really does give a clean and polished look. It also doubles the price with extra tiles and extra labour. Putting this in your renovation wish list and not your must-have list is a viable alternative. Another possibility is to consider a feature wall rather than tiling all the walls.


Technology has made a substantial improvement in home renovation costs as well as our lifestyles. Huge leaps and bounds in pre-fabrication and building construction are happening now.

DID YOU KNOW THAT BUILDINGS CAN TALK! According to SEIMENS, “digitalization gives buildings a voice”. With the push of a button, you can have your favourite music playing or a cup of hot coffee brewing .

The INSIGHT publication in the October issue last year spoke of “the development of self-healing concrete that is being tested by the University of Cardiff, that could have a massive impact on the sustainability of our infrastructure (think tunnels, bridges and buildings) through to heat reflective paint that could reduce cooling needs and the maintenance on our homes.”

China has just built a prefab building which is a staggering 57 stories high and this was achieved in a jaw-dropping 19 days, at the rate of 3 stories a day. A triumph of modern-day ingenuity. You probably watched this same programme on your TV the other night. Apparently, anything is truly possible.

Aged care facilities in Australia are now using modular construction with successful outcomes as decreased time, wastage and a focus on higher quality are reported.

Technology is fast changing our view on how to build or renovate a house. It has also positively impacted  house renovations costs as better affordability with these improvements is becoming the norm.

One good suggestion is to arrange for an interior designer consultation. They are conversant with eco-friendly products and the latest trends. Many people don’t realise how informative they can actually be and cost-effective as well. I believe that a consultation is well worth the small outlay to steer you in the right direction. You may find their expertise invaluable, similar to the advice offered by a builder.


Tip 8. Level of finishes. Consider adding new floor coverings and curtains to improve the inside appearance of your future home. The type of taps, sinks, bench tops, and lighting style can vary considerably in price and easily blow a budget.

Something you need to take into account is the overall viability of your choices. What I am getting at is a shortfall that I made in my current home and it constantly NARKS me.

My door stops…I know, It’s just a simple thing, but it’s a recurring issue. Unlike some people, I am fortunate to have a good airflow through my home, which makes life a breeze.

Because of this, I also have doors slamming constantly and  a visible puncture hole the size of a door handle It’s often the little things that grate on your nerves, right?

A poor judgement call on my part, especially considering the extra cost and labour for the repair. Magnetic door stops would solve this dilemma. (This item should have been on my “must have” list)


Tip 9. Limit your variations by having a fixed price contract.

A variation is considered a change to the signed contract. Each variation will add time, headache value & money to your house renovation costs, thus creating more chance for error. On average, each variation is an additional $500 in administrative fees and extra site meetings. A variation could be a change to the colour of your bench tops. BANG – there goes $500.

The best way to ensure a fixed price contract is to have everything selected BEFORE you sign the contract AND make sure the exact model and item number are listed.

Tip 10. See the bank.

The majority of us do not have unlimited funding at our fingertips, so this step is very important.

Whilst the bank won’t usually give a client a pre-approval without a detailed building quote, it is far better to have a rough idea of your borrowing capacity so that you don’t waste money by having to change your design plans because you over-estimated on your budget.

Book a FREE skype call to see if your budget is realistic.

Your home equity is the difference between the bank’s valuation of your home and the amount you owe on the loan. Equity can build up over time because either your home value has increased or your loan has reduced.

Accessing your home equity to fund your home makeover is generally the way to start the financial process and the first step is usually taken by obtaining a current valuation from a realtor.


By now, you should have gleaned how to develop a relatively complete and clear scope of the work required for your planned project. You can now move on with your house renovation costs in an orderly and professional manner.

Your dream home jigsaw puzzle should be complete and the realization that ”you can do this” is just starting to hit home. So, this is how they do it on “House Rules” and “Grand Designs.” Piece of cake really, well not quite.

If you haven’t yet booked your FREE skype call to assist you with your financial plans just CLICK HERE now to take advantage of the best ways to utilize your funds, so you CAN have your cake and eat it too. This is your call to take action.

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