For those looking to personalise, improve or potentially increase the value of their home, and for investors trying to turn a profit or increase rental yields, renovating may be the way to go. Stuart Symons, People’s Choice spokesperson, gives his tips on how to negotiate the dollars and cents when looking to improve your space.
1. Sort out your funding
“The first step before you embark on any reno adventure is to get your finances sorted,” says Mr Symons.
“You can, of course, use your savings, but you could also take out a personal loan, increase an existing mortgage or potentially use an offset account,” he says.
“There are so many options, so talking to someone who knows their stuff when it comes to money can be a huge help to getting your renovation going.”
2. Budget, budget, budget
“I cannot stress this enough – set a budget before you start spending, and track every penny,” Mr Symons says.
“Challenges and unexpected costs will inevitably come up in any renovation, so you really need to be strict with your spending when expenses are starting to look like they might blow out beyond your initial estimates,” he says.
“It’s a pretty good rule of thumb to work out what you expect to spend, and then add at least 20% on top of that for unexpected costs.”
3. Shop around
“Even the savviest renovator can get stung by not taking the time to do research and shop around,” Mr Symons says.
“When it comes to your tradies, ask for quotes and try your hand at negotiating. But don’t compromise quality for price if you’ve got your heart set on a high-end result,” he says.
“Go online and compare process of fixtures, fittings and finishing touches to potentially save a lot.”
4. Do some of it yourself
“Even without the skills of a professional, there are usually some jobs that anyone can do themselves that may make a dent in your outlay for a renovation,” says Mr Symons.
“It’s best to leave the structural work, plumbing and electrical to the professionals, but painting, non-structural demolition and flat-pack construction are good places to start trying your hand at DIY – and that elbow grease can really pay off,” he says.
“Ask a lot of questions of your tradespeople, at hardware stores and increase your general knowledge, and you’ll find that as you build up your skills and know-how, you’ll soon have the confidence to tackle bigger jobs yourself as you become a more seasoned renovator.”
5. Reuse and recycle
“If you’re looking to find some economies in your renovation project, reusing and recycling can potentially save you money,” Mr Symons says.
“Unloved cabinet work, floorboards, fixtures and fittings may only need to be stripped and re-finished to come up like new again. Get the right advice on how to do this safely and without causing any damage to potentially save