• Gina Wells, Raine & Horne, Burpengary

Top 10 Renovation Mistakes


If you’re planning a renovation, there are 10 sure-fire ways to devalue it.

These range from poor planning, to going over the top on things such as taps and ovens. The most important step to ensuring value from a renovation is good planning.

Just how much does it cost to renovate a property? The average renovation project is valued between $75,000 and $150,000. If you want to add an 80m² ground-floor extension with inclusions, you’ll be looking at $164,526 to $310,896.

If you are keeping the resale value of the property in mind, it pays to consider key trends in renovating that are likely to appeal to buyers down the track.

Top renovation trends include:

  • Using bi-fold doors to open up the house at the back.

  • Installing bigger windows to take advantage of views.

  • Creating open-plan living areas by taking out interior walls.

  • Revamping the kitchen with more compact, modern appliances, space- efficient storage, and windows to gardens.

  • Opening up bathrooms to outside areas with large windows to capture views of gardens.

  • Establishing separate toilets while making bathrooms more spacious, with expensive tiles and designer showers and basins.

  • Building a parents’ retreat adjacent to main bedrooms and including private balconies and courtyards for relaxing outdoors.

  • Creating a home office either as a nook in a hallway or in a larger room.

  • Freshening the look of homes by rendering and painting the facade.

Ten ways to devalue your property

  1. A renovation that gives you the best house in the street could leave you out of pocket. The streetscape and neighbours’ houses influence resale value, and sensible renovations should take this into consideration

  2. Don’t add an extension without thinking carefully about the exterior. Renovations should be sympathetic to the original building.

  3. Going over the top on expensive fittings such as imported cooktops, taps, door handles and tiles can burn a hole in your pocket. Purchasers often don’t like the previous owner’s choices and won’t be prepared to pay extra for them.

  4. The trend is for outdoor living, so try to create a usable outside space.

  5. Removing trees can cause more damage to a property than if you left them in place. A large, attractive tree can add $10,000 to $15,000 to the value in some areas.

  6. In some suburbs, one-quarter of all houses have an illegal extension. It can cost

  7. $30,000 or more to make it comply with regulations.

  8. When installing new kitchens and bathrooms, check that the subfloor structure is sound. Some new kitchens are destroyed in the first four years by subsidence.

  9. Installing your own wiring and plumbing is illegal and can be dangerous.

  10. Underpinning to remedy brick cracking may not be the best option. In many cases, low-cost watering systems and tree pruning do the job, and underpinning will cause more cracks in other parts of the house.

  11. Joining the renovation on to the existing building in an unsatisfactory way can result in major cracks appearing because of incompatible structural systems.

The most important tip is to employ a licensed builder. If you do not know what you are doing or you employ a handyman who is not experienced. it could cost you more money in the future when you are selling, and you could be liable if someone is injured due to poor workmanship.


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