Top 5 renovation myths debunked

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When it comes to home renovation, don’t believe everything you hear…

Myths and fairytales are great for bedtime stories, but when it comes to home renovation you don’t want to believe everything you hear. Don’t fall for the folk tales – understanding the difference between renovation fact and renovation fiction will help you get the greatest possible bang for your buck.

Renovation myth #1 – I can save money by doing it myself

So so SO false – more than once we’ve been called in to fix an error that has occurred with a DIY renovation! We’re all for Bunnings Master Classes, Google instructions and YouTube home improvement tutorials, but they’re generally designed for small, low-risk projects. A home renovation is a major investment, and few homeowners:

  • Have the experience of professional designers and builders
  • Understand the basics of building requirements, and
  • Have the skills to ensure a quality outcome.

Think it through before committing to doing all of the nitty-gritty yourself. Recognise your limits by asking the following questions:

  • Do I have the time to do it within the desired timeframe?
  • Do I have the right tools and skills to do the job properly?
  • Do I know the difference between construction-grade and high-end materials to ensure I get both quality and value?
  • Do I know the latest trends and products, and have the knowledge to choose the best product for the best price?
  • Do I have the licenses required to undertake any technical work?
  • Can I anticipate any hurdles, such as rewiring unsafe wiring, mould in the walls or plumbing issues? If so, do I have the right contacts to ensure the job is completed to quality and deadline?
  • And finally, will I be jeopardising my sanity and my marriage?

DIY can be the downfall of a renovator. Not only does it take time, but you also risk expensive error and a potentially amateurish outcome.

Renovation myth #2 – Renovations always add value to your home

Not all renovations are created equal.

For the most part, renovations do add value to your home – but only if done properly!

While bringing out-dated spaces to life and adding your own personal touches to a renovation are fantastic, remember that not everyone will appreciate your unique style. Adding an unusual feature that few people will appreciate may reduce the appeal of your home.

This is where an industry professional can save you from making a costly mistake by guiding you as to where to get the most bang for your buck. How? A home office remodel may recoup more of the investment than a pool (while you see a pool as a place for summer fun, others see it as an ongoing expense and undesirable if you’re located in a cooler climate). Likewise, investing in an expensive renovation may not give you the return you are after if it exceeds the perceived ‘value’ of your neighbourhood. And of course, a DIY renovation will never give you the same return as a professional remodel.

Renovation myth #3 – I can always buy more material

Although technically this may be true, we’ve seen many a client stuck because the second lot of materials they ordered were slightly different in colour or texture, which is common with materials produced in batch lots.

Always plan for and buy all the materials you need before beginning work. Whose to know if a product may be discontinued, or if there will be a 6-8 week production wait? And best of all, you can negotiate a discount for a substantial purchase.

Not measuring, planning and buying the right amount (including an additional 10-15% for offcuts) will cost you more than just time and money – it can also cost you the perfect renovation!

Renovation myth #4 – Hire a designer before you hire a builder 

The best approach is to hire your building and design professional at the same time, or choose a building specialist who offers design as part of their service offerings (such as us!). Working together from day one will:

  • Save you money – rather than the builder providing input once the design is finalised and then having to revise it, collaboration will deliver the ideal outcome from the very beginning, and
  • Ensure you stick to budget – rather than asking the architect to ‘draw it in’ only to find out later that you can’t afford it, a joint discussion will ensure your ‘needs’ are met and your ‘wants’ stay realistic.

Renovation myth #5 – You can’t go wrong with the latest design trends 

Oh yes you can!

While following the latest trends is fun, you have to be prepared to live with this ‘trend’ long-term. While peach-textured wallpaper isn’t too difficult to update, 80’s-inspired marble staircases or white concrete bannisters can date quickly, have limited appeal to potential buyers, and be costly to update at a later stage.

Designers will tell you that neutral colours and palettes, complemented by coloured accessories, will appeal to a wide range of people. The same goes for your renovation – keep it simple yet stylish, and use your décor to show off your personality!

When renovating, renovate right

You may have painted a few walls, hung a couple of paintings and fixed that wonky kitchen cabinet. But do you know the in’s and out’s of laying tiles, installing electricals or connecting a plumbing system?

From material and product suggestions through to the final outcome, we guarantee that working with the right professional will save you money, deliver a better result, and minimise stress.

Over to you

Have you renovated or are thinking of renovating? We’d love to know your plans or experiences (good and bad) – share them below!

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