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By Paul Hodkinson

Australians love to renovate their homes. Data from the Australian Bureau of statistics reveals that it’s practically a national pastime – during the three months to September last year we as a nation spent well over $2billion making alterations and additions.

During the three months to September last year we as a nation spent well over $2billion making alterations and additions.

That’s more than the GDPs of at least 20 small nations! Considering the fact that we’re spending the rough equivalent to Bhutan’s entire economy, it’s absolutely essential we get it right.

However, without the right advice it’s easy for budgets to balloon, home values to be hurt and stress levels to skyrocket.

To make sure that your money and time are well spent, we’ve put together a list of a few common mistakes as well as some handy tips on how to avoid them.


When renovations are underway, it’s so easy to go over budget. Take time to talk to tradesmen to understand what’s involved, and get several quotes before you commit to anything. Break the project down into separate pieces and you’ll get a better understanding of what each part is costing you, and how you can work to reduce those costs.

When you complete your final budget try to keep the amount at least 15 per cent under what you’re happy to spend. This means that if unexpected costs come up you won’t struggle to afford them or be left with an unfinished renovation. To give you a rough idea of how much your renos may cost, here are some rough estimations courtesy of homesafe:

  • Quality bathroom: $15,200 – $23,100,
  • Luxury bathroom $23,000 – $36,200,
  • Quality kitchen $16,300 – $25,600,
  • Luxury kitchen $23,500 – $36,600,
  • Internal re painting – per room $950 – $1,300.

Keep in mind, these are only estimates and actual costs could vary. Also consider the fact that if you’re renovating in a rural area, it could cost you 5 to 15 per cent more than if you were to do so in the city.


Your home is your castle. But it’s also an asset that’s worth a lot of money.

Your home is your castle. But it’s also an asset that’s worth a lot of money, and if you change it in a way that the average Australian might not like, you could end up hurting its value. When renovating it’s essential that you keep this in the back of your mind as making the wrong change could cost you thousands when you decide it’s time to sell, or rent the place out.

Keep your location and potential buyers in mind. If you’re in an extremely wealthy neighborhood, luxury fittings and features such as sculleries and ensuites could add value. On the other hand if you’re in a lower decile area, buyers may not be interested in luxury fittings, but may be looking for extra bedrooms.

Lastly keep the maintenance costs of your renovations in mind. Something like a spa or a pool may seem like a brilliant idea, but they could cost you thousands every year and put buyers and renters off.


Renovations should never be entered into lightly. Before you start it’s worth sitting down, deciding exactly what you want to achieve, what you can afford and what you need done. If you’re undertaking massive renovations it could even be worth hiring a project manager.

With a solid budget in place, a comprehensive plan and the right advice, your renos are sure to go off without a hitch.

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