Home Renovation Costs and How To Save Money
Our Team have been renovating Brisbane homes since 1989. Today I want to share some of our experience with you and discuss how to avoid a budget blow-out when renovating.
In this article, you’ll learn about the biggest home renovation trick to reduce your cost. I love the challenge of taking an existing house that’s just not working and transforming it into something that suits both your family and your lifestyle.
Renovating Is A Complex Process
When renovating an existing house, its framework and walls create restrictions that add a great deal of complexity to these projects. After all, it’s not a blank canvas. I see all too often though, how many people get it wrong; their home renovation costs are higher than necessary and they end up with a poor outcome.
Don’t let the reality TV shows fool you; renovating is difficult work, which is why I love it. However, today I want to share with you how you can avoid falling into the renovation money pit that I see so many people find themselves in.
The Main Misconception About Renovating…
The main misconception about renovating is the assumption that since most of the house is there, the project will be cheaper. If your changes are only cosmetic then this is true: A coat of paint, new carpets, new kitchen and bathroom can greatly transform a house at far less expense than replacing it.
Pick the Wrong House and You May be in for a Nasty Surprise
Should you start to drastically alter the existing floor plan, your project can and will cost more than to replace the house with a brand new one! It all comes down to your choice of house to work with. When people pick the wrong house, one that requires drastic changes, I question why they bought the house and what “potential” they saw in it if their plan is to remove most of it. Their mistake is that they did not consider the existing floor plan. To remove one wall is not going to add a massive amount of expense, but start removing several and you are in for a nasty surprise; especially Queenslander type construction with VJ walls and ceilings.
A renovation that involves moving many walls, and dramatic changes to its appearance is a complex process, will on average cost 50% more to complete than building new on an empty site. Why? The removal of existing walls, and supporting the existing structure these walls held, is very delicate and dangerous work. Extra time is needed to be careful not to destroy any adjacent walls, ceilings or other features. Then added to this is the new build work. The time involved is usually more than to build from scratch.
How does one avoid this added expense?
Easy. Seek the advice of a custom renovation specialist, preferably a builder who can also handle design work.
By working with your renovation builder and your designer together, they will quickly be able to visualise what is involved in the changes you want to make. The secret is to keep as many existing walls as possible. Whilst many rooms will change from their original function, the trick is to consider their size and location carefully, to determine what new tasks they can serve as they are. Adding new windows, and architectural features to totally transform those rooms is easy, making them a different size and shape is not. This is the key.
It is also critical to understand that sometimes, an existing floor plan is simply bad: perhaps it faces the wrong direction and has no access to natural light, or is a rabbit warren, to which the best advice a custom renovation builder specialist will tell you is – walk away or tear it down, it will save you a fortune. You can’t make a VW beetle into a Porsche. Shame about that!
Take home message: Choose a builder who can also handle design
For the best approach to designing your new home or renovation choose a builder than can handle design as well.