DIY Renovations: The Hidden Risks

DIY Renovations: The Hidden Risks

04th July 2019

Are you thinking of doing some DIY renovations around the house? Aside from the savings, DIY projects can also give you a sense of pride and satisfaction once it’s all done. It’s incredible common and not surprising that many attempt to take home improvement matters into their own hands. However, there are a number of risks involved when doing renovations on your own and some of them can be rather costly to take. Here are some things you must consider before deciding go down the DIY road.

You don’t have the skills

A DIY project at the hands of an unskilled person can result in a pretty poor outcome. Think a lousy finish, unstable structures, and mistakes you might find hard to live with later on. If you try to take on carpentry or construction work without the proper qualifications or experience, a poor and often unsafe outcome is very likely.

It could cost more

Yes, DIY renovations can help you save on labour costs by not hiring professional builders. Even if you have the skills to do the work, a big part of what you save on manpower will be funneled into renting the equipment you might need for the job. So factor in this calculation before making your decision.

On the other hand, if you don’t have the skills and end up making some mistakes or there’s a mishap, you’ll eventually need to fix that by either:

a) fixing the problem yourself and going over your budget buying extra materials for the do-over; or
b) hiring a professional to help you fix the problem.

Talking about budget, not getting advice from renovators may also lead you to underestimate the renovation costs. If you do, you could end up setting a smaller budget, which may halt your renovations once the money runs out. To complete the project, you may then need to get finance which attracts interest and fees.

Being unrealistic about the end value

Another hidden risk of DIY renovations is having an unrealistic idea of the property’s value after completion. Only certain types of renovations add value to a property. If you do not know which ones can boost property value, you might invest in the wrong project and lose money later on. Finding out that your renovation won’t contribute to the value of your home could really dampen your enthusiasm.

On the flip side, you could also be in danger of overcapitalising on the property, thereby driving it’s market value too high. This can backfire once you decide to sell your home because it may turn potential buyers away.

It could affect your Home Warranty Insurance

DIY renovations will also prevent you from accessing the Home Warranty Insurance, which is owner protection against defective renovation or building work. This means that you will have to pay for all the defects you made as your own contractor. On the other hand, hiring a renovator means that your property is insured for any incomplete or defective work. Moreover, the insurance of the contractor will most likely pay for any damage during the renovation.

Are you complying with building codes?

Construction and renovation work in Australia is bound by laws and building codes. No matter how skilled you are as an owner builder, you will have to comply with them. In Queensland, you need to acquire an owner builder permit for DIY renovations costing over $11,000. You also need to get building approval, plus electrical and plumbing permits from the council for renovations that will affect the integrity of the property.

Building renovations, whether DIY or with a builder’s help, should also comply with the basic structural soundness, health, and safety standards indicated in the Building Code of Australia (BCA). If you want to do DIY renovations but you are unaware of all these building codes and laws, you will risk facing fines, enforcement notices, court orders, and criminal offences.

Another hidden risk is the difficulty of selling the property in the future. Potential property buyers will do inspections and ask for building permits, approvals, and other compliances. If you can’t provide any of these, you could lose the sale.

The Hidden Hazards

One of the most significant risks of doing DIY renovations is Asbestos exposure. Many older properties in Australia were built using Asbestos-containing materials (particular pre 1984 properties). Renovating on your own can expose not only yourself but family members to cancer-causing Asbestos fibres if you tear down or cut into parts of your home. If you are unsure if your home has Asbestos present in the walls, roof, paint, insulation, fence or foundation, then it’s best to leave the building work to professionals.

Aside from Asbestos exposure, you could also be placing yourself and your family in danger due to a number of other safety hazards that come with construction work, such as faulty electrical work or unstable structures. If you don’t have prior experience with property renovations or construction, you may not know about the correct safety procedures that contractors put in place to prevent any accidents in the work area.

Tips for DIY Renovations

If you really want to give renovating a go despite these risks, then the best way to begin is to find out which tasks are safe to do on your own, and which ones are best left to professional renovators.

Simple home repairs, repainting, and minor installations may be fine to do on your own, but not without prior preparations. Do some thorough research on how to do the tasks properly by reading articles and watching videos. It will also be helpful to get advice from friends or family members who have some experience.

Make sure to have the right equipment and tools and learn how to properly use them. And most importantly, prepare your home well for the renovation, such as, arranging a traffic plan to keep everyone away from the work area and set up safety measures to avoid accidents.

Home Renovations with Renovare

If the renovation project includes plumbing or electrical work, fitting of gas appliances, demolition of walls, construction of new rooms, and roof repairs, then it’s best to get professionals involved.

And although some minor renovation projects can easily be DIY, it’s still a good idea to get help from renovation experts like Renovare. Doing so will help you avoid these risks and ensure a successful renovation. Not only that, Renovare’s proven three-step renovation process means that everything is taken care of, from the concept and planning phase, to building approvals, permits and paperwork, to getting the job done correctly, quickly and with minimal stress.

Call Renovare today on 1300 049 516 and let our expert builders provide a quality renovation from start to finish. We service all of South East Queensland, including Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay and the Gold Coast.

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