DIY Renovation – When is it time to seek help?
No-one is immune to the DYI craze. Sooner or later, if you own a property, you are going to consider fixing something yourself.
Whether it's a simple bathroom retiling or an all-out renovation, DIYs are a fun challenge. But they rarely go as planned, or to the level anticipated by the DIY-ers or their partners.
DIYs can become financially painful if you do not know what you are doing. So here are some things to consider before you take up the tools.
If it can kill you (or someone else) don’t do it
There is a reason why electricians and builders require qualifications: public safety.
Electrical work must never be attempted as a DIY project, unless you are a qualified ‘sparky’ yourself. The electrical shock danger is an ever-present threat, especially if you have children at home. No-one needs a house fire with dire consequences.
Remember also that most decks and walls require council approval. The last thing you want is a deck or retaining wall to collapse and injure someone.
Don’t attempt to do anything that could backfire and cause serious injury – it is just not worth it.
Stick to a plan
Changing a home renovation plan without good reason can cost time and money, and create a great deal of friction with a partner if you suddenly find yourself without living essentials, such as water, cooking facilities, or sleep.
There are big differences between doing a good job, being meticulous and seeking perfection. Do not overestimate your abilities. Decide on what you're going to do and take the time to think about what could go wrong.
Does it suit your home?
What sort of home do you have? Is it open plan? An old Queenslander? A 1960s brick three bedrooms? An apartment?
Apart from making the property better for you, you should also add value. Too much customisation can become a burden for potential buyers. Keep your improvements in line with the style of the period. Remember you might not want to sell it now but you may want to in the future.
Beware also council regulations for renovations. Some councils are very stringent about the front façade of a house but will allow you to renovate at the rear.
Look for plans
No major renovation should be attempted without a design plan. And be sure also not to drill or dig without knowing what is there. Most utility companies provide plans of water pipes and telecommunications and in Australia the Dial Before You Dig service has most of the information for free.
Do not overcapitalise
Look at the house and see what it needs. If the house is still habitable, don't spend too much unless you have found a way to add value, or you really need to change.
Consider the value of properties in the street, and the potential for you to regain the money you are spending on the renovation when you sell your home.
If the cost of your home plus your renovation is in excess of the record price for better and homes in the same street, you should reconsider and downsize your budget.
By Marie Mortimer. You can follow Marie on Google+
Image credit: baronsboy