Property renovations that are not worth your time and effort

If you are thinking of renovating before downsizing, be sure to avoid these traps.

Home renovation traps

Reality television has made property renovation more popular than ever and with some extra time on your hands in retirement, home improvement is always an attractive proposition.

Many retirees take the option to give their home a makeover with the ultimate goal of improving their property value when the time comes to downsize.

There are a number of renovation traps which can end up costing you more money than you will earn.

Making impulse purchases
Sticking to your renovation budget requires applying the same rules as any other shopping budget: you have to avoid impulse buying. Other impulse choices like making design changes once you have accepted a quote from your tradesman can also prove expensive. Try not to spend too much money on frivolous fittings.

Replacing instead of repairing
If you have a period property, a lot of unnecessary work can be prevented by adopting a ‘repair not replace’ approach. Overhauling original doors and windows and retaining period features is often cheaper than replacement, adding value in the process by enhancing character. In many cases, the original door and window timbers and joinery were of far better quality than today’s equivalents.

Being too cheap with materials
Buying materials that are incredibly cheap is usually a false economy. For a start, anything obviously ‘cheap and nasty’ is likely to detract from the value of your renovation. Quality can be difficult to determine from blurry online product photos, so it is always better if you are able to see the materials you would like to purchase in person.

Improving the wrong areas
Some renovation options may make your living experience in the property much nicer, but they won’t add a lot to your eventual sale value. Electrical work and plumbing are two prime examples. If these repairs are required to get your property back to being fully functional, you should still proceed, but do not expect them to add much value to your property when the time comes to sell.

Overcapitalising your renovation
Adding high-end finishes to a low-value property can result in spending more money than can ever be made when selling. Landscaping is a massive trap in this regard, with many expensive options available that will increase the attractiveness of your property, but will rarely translate into rewards on the market.

What do you think? Have you ever completed a renovation on your property? What tips could you give aspiring DIY members?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    6th Feb 2018
    As a renovator I agree with most except often in older houses it can cost a lot more to fix than replace. On the last house I flipped I ended up spending far too many hours on frames and skirtings instead of replacing. Hours is also money. Sanding peeling ceilings instead of replacing. Landscaping is very important, almost as much as the kitchen and bathroom reno. One house needed $11,000 spent on tree removal bringing in much needed light. The trick is to be focused on the sale and to get the most out of the house you can get. HINT: Makeover magnolia wall colour is a big no no.
    6th Feb 2018
    Every older property that comes on the market where I live is immediately demolished and the block subdivided into at least 3 lots... It’s got to the point where the blocks are only about 200sqm so the houses are double story with no yard for any children to play in. Such a shame....
    6th Feb 2018
    Beware of houses with septic tanks. I spent 15,000$ on a new system, and nothing at all to show for it. Plumbing requirements are just over the top these days.