TV Shows Ignite Renovation Fever

Published : 6 August 2015

Reality TV shows like The Block and Better Homes and Gardens seem to have sparked renovation fever amongst Aussie homeowners.

The latest Mortgage Choice Happy As Index report found 45 per cent of homeowners intend to renovate their property in the next 12 months.

Spokeswoman Jessica Darnbrough said it was critical for homeowners to research the costs involved and prepare a budget as well as a timeline plan.

“Depending on the scale of renovations, there are plenty of ways a person can fund the process, from using their savings, to a loan top-up, refinancing their mortgage or even a construction loan,” she said.

While many are doing the work themselves, others are turning to tradesmen - so it's important to ensure you hire a reputable one.

Don't just stick a pin in the telephone book! Ask around, ask friends and family who they used. The key thing to check is that they are legit. Try and find someone with accreditation - if they've gone to the trouble of obtaining it they will probably care just as much about the work they do for you.

The most common complaints about tradesman are that they don't show up on time, don't return quotes, or the work doesn't meet expectations. So don't be afraid to ask for a reference.

And always, always get written quotes, to avoid confusion, embarrassment and being ripped off! Those written quotes should be specific, too. For example, if hiring a painter, agree on exactly what is to be painted and how many coats.

And remember, going over budget is not always the fault of the tradie. Make sure you know exactly what you want and what you can afford. Changing your mind halfway through is almost always going to get the tradie offside and probably cost you more.

TIPS TO GETTING IT RIGHT

  • Think timeless not trendy - trends change.
  • Don’t overcapitalise - if you go over the top you'll never get it back on re-sale.
  • Work out what you can afford and stick to your budget.