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Avoiding renovation pitfalls

You’ve decided to renovate and know what you want to achieve. Before you start, plan to avoid these common renovating problems. Here’s how:

  • Take time to get used to your property before you make any changes
  • A good rule of thumb is to wait six months before any major changes
  • Think about the long term, and not just the short term visual appeal of your property
  • Your renovation should meet real needs (eg out-of-date electrical systems, unreliable plumbing or drainage, roof issues) and not simply improve the look of your property
  • Make sure the cost of your renovations is relative to your property’s market value. If you spend too much, you may over-capitalise your home and may not recover your money if you decide to sell in future
  • See our free Property Value Guide to get an idea of property values in your area

Learn more about renovating your home

Understand the legalities

  • Consider strata requirements and inform the Owners Corporation in writing of any proposed structural alterations or renovations on your unit/apartment
  • Comply with your legal responsibilities for the by-laws set by the Owners Corporation (e.g. noise levels and floor coverings when renovating)
  • The Owners Corporation may also have other by-laws governing renovations, including the appearance of the renovating unit from the outside, and the hours in which the renovations can take place
  • The strata may also have insurance issues, especially if structures are being changed
  • From a practical point of view, consider whether you’ll need to move materials through common areas

  • If you need to find a builder or tradesperson, contact the Housing Industry Association (HIA) or the Master Builders Association for builders in your area
  • Ask friends and family for recommendations
  • Ensure the builder is registered and licensed, is financially sound and has insurance
  • Ask for a written, itemised quote that clearly shows what is included or excluded in the price
  • It's wise to get at least three quotes before deciding on a builder so you can compare their price and approach
  • Ask for references and have a look at their recent work
  • If your renovation project is under $5,000 it's wise to request a written minor works contract before any work commences. This sets out your and your builder's obligations, details of the work to be completed, the price and the timeline for completion.

  • If your renovation project exceeds a certain value, appropriate home warranty / indemnity insurance will be required
  • Even if you sell your home during this period, you are obligated to pay for insurance while you’re still in the home 

Important Information

Applications for finance are subject to the Bank's normal credit approval. Full terms and conditions are included in the Loan Offer. Fees and charges are payable.