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Planning a post lockdown reno? Here's what you need to know

·4-min read
Father watches on as his son paints part of their house.
Lockdowns have given Aussies plenty of time to plan ways to spruce up the family home. (Source: Getty)

Bored of your four walls? You are not alone.

Since the start of the pandemic many of us are spending more time in our homes than ever before, and with more people now working from home, it's understandable that people are seeking to change how their house functions and reconsider the role their homes play in a post-pandemic world.

As Victorians emerge from the longest lockdown in the world, two out of five have only now found the time to renovate their homes, with a third of them finally pocketing enough savings to go ahead with their projects, according to the 2021 Houzz & Home Australia Study.

Planning an update to your home is an exciting time, but there can be a few hurdles you’ll need to jump over in order to get the job done.

In preparation for your next renovation, here are a few things you should be aware of.

Council regulations and rules

Imagine getting started on a renovation project to then discover you can’t make the changes you wanted because the council has turned you down.

Before you get too inspired by this week's episode of The Block, it's important to find out if your local council has any rules or regulations around the changes you want to make.

Minor renovations, such as new decking, are usually classified as ‘exempt’, meaning they often don't need permission from your local council to get started.

However, larger renovations and building extensions may require certain permissions.

For example, most councils will require an application before you remove trees over a certain height or change particular landscaping in your gardens. In such a case, you will need to file an application and go through the process of seeking formal approval.

Another thing you should be aware of when planning a renovation is whether your home is heritage listed, because there are a range of restrictions relating to heritage-listed properties.

Often, the facade can’t be changed and sometimes even paint colours can’t be removed.

Being $$$ savvy

Most renovation projects can go from 0-100 really quick, especially if you don’t have an initial plan and have a habit of getting carried away easily.

It can start at just a fresh coat of paint, and then the next thing you know, you’re ripping out the entire kitchen, which can carry a hefty price tag.

According to new lending data, Aussies are spending around $63,188 on average when it comes to renovating their homes. From paying tradies, to supplies, as well as decor arrangements, the final bill can certainly add up if you’re not careful.

This is why it’s important to plan a budget for your renovation and be strict in order to stay as close to it as possible.

Where plausible, it might also be a good idea to delve into a bit of DIY to save some extra dollars.

Knowing when to involve experts

To avoid any headaches and potential health hazards caused by trying to do everything yourself, it’s crucial to understand which jobs you should delegate to the experts.

Hiring qualified and trusted tradies to get the tricky jobs done is pivotal. It not only saves you from a prolonged renovation, but it also ensures it’s done to the highest quality possible.

Tradie performing renovations to a bathroom and laundry.
Whenever possible, hire a professional to get the job done right. (Source: Getty)

For example, you shouldn’t take chances with your home’s structural components.

Instead, you should ask an engineer or contractor to take care of any renovations or major changes you plan on making. They will know all about the structural elements of your home and will help you save money in the long run.

Renovating doesn’t have to be a stressful process. If you plan and make smart informed choices, you will be able to enjoy the journey and have fun with it.

Not to mention, the results will be worth it.

Nicole Manthorpe is marketing programs manager at Sorted Services.

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