You might find a sudden urge to knock down a few walls at your Sydney house and create a brand new zen garden. Renovation is an art form and if you pull it off correctly you could end up having a lot of fun. Besides, renovating is all about upgrading your property, which means it can help you increase the value of your most prized asset.
So, if you’re considering renovating your home, here’s what you need to know:
Rules and Regulations
In case you didn’t know this already, Sydney is the largest city in the country. Nearly a fifth of all Australians call it home and the city is jam-packed because of it. What keeps it all in order are the rules and regulations around property. You may need to get permission from your local council to approve the renovations you’ve planned. Do some research online and figure out the local building code, legal limitations and the health and safety requirements before you get started. If you own a strata titled property, for example, you may have to figure out what exactly you own. Technicalities on ‘airspace’ and ‘cubic boundaries’ may come into play here. You may also need to get a DA onboard if your planned renovation project involves removing trees or heavy demolition. Don’t get caught up in the renovation red tape.
Consider a renovation project as important as a new build. You wouldn’t start building a house without a blueprint, so why consider tearing down the kitchen without a written plan? Get all your redevelopment paperwork out of the way and hit the drawing board as soon as you can. Figure out how much you want to push yourself, what tasks you’ll be doing on your own and how much you should budget for the project. Create a simple checklist for everything you need to do. Plan as much as you can, but be prepared for the unexpected.
Do It Yourself
If you love handy work and have some time on hand, consider doing some of the simpler tasks yourself. Putting together a new cabinet, demolishing the patio or tearing down a wall is not just easy, it’s incredibly fun. DIY enthusiasts are always available to help you out with quick tips if you ever get stuck. Doing part of the project yourself will also help cut costs. Just know your limits and call in an expert for the seriously complex stuff, like heavy construction, electrical wiring and landscaping.
Aim for Value
Your house is an asset, so renovating it should help it appreciate. Aim for value-oriented projects that offer a return on every dollar you invest. Add space, redesign the kitchen or make the bathroom nicer. Balance your need for personal expression with the need to add value. A bright red wall may look trendy, but it won’t appeal to everyone. All these efforts are sure to get you a better price for your home when it comes time to sell.
It should be obvious, but cutting costs is a big part of renovating. It’s really easy to go over budget with even the most simple home project. Cut costs wherever you can, but balance it out with a focus on long-term value. If it costs extra for reinforced cabinets or better quality windows, go for it. Build a house that’s meant to last forever. Frequently repairing and replacing stuff is likely to cost a lot more time and money than simply buying the best quality. The way a project shapes up financially depends on how well you’ve planned the budget and how much money you have as contingency.
Walk around the block and gets some ideas from your neighbors. They probably have homes similar to yours, and some of them are bound to be really fancy. If you’re genuinely interested, pick up ideas on blogs and Pinterest. Experiment a bit. Your house is the ultimate form of personal expression, so make it count.
Like any other major city, Sydney has a protocol on how residents can repair or renovate their homes. Get in touch with the experts and do your research before you get started. Stick to the rules, do some of it yourself, cut costs and aim for value. Your house will need some upkeep every few years, but there’s no reason for this process to be stressful or expensive.
This post is a contribution by a guest writer