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Thinking of Renovating? Here’s What You Need to Know

More Australians than ever before are choosing to renovate rather than buy a new home, and it is easy to see why. Restoring an old home can be a source of pride that saves you a lot of money in the short and long-term.

Before you begin, remember that renovation is not for everybody. If you do not enjoy working with tools, refurbishing a home is not a good idea. You should also avoid renovation projects if you will be forced to take too much time off from your job or business.

Make sure that you understand what you are getting yourself into before starting a renovation project. The last thing you want is to end up living in a half-finished home, or paying a professional a fortune to clean up your mess.

Here are some more tips to ensure that your renovation project is a runaway success:

Make Sure You Know What You Are Doing

First ask yourself two questions:

  • What improvements are the most pressing?
  • Which improvements will increase the value of your home the most?

Hint: In many cases, the kitchen is the most important part of the home because it is the space that families spend the most time together.

After you know which tasks need to be done, check out DIY workshops and YouTube videos so you know what is involved. A good way to get a feel for these small jobs is to volunteer to help friends and relatives with their renovation efforts. Another idea is to do some construction or building labour work to earn some money and, more importantly, to see how the professionals do it.

Resources like Allianz’s Five Things to Know Before You Start Renovating can also help put you on the right path.

Be Flexible With Your Budget

Whenever you create budget for a renovation project, always add at least 10% more than estimated. This is important because almost every renovation job runs over budget.

Get Financial Help

Holiday Coast Credit Union has a variety of Home loans available, that can help cover renovation costs.

Getting approved for a loan upfront is always a good idea because renovations can be more expensive than you planned for.

An easy and convenient way to find out how much you qualify for with a home loan is to talk to one of Holiday Coast’s mobile lenders. They’ll visit you at a time and place that’s convenient. To book an appointment with a mobile lender call 1300 365 7 24 or email

Become an Owner-Builder

This means you hire subcontractors to handle all or part of the work for you. This can be a cheaper option if you can do part of the work yourself such as painting, but not other tasks like electrical fitting and plumbing.

Make Sure You Fill Out All The Necessary Paperwork

Check with your local council to find out what paperwork you will need to fill out, and do not start construction until you have all the paperwork submitted and approved. Also check your title deed because renovations on some homes are subject to covenants and heritage regulations that can bar certain construction work.

If you have any questions about anything mentioned in this article, call 1300 365 7 24 or email If we are not able to answer your specific question we will refer you to someone that is.


This article provides general information only and should not be relied upon as financial product advice.

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