Costs to consider before you renovate your house

July 6, 2020

You love your house but there are things that are not working well in it. You are thinking of a renovation rather than move to another house. You are considering fixing some things or adding a house extension. The question is what costs should you consider before you get the renovations done? Where do you start?

The secret to good renovations is planning wisely. Here are a few things to remember when you are planning to renovate.

How much can you spend?

Many people think about doing a renovation because they want to improve their lifestyle or increase the value of their house so they get a good resale value whenever they sell it. However, before beginning the process, it is a good idea to check how much you can afford to invest in renovating the house. Will you be able to complete the renovation once you start it?

It is good to plan a contingency fund for unforeseen expenses. It is possible that you will come across some situations that will increase spending such as beams that are rotting or worn out fittings or floors that need replacement. It is good to have a 10% contingency budget before you begin a renovation so that you are prepared for unexpected expenses.

The Condition of the House

A very important factor to consider before you fix the budget for the renovation is the condition of your house. If the house is very old, you may need to consider changing the entire wiring, replacing the roofing structure and piling too. You will need to list the repairs and replacements that are needed.

Renovating in stages or parts

If you find that there is a question mark about whether you can raise enough money to carry out the renovation, you could also plan your renovation in stages. It can be done over a period of time and managing the money will not be a challenge for you. Split the sections that are in need of renovation and make a priority list so that you can work on the most important areas first. You could finish the air conditioning, heating and insulation before you consider designing trendy interiors.

Another way is to break it into parts of the house that really need a renovation such as the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms or the garden and deck. Working on the budget of each section will help you work on it in a manageable manner. 

House Extensions

If you are planning on a house extension on the ground level, then you need to add the cost of breaking new ground too. The amount could be higher if you live in an area that has a lot of rocks or your section is sloping.

If you are planning on extending your house by adding another level, the costs would be different. You may want to subdivide, extend different areas of the home or reassign the rooms and change their size. In depth planning is required and it would be good to have the help of consultants to know the going rates for the changes that need to be made. 

Aesthetic Interiors

If you are happy with the external and internal structure of the house but you want to change and give it aesthetically pleasing interiors based on your ideas, depending on the kind of changes involved the costing can be more or less. One might think that there is just one change therefore it would cost less, however, if someone wants to for example replicate the look of a house from a period movie, the costs will certainly be high.


If you have plans to renovate only your kitchen to have a better cooking experience the costs would vary depending on the size and style of your new kitchen and the different types of  bench top and finishes you want.

Rates can start from $4,000 to $6,000, excluding installation for flat-pack kit-set for small or medium-size kitchens. If you would rather have a custom-made kitchen, you would need to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 for basic kitchen designs. Mid-range would cost around $20,000 and top-of-the-line luxury brands can cost you $30,000 and more. Other unexpected costs in renovating your kitchen can result from reworking the wiring, plumbing, relining, tiling, new appliances and paying builder’s fees etc.


Upgrading your bathrooms is another area that you would want to consider. Depending on the amount of change required in the pipework and the plumbing, the cost can vary.

The average costing for renovating a small bathroom of 5 square metres can be anything from $7,000-$10,000. The costing for renovating a medium bathroom of 10 square metres can be from $10,000-$15,000 while a large 15 square metres bathroom could be $15,000-$20,000. If money is not an issue and you would like to have the most luxurious top of the line high-end fittings the costs would above $25,000. If all you want is a simple spruce-up which includes a paint job, it would cost you approximately $2,500-$3,500.

Property Resale Value

It is important to ensure that you don’t spend more than the property’s resale value. unless you are focused on long term capital gains. You may not be considering selling the property, however it would help to have a framework so that you don’t exceed spending beyond a reasonable amount. If you would need to sell the property in the future, it is good to find the local market rates for similar houses in order to prevent overcapitalising.

There are different ways of working out how much one should spend on renovating depending on the value of the house. Some people work on the percentage such as 5 percent or 10 percent of the house value. Others would work on it based on how much they bought the house for and work out the difference in value with the houses that are similar and in the same area. If there is a considerable difference in the cost, they choose to spend within that amount or more while also considering the profit they want to make during resale. If you want the best price at the time of resale of your house at some future date, you would want to do a good job at renovating it.

Get good advice

If you are new to the renovation process, it is good to get some advice from renovation experts who are good at it. Also check out the government website at this link to know your rights as a homeowner and be informed about consents, pricing, contracts and warranties –

While deciding whom to approach for advice it is good to ensure that the consultant or company you are approaching has an impressive portfolio of past projects and a proven track record with projects similar to the one you have. You can check their social media pages to review posts to ensure they are good. Also check if they have affiliations with good and reputable suppliers. This is essential so you can be sure that the fittings installed in your house are good and dependable in quality.  As is the workmanship.

Write down your plan in detail

Keep a notebook to take down the plans, the costing in detail and things that come up while planning your renovation. It is a good practice as you will be able to keep track of the expenses that are getting listed and be saved from any unexpected surprises. Check even the windows, finishings and fixtures, keep track of everything you need to buy, even the nails! Being meticulous might be a bit of a strain but it will save you from confusion and help you make the right decision at the right time.

Planning the renovation can seem quite a daunting task, however, sitting in your completely renovated home and the sense of accomplishment it gives, makes all the effort worth it.

Are you ready to step up and make your dream house a reality? We recommend that you contact a specialist renovation company.  

The Renovation Builders Process