Thinking of renovating your home? Know the associated costs

Renovating your home is a great way to make it more comfortable for you and your family, or to increase its value when you resell it. There are many approaches to renovating, all with different costs. On average, Australians spent $20,000 on home renovations in 2019, and costs reached over $150,000 for the top 10% of spenders.

A lot of factors go into determining the cost of renovating your home. To be as prepared as possible, it's important to have an understanding of what those costs are going to be.

How to determine the cost:

The costs of your home renovations will depend heavily on the size of your home and the extent to which you plan on renovating it. On top of that, you also need to ask yourself these important questions:

Are you hiring a builder?

Builders' hourly rates can range from $70 to $120 per hour, depending on the location, the nature of the renovations and the experience level of the builder. You won't have a good estimate of the total cost of your renovations until you decide whether you're hiring a builder and who you are going to hire.

Which rooms are you renovating?

Different rooms come with different renovation costs. For example, kitchens and bathrooms are often the most expensive rooms to renovate. They involve installing appliances, custom cabinetry and plumbing, which require extensive measurements and fittings to take place.

A living room or dining room, on the other hand, generally only involves improvements to the walls, floors and windows. These projects can be more affordable.

How to cut costs

If this is all starting to add up to too much, don't lose hope. There are plenty of ways you can cut costs and still achieve the home of your dreams.

DIY when you can

Some projects require professional help, but some can be done by anyone with a little bit of time and patience. For example, instead of hiring a contractor to paint, do it yourself. You could also stain your deck, replace bathroom tiles or add a backsplash to your kitchen with little to no prior experience. You might need to do some research and watch a few online tutorials, but you'll thank yourself later when you realise how much money you saved by rolling up your sleeves.

Use affordable materials

You may think that you have to spring for the most expensive materials to make your home look beautiful, but that's not necessarily true. Beautifying your home is a matter of personal preference, and there are plenty of stunning and affordable materials available.

For example, instead of using marble for your countertops, you could use quartz as a cheaper alternative. Also smooth and shiny, it will still give your kitchen a classy look for less cost. Also, cultured stone — concrete poured into a mould and designed to look like real stone — is often cheaper than tile; it generally lasts a lifetime and it still provides a clean, finished look.

Apply for a HomeBuilder Grant

Some Australian homeowners are eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant, which is a $25,000 tax-free government grant. This grant is available for individuals who earn less than $125,000 and couples with a combined yearly income of less than $200,000.

If you qualify for the HomeBuilder Grant, apply before starting your renovations or before building your home. Home renovations can be expensive, but if you use the tools and resources at your disposal, you can achieve your dream home.

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