Renovation Surprises Blowing People’s Budget

Property renovations can include hidden costs which homeowners do not have the budget allowance for. So, before home or property renovations are started, be ready for these unexpected expenses.

Hidden damage

According to Archicentre, which is The Australian Institute of Architects’ building advisory and its design service, smaller than 40% of the home buyers have their property go through inspections before they purchase.

Archicentre manager Michael Appleby said that it is highly important that these home buyers are aware of a property’s condition prior to buying to prevent risking their bank balance.

Some of the usual problems or defects that are found by Archicentre’s inspectors are termite infestation, the need for a property to be re-stumped, the need for wiring and plumbing to be replaced, and structural issues.

Damp issues and asbestos removal are some that lead to hidden costs, too.

According to Rich Harvey of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agents Association of Australia (REBAA), there are many terraced homes which have problems with increasing damp in Melbourne and Sydney.

He said to be careful with increasing damp particularly in 80- to 100-year old properties. He recommended to check the paint work for any discolouration at the architraves or paint bubbling which is an evidence of extra moisture.

Structural issues

Drew Hamilton, who is PH+ Architects’ director, suggested that clients should consider a contingency of a minimum of 10% of construction costs in order to cover unexpected costs.

Hamilton said that the primary scope for surprise costs in terms of renovations are the unknowns related to dealing with existing buildings.

Permit fees

When homeowners start any addition to homes, they need to check with a local council for approvals needed, according to Jenny Williams, who is an interior designer from Sydney’s Creative Style that specializes in new builds and renovations.

The council has the power to have homeowners remove unapproved works, and it also affects selling when every relevant approval was not obtained from a certifier or the local council.

Summing up

It is really advantageous, as examples, to ask for council approvals before starting home projects or to have Termite Inspections in Sydney prior to purchasing a new home. These are all so headaches, hassles and especially hidden costs are prevented.