This is a question that anyone working in finance, real estate, building or any other industry that involves housing would get asked regularly – I know that I do.

“We were thinking we would just renovate and possibly extend the house, that way we will get some more room and we would all fit.”

“My parents are getting old, so rather than them going into a village or care we were thinking of converting the back area of the house into a Granny Flat.”

I’ve recently completed, well, almost completed, a full renovation of my home. The reason for the renovation was due to a maintenance issue in a wet area. Rather than just try to fix the issue and “match” all of the tiles and so forth in with the rest of the home, I decided to start from scratch and upgrade whilst I was at it.

No matter the reason, people are always going to want to weigh up their options when it comes to renovating or selling. Here are some things you should consider before taking the next step.


I know this seems obvious, however, sitting down and carefully construction a budget and pricing everything up at the start can potentially save you thousands of dollars. There are many things that you will need to consider before starting a renovation;

–          What materials will you use?

–          What trades will you require?

–          What will you renovate and what will you retain?

–          Are you capable of DIY or will you need to get registered tradespeople in?

–          Where will all of your personal belongings go whilst you complete the work?

–          Where will you live whilst the renovation is going on?

All of the above will impact on cost and until you have answers to these questions it will be extremely challenging to come up with a carefully constructed budget.

There is obviously a lot to consider.


Renovating or extending can take months and even years depending on how organised you are and if you have enough money to complete the work required. I often go into client’s homes that have started renovations “years ago” and are still working on them. Even if you outsource the work, you still need to have your finger on the pulse. Furniture will need moving and it may not fit on the property which means moving it somewhere else. Trades may cancel on you or they may not “line-up” and alternative arrangements may be required. Products may not be available. Unforeseen hiccups may appear during the destruction/construction process – and these are just to name a few.

Even at the quoting stage, this is an extremely time-consuming process. Let’s just take the example of flooring. There are so many different options for flooring now it is mind boggling – carpet, timber boards, tiles, vinyl, vinyl planking, floating floors, parquetry, polished concrete and the list goes on! So where would you even start?

My renovation, just on the inside of the home, took roughly 12 months and this was working after hours and on the weekends, practically every chance I got. So be prepared for long hours and hard work if you are going to try and tackle it yourself.


I’ve touched on this already, however, if you have zero experience in the building industry and you are starting from scratch when it comes to renovating, well, it will probably end up costing you more time and money than say if a carpenter or an electrician decided to renovate their own home.

Sure, you can learn and there are thousands of YouTube videos and tutorials on the internet machine that can get you started, but at the end of the day, we often learn through making mistakes and learning from those mistakes – unfortunately in this case though, mistakes can be very costly.


At the start of this article I talked about your reason to renovate. Even though you may not be renovating to sell the property for a profit like all of the reality TV shows, resale should be something that you keep in the back of your mind.

It is so easy to overcapitalise when you are doing a renovation or extension and as a Real Estate Salesperson, I see this all of the time – I may have even done it myself! This also comes back to planning and cost as I eluded to earlier.

I also think it is important that you create something that other people will like so that when you do go to sell the property at a later date, you are going to maximise your profit. There are many ways to get inspiration and ideas when choosing design, products, materials, colours and styling (just to name a few). Things like Pinterest, Instagram and other social media platforms are great for inspiration and can be helpful when looking for the latest trends in styling. You could also consult with builders, interior designer and other real estate professionals.

One thing is clear in my mind though, whether you decide to consult the expects, go it alone or a bit both, you should always have one eye on the future.


Whether you decide to renovate or sell, my suggestion would be to get expert advice from professionals in their respective industries.

Real Estate Agents are experts in property and the current marketplace. Real Estate Agents can provide you with up to date advice and data from properties that have sold in your area that are similar to your property or that would be similar after say, a renovation. Real Estate Agents see often hundreds of homes a year and should be keeping up to date with the latest building trends and products that are available. Real Estate Agents are often in communication with a big number of tradespeople and can suggest people for you to get into contact with. Real Estate Agents should be in the know when it comes to what buyers are looking for in certain areas.

So, whether you are thinking of renovating, extending or selling, call a Real Estate Agent that you can trust and that has the experience to guide you through the process or suggest people that can. After all, we are taking about your money, time, and probably your single biggest asset, please don’t leave it to chance.