DIY Nightmares: What To Avoid When Renovating

DIY Nightmares: What To Avoid When Renovating

In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of DIY property developers and home renovators. When making alterations to a property for either personal or financial gain it pays to know when to call in the experts. Here are the 5 most common, and costly, mistakes DIY renovators can make and how they can be avoided. 


The biggest mistake to make when renovating for sale is to over capitalise and spend too much on details that are taste specific. These renovations may not appeal
to the broader market if you do choose to sell the property at a later stage. Keep things simple by choosing a neutral base colour scheme and applying it throughout the whole property. This extends to the wall paint, flooring, kitchen and bathroom finishes.  That way the house will feel tailored and considered.

If a tight budget is restricting you, focus mainly on the façade of your home. By doing this, along with property styling, buyers can really see the potential the property has to offer. Adding new handles to bathroom and kitchen doors and cupboards are small details that will spruce each room up too.

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Swapping out a pendant light may seem like a straightforward task, but anything to do with electricity should always be done by a professionally licensed electrician. Some older properties have hidden hazards such as the wiring being too old and dangerous or a bad earth connection, which can be deadly.

If your property is older than 20 years, you should get an electrician to check the circuits regardless. Buildings from the 60’s and 70’s often need to be rewired to modern safety standards. In older homes, the insulation may have deteriorated making it hazardous, so it will be best to get a professional to highlight all the problem areas and fix them properly to ensure your home is safe.

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Much like electrical, all plumbing works should be carried out by a licensed professional. Turning off the water at the mains to change a tap head sounds simple and straightforward, but if changed incorrectly there could be long-lasting ramifications. All may seem to be fine even once you make the changes, however, leaks can happen between walls or under floors with little indication until it is too late. These disaster situations can cost thousands if you have to repair or replace joists, wet walls or in worst cases, rip out a bath and all your beautifully laid tiles. It is much safer and easier to enlist a plumber to make sure the job is done right.


This is a common renovation plan for many terrace homes as opening up a wall between a dining room and a living room can have a great visual impact, make the space feel larger, let in more natural light and also create better flow. Removing the wrong walls can create serious problems. Before you plan to knock down any walls you should have a builder and/or an engineer advise on the ramifications of removing a wall.

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Sometimes adding value is not all about going up a level. Often forgotten underground basements can be converted to garages, dens, a cinema room or a wine seller. Adapting unused space to create a functional area can quickly add value to the property, however, you must investigate and carefully consider anything that can alter the structure of the building. You may think you are saving money by doing your own digging and dirt removal, but what lies beneath the surface can affect more than just your property structurally.

Water mains, plumbing and sewage are all below ground level so you will need a council survey and a professional to assess the area before you start digging. The water table must also be considered; the last thing you need is to flood your home or neighbouring properties because you have hit the natural water table. This can have serious consequences.

There are many landscapers and excavating companies that can assist you in these matters. Getting a dilapidation report and checking if the property needs underpinning are a must before the ground is altered.

What do you think are the biggest challenges when renovating? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Vault Interiors Property Styling is in the business of creating higher value spaces in Sydney through vibrant and edgy design. We specialise in unlocking the potential in your property and helping you increase its value through presentation, functionality, and appeal.

Contact us today to get an obligation free quote from a property stylist.

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