It’s exciting to think about doing your own renovation—especially when shows like The Block make it look easy. Sadly what they don't show is the real time and disruption involved.
It’s important to know that you may also be legally required to have an Owner Builders permit for larger works.
Even for an experienced handy-person there are parts of a project where DIY makes sense and others where it’s best left to the experts.
Clearing and labour:
DIY minor demolition work can help shave your costs. Chipping up tiles or stripping back carpet and wallpaper are easy yet time-consuming tasks. Always be safety conscious and wear the proper protective gear. Be cautious of knocking down walls—if they’re asbestos they’re too dangerous to remove yourself. Always get materials tested before putting hammers through walls.
Gardens are often forgotten but do add value. Getting your thumbs green is a great DIY option.
Anything safety related:
Doing your own unlicensed electrical work is illegal. DIY plumbing, although not illegal, will create more damage than it's worth if you mess up, and can be more costly to make right.
Structural changes are always best left to a qualified, licensed builder who carries the required insurances and warranties.
Although you can save some dollars plastering, painting or tiling yourself, it may take you weeks to do what a tradie with pro-equipment can do in a day.
Be sure to weigh up your time costs as well as your money costs. When looked at in this way it can start to make sense to outsource key aspects to an expert—you’ll likely get a better result which will be valuable when the time comes to sell your property.