Should you DIY?

By Laorence Nohra

laorence nohra tnWhile watching a season of The Block can certainly get any keen investor ready to roll up their sleeves and fire up the tools in the believe of making  tens of thousands of dollars in several weeks, like many TV programs one needs to question, “how real is it”?

Blogger: Laorence Nohra, Tradebusters

One of the largest components of renovation spend is labour. This has driven more savvy investors into “Do it yourself” (DIY) home renovations, with an objective of saving significant dollars in tradesmen labour costs. But are the savings as considerable as one may expect?

According to the Gumetree Tradie Trends Report, one in five has messed up a DIY job, with $380 million in tradesperson repairs as a consequence.
Further a  June 2013 CommBank survey highlighted the majority of Aussies ‘go it alone’, that the average home renovation goes over budget and projects takes almost 58 per cent longer than expected to complete.

For many, property remains one of the largest capital and income generating assets so it is surprising the number of people that are driven into DIY renovations – risking project and profit failure as compared to a professionally completed renovation.

We encourage a thorough analysis of “Professional verses DIY” to ensure the time, value and cost realities of a DIY approach are understood.

Weighting true DIY costs verses the use of professional tradespeople includes consideration of the following:

• Your time:  If a DIY renovation means you taking weeks or months from a paying job or consuming annual leave time, then that has come at a cost and needs to be factored against paying for the services of a tradesperson.

• Longer completion times: Most DIY renovations will take longer to complete than engaging professional tradespeople. This could mean delayed rental income for an investment property or higher interest holding costs if you are planning to sell the renovated property.

• Tools purchase: Some home improvements require special tools that need to be purchased and perhaps many never be used again. This could be avoided by hiring a qualified tradesperson.

• Skills and knowledge: Inexperience can cause renovation costs to spiral especially if it results in shortcomings that may fail to pass a building inspection. In fact, it could be emotionally and financially draining for an investor if this occurs.  Experienced tradespeople are certified experts in their fields and can help ensure all the correct regulations are followed.

• Asset increase and value: If you are renovating a house for sale, then any shortcomings of a poor DIY job will not go unnoticed, may devalue the property significantly and even scare of potential buyers. A professionally completed renovation provides a level of assurance to buyers that the property is sound, and can even help you secure a much higher selling price.

• Purchasing renovation items: You may certainly find a bargain or two shopping on your own or online, but this can end up costly if the wrong items or quantities are purchased and worse still if they cannot be refunded. The benefit of engaging certain tradespeople or tradesmen service providers, is their ability to help you access preferred supplier discounts saving you considerable time and money and reducing the risk of making the wrong purchases.

• When things go wrong: It is more costly for a tradesperson to complete a botched up job than if you hired them in the first place!
Although DIY home renovations do have their benefits, it is important to know your limitations and judge those projects which can be done on your own against those that are best left with the professionals.

Accessing the right tradespeople through recommendation or a credible tradesmen service provider is key to success and may feasibly be your best investment towards helping you achieve a profitable renovation with complete peace of mind.

About Laorence Nohra
laorence nohra

From the jet setting corporate world of accounting and finance, Laorence Nohra is the CEO of Tradebusters, one of Australia’s first personalised tradesmen service providers.

Based on the principal that the best way to find good tradespeople is through a quality ‘referral’,  Tradebusters aims to help homeowners take away the time, guesswork and risk of sourcing good tradespeople.

As an outsourcing and operational efficiency expert, who has held a number of international posts with global corporations establishing shared service centres across the world, Laorence now works actively with homeowners, real estate agencies and trade businesses across Australia to unlock and realise the benefits of effective outsourcing.

Tradebusters has been featured in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph as well as various online, local and industry related publications.

“Tradebusters is Tradeblogging” is aimed at sharing with you real life experiences so that any home improvement or renovation job, whether it is big or small is stress-free, positive and rewarding. That’s all part of Tradebusters difference!

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