Popular reno video game great way to get into renovating, says expert

A new video game that has players do complete DIY renovations of properties has been generating quite a buzz online, and one expert claims it’s a great way to start thinking about renovating properties outside of the game.

HouseFlipper screenshot

House Flipper, developed by Polish video game developer Empyrean Games, puts players in the shoes of a renovator who can do it all, from picking a property, repairing it, putting their own spin on interior design and eventually selling the property to make a profit.

The game has been quite popular, staying consistently up in PC video game platform Steam’s top selling list ever since it was officially released. For a platform that can see hundreds of games being added per month according to Steam statistic service SteamSpy, the prominence of a DIY renovating game, a genre which rarely sees such popularity, is a notable thing of itself.

A spokesperson from Empyrean Games said that House Flipper was a good start to begin attempting DIY renovations.

Whoever who was wondering how house flipping looks like and wanted to try it out should start somewhere and playing House Flipper seems to be a great tutorial to DIY!” the spokesperson said to Smart Property Investment.


For Dr Naomi Findlay, who recently launched the Rapid Reno Mate app as way to assist DIY renovators, she agreed, as she sees House Flipper as a positive experience to help introduce DIY renovations to those who may not have considered performing renovations themselves.

“From my perspective, [DIY renovation games like House Flipper] are great to introduce people and get people interested in the concept of the property renovation. I think they're amazing for that.”

However, House Flipper and other DIY renovating video games should not be taken as a literal tool. In House Flipper, players do all aspects of the renovation process, which does include repairing electrical facilitates — which is illegal and can result in death, either through an accident in the renovation process or in an accident later through electrocution or sparks creating a fire.

“It's really important that we never underestimate the danger, the stages or the actual science of a real renovation,” Dr Findlay said.

“It's really important that people realise and remember that these are games, that they're not procedural-driven, and that they don't ever confuse their abilities inside the game with what their abilities would be on a real reno site.”

Even if you have the necessary licenses and can do everything above board, should you DIY everything, like in the games? For Dr Findlay, it all comes down to strategy.

“There are some things that absolutely, unless you're licensed for, you shouldn't be touching, from my perspective at all, and obviously it's illegal,” she said.

“They shouldn't be doing things like electrical, they shouldn't be doing any gas fittings, they shouldn't be doing any asbestos work that is of a quantity that requires licensing.

“In regards to all of the other tasks, it really depends on the strategy of the person. If they're the ones that, if their strategy is they want to be hands-on, have minimal labour costs, that's fine, but they obviously have maximum time investment, and so I think obviously except for the things that you really should be using skilled labour for and licensed labour for, and to not do so, is actually against code and against the law.”

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