Have you considered doing a D.I.Y Renovation

Sure,  buying a property with a “twist” – with renovation potential makes good sense in today’s more mature stage of the property cycle. house depreciation calculator market property renovation plan build construction home

It’s a way of forcing appreciating or “manufacturing” capital growth at our current (more mature) stage of the property cycle when we can’t really expect the same strong capital growth that has been enjoyed by some of our capital cities over the last few years.

But unless you have the experience and the skills don’t be tempted to do a D.I.Y renovation.

Of course it looks easy on The Block, but remember reality TV isn’t real, so here are my thoughts on the pluses and pitfalls of DIY renovating.


  1. SavingsRenovation
    If you’re willing to do the work, you can save some serious money – but only if you have the skills and knowledge to achieve the right outcome, otherwise it could cost you much more than you bargained for.
    You can save on the builder’s margin and you can save shopping around for materials – the trade off is the time you spend doing this
  2. Fun
    In my opinion, if you want fun and excitement go bungee jumping or trail bike riding – your property investments should be treated like a business – they should be boring so that the returns you get form them can make your life exciting.


  1.  It’s likely the DIY project will take longer than you planned.  
  2. Your costs are likely to blow out, but you can avoid this somewhat with good planning
  3. You’ll possibly have difficulty finding good tradespeople for the jobs that require licensed trades. They tend not to like working for owner builders.
  4. If you’re not an experienced tradesperson (or a little clumsy like I am) you’re at risk of injury because you’ll be dealing with power tools, heavy materials and chemicals.
  5. You’ll need more cash.
    Banks will often lend 80% of the cost of a fixed price renovation contract provided by a builder, but won’t lend you the money to undertake a DIY renovation.
  6. You don’t know what you don’t know– maybe it’s worth you starting off with some simple DIY jobs like painting.

The Bottom Line…

Renovating your investment property is a great way to:

  1. Increase it’s value,
  2. Make it more appealing to a wider range of tenants,  thereby shortening vacancy periods
  3. Increase the rent, and
  4. Increase your depreciation allowances.

However unless you’re experienced, it make makes sense to leave the renovation works to a registered builder, rather than try a D.I.Y reno job.


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Bryce Yardney


Bryce is a property development specialist, having successfully sourced, project managed and completed hundreds of development projects for Metropole’s clients, helping them create substantial wealth.Visit Metropole.com.au

'Have you considered doing a D.I.Y Renovation' have 1 comment


    July 30, 2015 Pavlo

    I think it’s really good advice.

    You are exactly right about all the pitfalls! (been there done that)
    Unless you really know what you’re doing leave the difficult jobs to the pros.

    Case in point, in 2012 I renovated a property (that I’d held since 1992) with the aim of manufacturing some capital growth before sale. I did the ‘easy’ stuff: painting, brick re-pointing (a 2 day job), organising new floor coverings, cleaning, blinds, yard cleanup, rubbish removal and an electrician.

    When it came to the bathroom reno, a friend suggested he could help me do it (for a fee). He was a bit of a DIY handyman and was also doing his own bathroom reno at the same time. I decided against doing that.

    After speaking to many different bathroom tradies, I found one I felt I could trust to do a great job. He was a little more expensive than the others but he completed the job as promised in 8 working days start to finish. The end result was stunning.

    My point is: 6 months after my bathroom was completed my friend was still chipping away at his bathroom reno! And to be honest the end result looked pretty dodgy. A few months later my property sold and I was happy with the final sale price.


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