Let’s Face It. Renovating A Home Is An Expensive Exercise And This Is Why We All Look To Cut Costs Wherever We Can.

Once you’ve renovated a few homes though – as Lana Taylor from Three Birds Renovations has – you soon get to know the costs that are worth it, and the costs that can be blown WAY out of proportion.

Under-Floor Heating

Let’s break the good news first. Under-floor heating is not as expensive as you might think.

 “I always thought under-floor heating was an incredible luxury and unaffordable,” says Lana.

“After a bit of research, however, I discovered it was only around $400 per room. I thought it’d be about $1,000!”

“Of course, there are going to be the running costs, but thermostat systems are very sophisticated these days. When you combine the lower installation costs with the more sophisticated thermostat systems, under-floor heating has certainly come a long way from where it was years ago.”

Solar Charge Pack

Okay, so solar charge packs aren’t cheap. However for Lana, following the recent renovation of her forever home, it proved to be an upfront expense worth paying for.

The energy costs it will save Lana’s family in the long term also mean it will end up paying itself off.

Lana opted for Bradford solar panels in addition to Tesla Powerwall. In a nutshell, Powerwall is a home battery that stores the sun’s energy throughout the day and smartly delivers electricity when the sun isn’t shining. This store of solar energy contributes to the powering of Lana’s home, making the running costs of features like under-floor heating even cheaper.

Performance Glass

Not only can it help block out and reduce noise at home, but performance glass actually insulates against temperature as well, further reducing energy bills.

It’s set to become an increasingly important renovation cost to consider, given the trend for natural light shows no signs of slowing.

Lana says there are several types of performance glass available, so it’s important to be clued-up otherwise you may receive the ‘cheap’ stuff unknowingly.

She opted for noise-reducing glass in one of her bedrooms and a tinted glass in the void above the stairwell to help reflect the UV. Both cost more, but have added to the comfort – and the value – of the home.

Ducted Air-Conditioning

Heating and cooling can often get overlooked in a renovation as it’s not something you can immediately see or touch. However, you can certainly feel it, and Lana says this is potentially more important.

“I think people underestimate the importance of getting your home’s temperature correct,” Lana says.

Window Coverings

Blinds or good-quality curtains are another level of insulation that will reduce energy costs and increase comfort at home.

Lana opted for Luxaflex Duette blinds in her daughter Ruby’s room. They are made from a unique honeycomb cellular fabric which acts as another layer of insulation for the window and also blocks out light for those Sunday sleep ins.


Bi-Fold Doors

Love the look of bi-fold doors? Sadly, the cost to install them brand new isn’t cheap – however there is a way around it.

“Bi-fold doors are very expensive,” Lana says. “If there’s a way you can re-use existing ones in your reno, or even buy second-hand ones, go for it. We saved at least $12,000 by doing that.”

If you’re reusing bi-folds that came with your home, make sure you instruct your builder to make the new openings the right size to accommodate them.

Brand New Joinery For Built-Ins

Built-in wardrobes are almost an expectation these days, but they’re still fairly pricey to install.

The deeper you go into the customisation rabbit hole, the more expensive they become.

Make like Lana with this cost-saving exercise: “I bought some timber louvre doors off eBay and gave them a vintage look with some paint. It was a big money saver.”


Often an afterthought, but by no means less important, outdoor landscaping costs can easily creep up on renovators.

“It’s often one of the last things you think about in a home renovation, but the costs can sneak up on you,” says Lana.

“Mature plants cost more than you think, for example.”

Avoid this by considering landscaping from the outset and factoring it into the overall costs of your reno.

Marble Benchtops

There’s no denying marble is on trend, and for good reason – it always looks fantastic. However, Lana says lovers of marble need to be prepared for intense and vigilant maintenance to keep it that way.

“It’s so expensive, but can be ruined in the blink of an eye with a stray red wine glass left overnight,” she says.

“The red wine leeches down into the marble and seeps into the benchtop because it’s so porous.”

For a safer bet, Lana suggests opting for engineered stone – it looks great and is practical, too.


Source: http://www.realestate.com.au/lifestyle/the-good-bad-renovation-costs-that-may-surprise-you/


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