Advantages and Disadvantages of Tackling Home Renovation Projects DIY-style in New Zealand

Date: 28 Oct 2023

Pro: Opting for a DIY Approach Could Be More Cost-Effective

When contemplating a DIY home renovation, cost is likely the initial concern. While it's accurate that hiring contractors for the renovation labor may have a higher price tag, if you lack experience in home renovation, the DIY route could potentially result in higher overall expenses.

How Much Does a Home Renovation Cost?

In New Zealand, the average labor costs for renovating a home typically range from $100 to $480 per square metre. The overall cost varies depending on the project's size and complexity. By choosing the DIY approach, you can eliminate labor expenses. On average, a DIY renovation in New Zealand costs around $12,000, in contrast to the $40,000 - $130,000 price range for hiring professional services.

Pro: You Can Work on Your Own Timeline

In a New Zealand context, a benefit of taking on a DIY home renovation is the flexibility to work at your preferred pace, at your convenience. When you handle the project independently, you have the freedom to commence whenever it suits you, without the need to wait for a contractor's availability to begin your home renovation.

Con: There Could Be Hidden Costs

Although a DIY approach may appear more economical at the outset, there could be concealed expenses linked to self-directed home renovations. Depending on the complexity of your project, you might find yourself needing to purchase additional tools that a professional would already possess. Furthermore, if you lack experience, there's the potential for costly mistakes that may necessitate later repairs. This could eventually lead to hiring a professional, and by that point, the costs might escalate as they address and rectify any issues.

What Tools Do You Need for a DIY Home Renovation?

If you decide to renovate a home on your own, you will need to make sure you have the proper tools and equipment to get the job done. Some of the tools that you should consider if you’d like to try a DIY home renovation are:

  • Spanners
  • Plastic drop sheets
  • Face Mask & Eye Protection
  • Gloves
  • Hammer
  • Skillsaw
  • Ladder
  • Screwdriver
  • And many others

Con:Completion Time May Exceed that of a Professional

Although a DIY project provides the flexibility of working on your own schedule, it also demands a significant time investment. This commitment encompasses not only the hands-on work at home but also research, equipment procurement, watching YouTube tutorials, and other preparatory tasks. Unless you have extensive prior experience in home renovations, you can anticipate a learning curve that will consume a substantial amount of your time and energy.

What's the Typical Timeframe for a DIY Home Renovation? 

The duration of a home renovation varies according to the specific project, but on average, it might require approximately 16 hours per week, spread over a span of 5 to 6 weeks. If you have other responsibilities such as work or family commitments, this timeline could extend even further. Opting for professional assistance may ultimately prove to be a time-saving solution.

A DIY Home Renovation May Not Be High Quality

The adage "you get what you pay for" holds true in the realm of home renovations as well. While opting for a DIY approach can lead to cost savings, it's essential to recognize that unless you possess advanced renovation skills, the quality of your DIY project may not measure up to what a professional contractor can deliver. It's crucial to assess your own skill level when making the choice between DIY and hiring a skilled professional.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tackling Home Renovation Projects DIY-style in New Zealand

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