Should you renovate your investment property yourself?

Should you renovate your investment property yourself?

So you’ve decided to renovate. Should you do any of the renovating work yourself? Legally you can pretty much do everything that is cosmetic. What you can’t do is anything electrical or that falls under the heading of plumbing work.

When I started in property investment I did quite a bit of renovation work myself. But that was because I was a qualified carpenter who grew up hanging around building sites with my builder father. Since I had limited financial resources, it made sense for me to do as much of the work as I could.

But does it make sense for you? Before you pick up a paint scraper ask yourself, do I have the necessary skills to do the work to a high standard? It’s important to remember that most people can tell the difference between DIY and a professional finish! And if they can’t and they order a building inspection, I’m pretty sure the inspector will tip them off.

You also need to consider if you can do the work as quickly as a qualified tradesperson because the longer it takes to complete the renovation the more you'll pay in holding costs. Any money you save by not hiring qualified trades people can easily be lost in interest costs and loss of rent as your renovation drags on and on.

If you're considering doing some or all of the work yourself it's usually because you want to save money which is a logical and reasonable way to think. However have you ever heard of the phrase “stick to what you do best and let others do the rest”?

You need to weigh up the opportunity cost of doing the work yourself. Ask yourself how much your time is worth.  Does it make sense for you to tile the floor yourself instead of hiring a professional floor tiler if you can make more money per hour doing what you do best?

It's not difficult to employ professionals to do the work and still make a healthy profit. The big money in renovating is in finding the right property, buying well, and planning and executing a renovation that matches the desires of the target market, not in swinging a hammer.

Categories: Renovations