3 Reasons to Renovate Instead of Relocating

If you still like the neighbourhood and the home you live in, renovating may be the better option instead of selling up and moving elsewhere. There are many compelling reasons why you may want to consider remodeling or renovating instead of relocating.

First of all, renovating is an exciting way to get the home you want in the neighbourhood you’ve already grown to love. Sprucing up existing areas or even adding another floor to your home may be your most convenient option compared to changing addresses and going back to square one.

Aside from these, here are 3 other reasons why you should renovate instead of relocating:

1. Save on the cost of moving
Renovating a home can help you save on a ton of expenses like legal fees, agent’s commission, and a host of other fees associated with buying and selling property. That’s thousands of dollars that can go towards improving a home that you already love. One real estate website pegs the cost of moving a typical $200,000 home at $15,000 to $50,000.

2. Avoid hidden issues in your new house
Leaving your current house to live in another exposes you to the risk of inheriting the previous homeowner’s problems. There are always a few issues that do not show up on your new home’s inspection report. Stuff like electrical, exterior wood, roofing, boxing, siding and subfloor structural issues often don’t turn up until months later, when the cost of repairing — or worse, renovating — will then have to come out of your pocket.

3. Increase your home’s value
A well designed and executed renovation job can add considerable value to your home. A renovation is a chance to enhance your property’s value while you’re living there, regardless of how the housing market is doing. In a way, a renovation can be a solid investment of your time and hard-earned money.

Of course, there are a lot more reasons not to relocate but to renovate, but the important thing is to focus on what you love to add to your home and then finding the right builder to ensure your renovation project will deliver what your heart desires.

What is a GreenSmart Home?

A GreenSmart home is a sustainable home built using environmentally responsible design ideas, building techniques and materials. A GreenSmart Home uses state-of-the-art technology to make your house healthy and resource and energy efficient.

A home constructed under the GreenSmart program is significantly more efficient, meaning it will consume a lot less. This not only leads to a smaller environmental footprint but also less expensive utility bills that can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Aside from saving on utility expenses, a GreenSmart home will also:

  • Create healthier homes for occupants
  • Improve thermal comfort — warmer in winter and cooler in summer
  • Provide options to make the home more adaptable for all stages of life
  • Reduce waste from the building process
  • Improve site management during construction

What is the GreenSmart Program?
The GreenSmart Program is a highly comprehensive program designed to preserve the environment and reduce cost of living for homeowners. It provides builders with up-to-date information on practical, affordable and durable environmental solutions for residential design and construction.

Who builds GreenSmart homes?
GreenSmart homes are built by accredited builders who have completed HIA’s GreenSmart Professional Training Course. HIA is the official body of Australia’s home building industry and represents the interests of the housing industry at both regional and national levels.

Why hire a GreenSmart builder?
Hiring a certified GreenSmart builder ensures your builder complies with various green building initiatives and is using up-to-date information and methods for the construction of sustainable homes. It also means you are working with a professional builder with access to the latest green products and the best materials and products available.

We support the GreenSmart philosophy because we believe it is a lifestyle approach that is changing the way people live and build. It’s an environment-centred approach to construction and renovation which focuses not just on what we’re building but how we’re building it.

The Rules of Renovation

It’s a pity there’s not a wedding planner-type agency out there to take the whole renovating experience out of your hands. Imagine waking one morning and your dream home has magically materialised.

Let’s be honest, the aforementioned scenario is as much a fantasy as Santa Claus and life without death and taxes. In the real world, you have to consider what your council wants, what the builders want as far as regulations, there’s what future buyers want, what the environment wants, and then of course what you and your pocket expect from the experience. So we’ve put together a few of the basics you’ll need to get started… use it while trying to track down that renovation planner.


Ben Humphreys says while renovating can be a rewarding experience, proceeding with caution is paramount. “Renovating can be a long process,” Ben advises. “It’s not for the faint hearted. A good renovation demands major commitment of money, time and effort.”

Ben says a common mistake inexperienced renovators sometimes make is to rush ahead without considering:

  • How much to spend.
  • What they want to achieve and how best to achieve it.
  • How long it will take.

However, Ben believes the decision to renovate could be a timely one considering the time to build a new home can now take 12 to 18 months in the WA market. “I believe the most important part of any building project is design,” Ben emphasises. “Just as important is the choice of materials. Make sure you either choose those that will complement the existing building, or completely reinvent the style of your home. Do your research and find a builder who specialises in the type of construction relevant to you and your project.”

Ben adds that in today’s market, referral is almost essential when choosing a builder. “Talk to previous clients and check on the quality of the work, reliability, license, and insurance provisions,” he says. “Effective communication with your builder is vital. They should provide a full specification stating the type of materials, stage payments, estimated time of completion, construction details, number of power points etc and the requirements of both yourself and the builder which need to be studied carefully before signing any contract.”

SEAMLESS is a word to remember when adding and extension to your home — your goal is to match the old with the new. Ben’s thoughts are to ensure things don’t look tacked on, and the addition should also incorporate solar passive design where possible, including features such as correct window size and placements, cross flow ventilation and the correct insulation.

Ben says one of the most important considerations is the function of the addition, and what existing floor area could be lost to create access to the new areas. This could mean losing a bedroom to create a passage, but the remaining area could then be used for valuable storage. There’s no hard and fast rule for positioning and addition; it’s an individual project decision and dependent on lot boundaries and infrastructure such as trees, swimming pools and outbuildings.



Unfortunately there’s no blanket advice to give in this area because every council has different guidelines in place in regards to residential development and alterations. Head down to your local council before you begin, to get information on the specifics and zoning. This lets you know what you’re allowed to build on your block in terms of law and determines what regulations and standards apply. This will generally refer to the size and height of your project and the materials you’re allowed to use.

Lastly, don’t forget you’re likely to need a permit stating that a building surveyor has given you the green light. Often your builder will look after this but if you don’t have one then you’ll need to apply to your local council.

Leave plenty of time to submit your plans, especially as councils are under a lot of strain with approvals at the moment. And remember that trying to push parameters of design codes will only result in delays and cost increases to you as a result —  listen to the experts involved in your project because nine out of 10 times they’re correct. Your local council’s also the place to go when you’re establishing the boundary lines for your property.



Ben says a major renovation including demolition and rebuilding can take anything from three to six months, so to maintain a schedule ensure you stick to your original plans and are available on site to discuss any problems. Ensuring the job is done properly the first time will save you disappointment in the long term and hopefully a large capital gain on your investment.