Every year when a new series of The Block starts, my husband who is in the building trade, turns and says “We should go on The Block!” My response is always a laugh and “no chance!”
While I love reality TV (my guilty pleasure), I would never be silly enough to put myself in the national spotlight at the whim of producers and editors. Kudos to those who do though. They either come up smelling like a newly renovated house, or are met with a barrage of online abuse, usually because of the way they have been portrayed.
But aside from that, the show does inspire many a home renovator to don tools and get to work. Is renovating for you? Here are the Pros and Cons of renovating to help you decide.
Who doesn’t love a good before and after photo? The satisfaction of taking something old and making it new, or renovating a space to change it, can’t be underestimated. You’ll definitely get a buzz out of the finished product, particularly if you’ve gotten your own hands dirty and done some of the work.
Increased Property Value
If you’ve crunched the numbers correctly, a renovation could mean your property is worth more on the market. If you’re planning to sell, this could result in a larger profit. Exactly what the Blockheads on the show are hoping!
Cheaper Than Buying New
Renovating an existing house could be a lot more economical than buying a new or existing house. If the reason you are considering a move is not enough room, or a need for a different type of space, renovating could be the answer you are looking for.
Sometimes a family’s needs change but they don’t really want to move from the area they are in. Similarly, a house may be a bit weathered but its occupants love the layout of their home and the neighbourhood it’s in. A fresh coat of paint or new flooring could give the house a new lease of life.
Renovating also gives you the opportunity to add your personal touch to a space. When you are buying an existing home, you get what you get. Renovation gives you the opportunity to really make a space your own.
It’s very easy for a simple renovation to blow out in cost, especially if you are not familiar with the building game. Your budget could be blown apart, as the Blockheads on this year’s series of The Block at St Kilda are quickly finding out! Renovation involves labour costs as well as materials, not to mention decorating and furnishing expenses.
Possibility of Overcapitalising
Related to the previous con is the possibility of overcapitalisation. You may very well finish your renovation within budget but if you were planning to sell and have misread the market, or the market changes, you could be left with no added benefit or profit.
Finding Suitable Trades
If you aren’t planning on doing the renovation work yourself – and some Blockheads may caution against this – then you have to find reliable and cost efficient tradespeople. Not as easy as it sounds! It can be notoriously difficult to find trades to even come and give you a quote on a small job. Even if you get past this stage, you then have to hope they are appropriately qualified, do great work and actually show up to complete the job.
If undertaking the renovation work yourself, time can be an issue. Most of us have jobs and daily responsibilities to attend to. You need to ask yourself how long you have to complete the renovation. If time is of the essence because you want to sell, renovation may not be the answer.
Are you going to live in the property while the renovations are taking place, or do you need to find alternative accommodation? Both can have their drawbacks. Dust and tradespeople in your house at all hours can be frustrating, but so can paying rent while you wait for the job to be completed.
The current season of The Block is proving that renovation can be a thrilling, rewarding venture but the flipside is that it can also bring with it much stress and frustration.
Is renovation for you? Would you ever consider being a contestant on The Block?