Renovation Planning Guide Part Two: Renovation types

March 26, 2021

We've already given you a rundown in our previous post about creating a budget and using that to manage your renovation.

In this post, we will cover the different types of renovations out there. What this is all about is your goals. What are you wanting to achieve with this renovation? Knowing that will help you prioritise your workload, funds and time into the type of renovation that will meet your expectations overall.

Renovating to sell

If your goal is to make money from your renovation then the primary aim will be to add value.

The key features for achieving this goal are:

- Increasing appeal to the largest possible audience

- Maximising return

- Short turnaround time

You will be approaching this project without emotion or personal favour because it’s all one big business decision.

Renovating to live

If your goal is to make a home to be comfortable in, your primary aim is to design a space that suits your family and appeals to you emotionally.

The key features for achieving this goal will be:

- A great fit with size and space

- Functionality

- Inserting personality

- Wish list items

Typically, this type of project will include spending extra on fittings, fixtures, tradespeople to get quality that will last.

Don't get too crazy with your design. Eventually, there will be a time you want to sell so make sure those wish list items are either going to stand the test of time or be reversible when you need to take the personal element out again for better market value.

Renovator’s delight

This category is for those who are looking to buy a rundown home to restore it. Professionals find this type of work highly satisfying and financially rewarding, but a warning for novices thinking this might be the only way to enter the market: home restoration and upgrades is hard work and expensive.

The goal of these renovations is to make them liveable. Your primary aim here is to provide repairs and cosmetic changes that will make a neglected building feel like a home.

Key features here include:

- Replacing, fixing or upgrading damaged areas

- Having all features and amenities in clean, good working order

- Before you commit, make sure you get a full building inspection and pest inspection to identify any significant problems.

Before you get started on any renovation work, research the property title and get in touch with the council to know about any restrictions that might prevent you from doing work.


The current house has a footprint. If you are doing work that extends this footprint then it is usually classified as an extension. This type of renovation aims to create more floor space but, if done well it can also increase airflow and natural light into the home.

Extensions can include:

- Adding an extra story

- Increasing the floor space

Extension works require structural changes, usually significant ones, so you will need to employ help from architects, builders and town planners to have a safe and structurally compliant foundation.

A basic light-frame extension can cost between $1,800 to $3,000 per square metre while the more durable or high-end frames leap upwards to anywhere to $15,000 per square metre.


Upgrades are when you make slight changes to modernise your surroundings.

These are typically more cosmetic style works and include:

- Refitting kitchens

- Remodelling bathrooms

- Electrical work

- Plastering

- Replacing windows



If you have a great ceiling space it can be tempting to turn it into an additional room, however, this can be just as taxing as adding an extra story as you'll need to make sure the reinforcements are in place below to hold the extra weight and make the space easily accessible.


Converting your car parking space into a study, media room or additional bedroom can be a smart choice, however, some red tape may come into effect. Your council may not class a garage as habitable so getting permits for these conversions can take some work. Make sure you research what permits you'll need.


Change does take mess and time, some of which means you may not be able to live in the home or get any investment return. Planning your time frames are important. The length of your renovation will depend on the size and scope of the work. Estimated completion times can be provided with your initial quote, giving you a guide to work with.

Well before work starts, apply to your council for the appropriate planning and building approvals.

You’ll need to have your trade schedules in place six to eight weeks before the start of work and also put in any orders for the materials you’ll need.

To help with your plans here’s a rough guide of how long you can expect a standard professional work order to take:

- One week for bedrooms

- One week for living rooms

- One to two weeks for gardens

- One to three weeks for bathrooms

- Between two weeks and nine weeks for kitchens

Make sure your renovation plans fit with your goals and you have a manageable amount of time aside to handle the chaos.

Our final post in this series goes into the pros and cons of renovations to see if you are ready to take the plunge.

Who is Peta Stewart?

Award-winning conveyancer. Entrepreneur. Business mentor. Women’s cycling advocate. These are just some of the ways Peta Stewart is introduced. What ties them together is a steely determination to help people achieve their life goals and have fun in the process.

In 2004, Peta became the first licensed conveyancer in the Albury Wodonga greater region. Five years later, she launched her own business and started shaking up the industry with a good dose of personality, integrity and humanity.

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