People tend to approach DIY with tentative baby steps, which is generally wise when you don’t have much technical experience.
But once you’ve tested your skills with some basic projects, why not save some money by using them in your next big renovation project? You’d be surprised how far they take you.
Bit by bit, this house in southeast Melbourne’s Cheltenham was transformed by DIY.
There was a lot of unutilised space in the original floorplan.
The new facade features reclaimed timber posts from the Murray River.
The 1956 brick family home was renovated head-to-toe by a team of everyday people with little-to-no experience in the building trade.
Using mostly everyday materials you’d be able to pick up at the local hardware store, the team from Bunnings worked on the home for about 12 months. In that time they completed an entire home renovation, including four kitchens, two bathrooms and landscaped gardens in the front and rear.
Bunnings DIY Expert Dale Hutchinson, who managed the Cheltenham project, says it’s hard to put a standard timeline on completing an entire home renovation DIY. He says there are several variables to consider, including size, complexities, structural changes and time available.
“Generally speaking, to DIY renovate a standard three-bedroom home with no major structural changes, you’re looking at a three to six month window,” Hutchinson says.
“If you were to look at breaking each DIY project down, most would be surprised to know that several projects, including kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms, can be completed in just a few days.”
Building raised garden beds, wallpapering, painting feature walls and assembling cabinets are some of the easiest DIY projects to complete, Hutchinson says.
In the master bedroom at Cheltenham, textured wallpaper was used to create a feature wall, with stunning results.
“We used less than two rolls, so under $200. You literally wet the paste and roll on.”
For the walk-in-robe, the team used all modular flat-pack cabinetry.
The gritty floral carpet was in need of an upgrade.
The original cornace has been maintained in the master bedroom.
If applying wallpaper is one of the easiest DIY renovation projects, what’s the hardest?
Clue: It’s not laying a deck, installing a pizza oven or rendering walls – although they can be tricky.
“The hardest part of a DIY renovation is building your own confidence,” Hutchinson says.
“DIY is fun and surprisingly easy, and the hardest part is just giving it a go.
“Once you conquer your first DIY activity, you will grow in confidence to take on larger projects.”
DIY kitchen – on a budget
Kitchens top the list of rooms that home renovators choose to focus on, according to realestate.com.au’s latest Consumer Intentions Study.
For sellers, a basic kitchen renovation can be a way to refresh the look of the home with mimumum impact on budget.
Whether or not you have any intention to sell, an stylish outdoor area is one of the best places to start your introduction into DIY. Even the smallest areas can be transformed into a stylish and functional living space.
The Bunnings team turned an unappealing, unused, two-car garage into an outdoor sitting area, complete with water feature.
The dividing fence was upgraded with blue board and some render, while camouflage fixing was used to create the wraparound deck.
The cracked driveway has been transformed into an outdoor retreat.
LED lights in the garden are a great way to show off your plants in the evening.
Whether your focus is kitchens, gardens or you’re keen to go the whole hog – there’s time and money to be saved in DIY.