When the DIY dream becomes a nightmare
Kiwis have this fantastic do-it-yourself attitude, and are often quite happy to take on a home renovation project themselves. TV shows like ‘The Block’ have only worked to reinforced that culture.
But the DIY dream can quickly turn into a nightmare. The problem I see is that DIY is sometimes done without a consent, or things are not built in accordance with the Building Act. Want to know what building work requires a consent?
The DIY job itself can be really shoddy too, and anyone unfortunate enough to buy such a house is usually taking on a pretty hefty repair. Unfortunately many well-intentioned DIY-ers simply lack the skills to do the jobs that they want to. Property Inspectors, like myself, can usually spot when a DIY enthusiast has renovated parts of a house – it screams out to us that the work wasn’t done properly.
Don’t do DIY?
DIY doesn’t need to spell disaster, but if you’re a DIY enthusiast then it’s best to get advice from a professional and find out what the legal restrictions are before you embark on any projects. If you’re not sure whether you can do it or not, then you almost certainly shouldn’t be! You might end up saving money and heartache by having a builder do it in the first place.
A survey taken a few years ago found that DIY jobs can reduce a house’s value by as much as 5%. At a time when the Auckland property market is red hot, it hardly seems worth creating such a mess.
Renovation botch-ups can cost thousands, and lead to shoddy work like leaky homes, rotting decks, and unstable walls and roofs. One builder went on record as saying that the most expensive fix he’d ever had to do was for a badly repaired roof, which had ultimately put his customer a staggering $50,000 out of pocket!
The worst offenders
Of course, the worst DIY jobs that I see usually come from people who didn’t bother to get building consents to do an important project, like add on an extension. Then they’re passing on the problem to the next buyer – which is one of the many reasons why getting a property inspection is so important!
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