The Ultimate Guide to Home Renovation Costs


Committing to a home renovation can be one of the major decisions you can make outside of purchasing your home. Renovations come in all sizes and shapes, but more costly renovations involving reconfiguring living spaces, bathrooms, and kitchens can add up so fast.

Council compliance costs, architect fees, and engineering reports can often be sudden expenses that extend your budget for what appeared to be a simple project at first. But how does it really cost to renovate your home?

This post aims to provide the information you need to know about home renovation costs. If you’re ready, let’s get started.

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Home Renovation

When we talk about renovating, it plays to having a clear goal in mind—together with a plan. They might seem insignificant, but these questions play an important role in your planning and budgeting process.

  1. Why are you renovating in the first place?

Before knocking down your walls, consider why you’re making home improvements. Are you remodelling your patio because you’re stressed out with its present layout? Maybe it’s because a modern look would attract more tenants eager to pay more money to your property.

There’s no wrong answer here, but it will help you realize how to approach the entire renovation. You might have no set prices on convenience, but if you’re renovating to sell, you’ll surely need to crunch the figures to maximize your returns.

  1. Who will use the space?

Consider who will use the space you are redesigning irrespective of whether you’re renovating to sell or for yourself. Is it a private sanctuary or a communal area? Is it a functional one or a hobby area?

Here are some questions to help you:

  • How do you see yourself or others using it five years from now?
  • What do you love and not love about it?
  • How much maintenance will it need?
  • Is it functional or usable as it is currently?
  • How many people does it need to accommodate?
  • What is its purpose?
  1. Can you achieve the upfront expenses?

Renovation TV shows provide amazing inspiration, but they sometimes do not the complete picture of the work that has gone on behind the scenes. That’s especially true for the crucial planning steps that renovation projects undergo before a DIYer or tradesperson picks up a paintbrush and a hammer.

From project planning to design to site preparation and council consents, renovations are complicated operations that are composed of different processes, permissions, and parties—navigating all that pre-renovation elements that a lot of time and money.

Further, council consent could cost between NZ$10,000 to NZ$12,500. Add in any professional task, earthworks, surveying, and other costs can escalate further.

Keep in mind that such upfront costs can eat into your entire renovation budget. That is why you should do your research. If needed, adjust your plans accordingly before you begin. Failing to do so will lead you to run out of budget to finish your entire home renovation.

Common Renovations that Add the Most Value to Your Home

Each budget has its limit. So, where do you need to begin? This section gathered the necessary home improvements you can prioritize that will deliver the best return and increase your property’s value.

  • Curb appeal

First impressions always count. That’s why curb appeal—how your property looks from the street—remains to play a big role in producing great returns. That involves changing or replacing garage doors, fences, main entry doors, sliding doors, cladding, and windows.

Do your research first. A NZ$30,000 kitchen won’t add value to a NZ$570,000 house in a suburb, which does not have any houses selling more than NZ$590,000. Study your suburb profile and what other properties like yours have sold for recently. Doing so will help you make a smart and informed decision.

  • Add a deck

Meanwhile, an outside deck can widen your house’s usable space and boost its value by at least thirty percent. Price will vary depending on the material and size you use. As your guide, a 20-meter squared deck could range from NZ$3,300 to NZ$12,500. Just make sure that you will need to get building consent before you begin, especially if it’s going more than 1.5 meters high.

  • Bathroom

A bathroom could be the second most cash-draining home renovation you can make. Nonetheless, it could make a difference, not only to your home’s resale value but because it attracts more buyers too.

It often costs between NZ$20,000 to NZ$30,000 for a standard bathroom renovation. That includes fresh paint, replacing items, and a new floor, but not replacing its layout. That might seem expensive, but the pay-off can be valuable.

For each dollar you spend on a bathroom renovation, you can expect NZ$1.50 to NZ$ return. You see, modernizing your bathroom and ridding it of scunge, mold, and grime could draw a greater crowd of potential buyers.

On top of that, they will be more enthusiastic about paying top dollar for the comfort of moving into a home that does not need any work. If you have a tight budget, just change the sink, toilet, and tapware.

  • Kitchen

A kitchen is more than your cooking space. Instead, it is a gathering point in most homes, particularly for people and families who love to entertain. A renovation kitchen can produce returns of at least fifty percent.

We have no certain figures for New Zealand, but a basic custom kitchen upgrade with new tiling, electrical, and plumbing can be as little as NZ$10,000 and can increase the value of the property by NZ$50,000 to NZ$60,000.

Unfortunately, the kitchen can be costly. In NZ, a standard kitchen remodel could range from NZ$10,000 to NZ$30,000. Therefore, study the existing value of your home and how much you could sell it for with a renovated kitchen.

It may turn out to be more cost-effective to perform minor work like changing the cupboard handles and doors, repainting, and installing new work surfaces instead of having a full gut and refresh.

  • Insulation

Have you ever lived in a freezing house in winter? If yes, then you’ll know why insulation is such a huge drawcard. Which would you rather choose: becoming a Michelin Man with two pairs of socks, beanie, gloves, and five layers of clothes or sit on the safe in a sweater or jeans?

You see, insulation makes a home both liveable and comfortable, so much that it’s compulsory in rental homes. A well-insulation home makes for an energy-efficient home as well. The less need you will have for a heat pump or heaters with less heat escaping. That also means lower electricity bills.

The ROI for insulation does not stop at the cost. Insulating a cold house can have health advantages as well. For each dollar you spend on insulating, you receive NZ$2 worth of health and energy benefits. That’s a good portion of savings, given that it costs at least NZ$3,400.

Renovation Costs: How Much Should You Spend?

As a first-time homeowner, you must prevent taking any risks when renovating and spend your money conservatively. What can you do to ensure you do not overcapitalize (spending more on the house than what you can sell it for)? A good idea to do is not to spend over five percent of the purchase price on your renovations.

Thus, based on the present national house price of NZ$679,100, your renovating budget or the price of renovating a house should not go beyond NZ$33,955.

Keep in mind that a well-planned and performed renovation could add up to at least ten percent of the value of your home. That’s especially true if you hold into the house for five or more years. Hence, by spending NZ$33,955, renovating your standard NZ$679,000 house will help you to make more than NZ$60,000. That’s double the money you invested.

Should You Renovate?

Only because you can afford to renovate this year does not mean you make the best and right decision. Whether you are considering renovating an apartment or a house, you must consider all the benefits and drawbacks before committing your precious money and time.


  • It adds resale value to the home
  • It can make your home more comfortable and enhance your standard of living
  • It can save you money and time by renovating than moving. You can prevent all the agency, stamp duty, and legal expenses, which come with relocating by remodeling your home to fit your changing preferences and needs.


  • It may have to move out of the home while works are being done
  • The potential to overcapitalize or overspend

Final thoughts

Working out the cost of your home renovation can be a challenging and time-consuming task. However, there are professionals and tools to help you navigate the entire process. On top of that, there’s different help accessible to guarantee you consider all you need to before kicking off the entire renovation process.

Are you still uncertain about your renovation costs? It all begins with a free consultation from Reber Build. In case you don’t know yet, we believe in the personal touch. If you want to know much it will cost to renovate your home. We can provide you with a broad-rush estimate based on a set of questions designed to ascertain your plans, situations, and goals.

Contact us today for a free consultation by our local builders.


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