Renovate with CARE! Risks to be AWARE of.

Renovating is a national pastime in Australia for many.  It can be rewarding and profitable, and some stunning transformations are often achieved for many to admire.  In fact, some of our most highly television programs are renovation shows; as the nation tunes in to see the agony and the ecstasy each week as the work progresses.

However, exciting as renovating can be, there are many factors to consider prior to commencing, including:

Budgetary – many a budget can quickly ‘blow out’ when renovating commences, particularly in older homes.  This can cause financial stress and can also mean a job is either not completed properly or left unfinished.  It is also important to ensure you are not overcapitalising; if you are unsure about this it might be worthwhile talking to a few local real estate agents about your plans.

Planning Permissions – ensure that if you are making structural changes and/or extensions that you have the appropriate permits from your local authorities, if you proceed without this it can have insurance implications and can be problematic when it’s time to sell.

Health Risks – one of the most overlooked risk groups when renovating, particularly prevalent in older homes.  These include:

  • Asbestos: prior to the 1980’s asbestos was used as insulation, particularly in the 1950-1990 decades when it was most prevalent.  Asbestos has been identified as a carcinogenic and needs to be removed by professionals.  Do not attempt to undertake this process yourself.
  • Lead: also commonly found in older houses, lead was added to paint to protect the coating. However, later research also linked lead use to health problems.  Lead paint is at its most dangerous when cracked or peeling, and is best removed by a professional.
  • Mould: a build-up of dampness over time can create the spread of mould, which reproduces by creating spores.  These spores, when inhaled, can cause respiratory problems.  Once again, call a professional to eradicate the problem by finding the root of cause; don’t just clean up and paint over.
  • Dust: when knocking down walls or removing plaster, there will be lots of dust created – this dust gets inhaled and can cause respiratory and eye irritations.  Take care to isolate the area, and ensure you wear a mask and goggles.
  • Fumes: most commonly emanating from paint, stains for timber and surface adhesives, these can cause headaches and light-headedness.  Wear a mask at all times and keep the room well ventilated.
Scroll to Top