We have all watched the DIY shows such as The Block and probably have all commented at one stage or another that we could have done a better job. Whether it be in the design or the execution of the job.
Lets face it most of us want the job done for the best possible price and when we get quotes often comment "I could do it myself cheaper" Sound familiar?
Recently an investment property that my husband and I have owned for over five years became vacant for the first time since we have owned it so we decided to take the opportunity to freshen the paint give it a really good spring clean, upgrade the drainage, put in some gardens and make a bigger paved area so that it was more user friendly. Where the property is it is in an area of red dirt so general outside cleaning and re turfing was also decided upon.
My husband being the type that enjoys a bit of renovating and doing things himself, decided it would be a good idea to do these jobs ourselves as there was nothing major and it isn't a very big block. What he didn't consider is that as he is also a self employed person that time was limited. So we set to work but soon found that we only had Sundays available to really hook in. If we had taken a week off we would likely have been able to get it all done in a week and it would have been very cost effective, but with only having Sundays available the job has so far taken eight weeks. The other thing that we hadn't considered at the time was that a lot of places close down over Christmas so we were unable to get any turf until the 14th January. So in all the property was vacant for eleven weeks. Work this out at $380 per week lost rent and we are up to $4180 without factoring in the costs of the materials we have used, being totally exhausted and covered from head to foot in red dirt that is difficult to wash out.
What seemed like a great idea at the time turned into a costly exercise. Yes your labour may be free but how much is it really costing you? To have a trades person or handyman do the work we did labour content would have been approximately $1500-$2000. This would have worked out at half the cost and we would have had a tenant back in the property in two weeks maximum.
Yes we have the pride of saying that we did it ourselves but at the end of the day it really wasn't worth it .
Look at your investment for what it really is, an investment! Remove the personal attachment thoughts from your head and make a business decision. Remember to keep all invoices for tax deductions and at the end of the job speak with your Quantum Surveyor as the improvements you make may also help with your depreciation.
I hope my errors save you many of your own.
Mum of 4 kids ranging in age from 21-29. Involved in local sporting groups including Futsal & soccer. Business interests include