home renovations

The Block – Don’t try this at home folks!

Isn’t it fun watching the couples on The Block race to renovate a house in just 10 weeks. It seems amazing that they can complete such a huge project in such a short time! If you’re feeling a little confused comparing your own experiences of DIY with theirs, there is good reason for that.

On The Block, the cameras focus on the couple working and you get the impression that they are doing everything with their own hands – when in reality there is a huge amount of specialist expertise being leveraged, and people working behind the scenes before the couple add the finishing touches.

We are increasingly being called in to help people who have seen this programme, thought “how hard can it be?” and quickly found out exactly how hard renovation is if you don’t have the expert skills required.


DIY renovation traps for new players:

1. Everything must comply with the building code NZS 3604.

2. Knowing what order each piece of work needs to happen in is essential if you want to avoid re-work. For example, it pays to have the electrician come before the plasterer.

3. Never paint at night – no matter how careful you are there will be defects that are visible in the daytime. Once a half-pie paint job is done, you have a choice of looking at that patchy colour for years, or re-doing another coat.

4. For many pieces of renovation work, including anything that is structural to the building or affects the building envelope, you are now required to use a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) or face a fine. These are called Restricted Building Works and include anything that could affect the weather tightness of your home, all work on foundations and the removal or alteration of any load bearing walls.

5. Any DIY renovations can lead to problems when selling a home. Prospective buyers normally ask for a building report and if they find out that work is not up to standard or non-compliant, the sale is likely to fall through.


We’re happy to help the homeowners that call us in for help with the renovations they have attempted, but we’d prefer that you avoid unnecessary costs, and call us first. We are trained professionals with decades of experience and we know renovations inside out.

A home is the most expensive asset that most of us will ever own, so it is worth taking care of properly. A high standard of renovations and home maintenance means a sound investment.