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 Home Renovations: What you can and can’t DIY without a license

Home Renovations: What you can and can’t DIY without a license

As I find myself now spending more time at home, my little inner ‘home DIY projects’ personality has started to come to life. Wouldn’t you agree?

The more I stare at my TV the more I am thinking ‘maybe I should mount this bad boy’. Everytime I walk into the bathroom I think ‘I should really finish off renovating the bathroom’, to be fair, I’ve put that one off for over a year now (missus ain’t too happy about it).

Realistically, now’s a better time than any to tackle some of those DIY projects you’ve been putting off over the years. Afterall, there’s only so much you can binge on Netflix until you start cycling through those trashy reality shows. That’s when you realise I gotta stop. Right now.

Now before you start tinkering with things, knocking down walls and tearing up floors, you need to be wary of certain home renovation projects you can and can’t do.

For instance, conducting any sort of electrical work without a license in Australia is illegal and can result in hefty fines or worse, electrocution. 

Here are 3 home renovations you shouldn’t do and require the help of a professional.

Electrical work

Anyone who does electrical work in Western Australia is required to have an electrical work license or electrical contractor license. It is highly illegal and dangerous to conduct any sort of DIY electrical work at home if you do not have a license. Besides why would you risk getting electrocuted? You could even cause an electrical fire that can invalidate your home insurance.

That said, there are certain things you can do such as replacing a lightbulb. Here’s what you can and can’t do when it comes to electrical work at home.

Legal electrical work

  • Installing a low voltage garden light
  • Installing pond pumps
  • You can re-wire old-style fuses
  • Replace a drive belt in a washing machine
  • Change out a blown light bulb
  • Replace LED downlights
  • Cutting openings for air conditioning units but not installing them
  • Fitting an electric wall oven but not connecting it
  • Install a battery operated smoke alarm/detector

Illegal electrical work

  • Replacing a light switch or power point
  • Building your own extension lead
  • Repairing an electrical appliance
  • Installing a new light fitting
  • Attaching a new plug to the end of a lead
  • Replacing a lead on an appliance
  • Installing a ceiling fan

Plumbing work

Similarly to electrical work, conducting any sort of DIY plumbing, such as repairing leaking pipes, clearing clogged drains, installing a toilet, or simple maintenance is illegal in Australia. Attempting your own plumbing without a license can void warranties, insurance claims and result in hefty fines.

Depending on which state you’re based in, rules and regulations may vary in what homeowners can and can’t do. For instance, in Queensland you can legally do:

  • Replace a jumper valve or washer in a tap.
  • Change a shower head.
  • Install or maintain irrigation or lawn watering systems isolated from valve, tap or backflow prevention devices on the supply pipe for this system.
  • Replacing an in water closet cistern, drop valve washer, float valve wash or suction rubber.
  • Cleaning or maintaining ground level grates on sanitary drains.
  • Replacing caps to ground level inspection openings on sanitary drains.

Whereas in Western Australia, the Department of Commerce states that a licensed plumber is required to legally carry out water supply, sanitary and drainage plumbing. Whether you’re installing a sink or stormwater tank, it’s always best to contact a professional plumber. What may seem like a cheap and easy DIY job could end up costing you a lot more than the plumber service itself.

Structural work

If you’re thinking about knocking down a wall to open up the space to make a room bigger, think again. If you go about swinging a sledgehammer and make structural changes without knowing what lies beneath such as a load-bearing wall, you can seriously damage your home. 

We highly recommend leaving this type of renovation to the professionals who can assess your house first. The last thing you want to happen is the roof collapsing overhead because you’ve just taken out the kitchen wall.
At the end of the day, letting professional do what they are trained for, can save you a lot more money and worries than if you did it yourself and made mistakes.

Now onto the good stuff.

Here are 8 home renovations you CAN do!

In the bathroom

  1. Add shelving, towel hooks and rails

If you find that you’re running out of space or storage in the bathroom, consider adding a couple of elegant hooks and rails. Not only will this give you more hanging space to keep towels dry and off floor but it also creates a place for hanging just about anything. Did someone say indoor plants?!

Floating shelves are also a great addition for extra storage and securing things up high.

  1.  Refresh your bathroom tapware

Time to replace the dribs and drabs with a fresh of breath air. You’d be surprised just how much of a difference new stylish tapware can spruce up the bathroom and it’s quite a cost-effective renovation to do. Yes, we know you aren’t able to DIY this, so we recommend getting in an expert, but it’s a quick and simple job that will bring immense value to your bathroom.

In the kitchen

  1. It’s all about the kitchen splashback!

The power of a stylish kitchen splashback can instantly take your kitchen to a whole new level of design. It’s a relatively cheap and simple renovation with a big visual impact and there’s just about every style you can think of on the market. Need help choosing one? Check out The Ultimate Guide to The Perfect Kitchen Splashback

  1. Practical and cool storage ideas

Sick and tired of digging through kitchen drawers to find the right utensil? Consider adding hanging storage that places everything you need at your fingertips. It’s a relatively cheap and easy renovation to do and you can hang just about anything on the wall. These types of clever storage ideas help turn a small kitchen in a highly functional space.

In the garden

  1. Start a homegrown veggie patch

With people panic buying and cleaning out the produce section in woolies, not to mention empty shelves in the toilet paper aisle, it’s time to start growing your own fruit and veg. It’s really simple to get started and you’ll find everything you need at your local Bunnings store. From seeds, planter boxes, soil, fertilizer, and pots to vertical garden walls for those looking to spice things up.

  1. Transform your backyard into a sanctuary

Landscaping is relatively cheap and can be easily done without the help of an expert. Now before you go tearing up the grass and digging holes, we recommend contacting ‘dial before you dig’ to make sure your project does not disrupt underground pipes and infrastructure. Ideas to consider:

  • Install a water feature or bird bath
  • Plant beautiful garden beds
  • Install a brazier (WINTER IS COMING!)
  • Add seating to your garden to create a quiet retreat
  • Create a vertical garden (excellent for those with small yards)
  • Install low voltage garden lights
  • Lay synthetic turf if you can’t be bothered keeping up with real grass
  • Spruce up your entryway with pebbles and decorative pots

Improve your curb appeal

Improve your curb appeal
  1. Give your garage door a fresh coat of paint

You’d be surprised just how much of a difference a fresh coat of paint makes. Your garage door takes up 30% of your home’s front exterior and could potentially add to the overall value of your home. Worn out doors, riddled with dents are an absolute eyesore and can detract from the value of your home. 

  1. Spruce up your front entrance

The most obvious part of your entry is the front door. If it’s looking faded or the paint is peeling you’re on the backfoot. You’ve already lost the attention of your guests. Consider giving it a fresh coat of paint with a colour that complements your home’s front facade or take it up a notch and go for something a little edgy or unique. Colours to consider:

  • In feng shui, red is said to bring prosperity, joy and celebration to the home.
  • White is a classic colour choice for traditional homes. It symbolises simplicity and purity and usually suggests that the owners keep a clean and well organised home.
  • Yellow is a cheerful colour that represents optimism and happiness.
  • Blue is a calming colour that creates a peaceful vibe.
  • Purple is a lighthearted and free-spirited colour that makes your guests smile as they enter your home.
  • Black is modern, sophisticated, edgy and unique. 

For all your bathroom renovations

Renovating or building a functioning bathroom that’s not only stylish but seamlessly integrates with the rest of your home can be an overwhelming and stressful experience.

Can a small bathroom have a double vanity? Which is the best material for bathroom furniture? How do I style my bathroom? Will it fit my budget? 

Whenever in doubt, contact the experts at V Bathroom. We’ll take the time to answer your most burning questions, giving you clarity and confidence in a design that feels like home. Visit our online store or book in a personalised V Bathroom discovery session for a 1on1 tour and expert advice at our bespoke showrooms.