As the world’s leading renovations franchise, we’re always trying to find out how we can make the experience of renovating your home easier and more stress free for our customers. So we went out to find out what was holding people back from starting that renovation they dream about.

To us, it’s a no brainer - investing in improving your property can drastically improve your lifestyle and if done right, increase the home’s value for when it’s time to sell. But the industry is full of horror stories of budget blowouts, unfinished projects, and dodgy tradespeople.

We asked homeowners from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and the USA to share their biggest fear when starting a renovation. We’ll share with you the 5 most common fears and how we have structured our process to avoid the nightmare scenarios future renovators lose sleep over.

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Word of mouth has a lot of influence within any industry, and the renovation sector is no different. Most renovation concerns are valid, considering personal stories of renovation disasters are widespread. When it comes to unwanted renovation surprises popping up, these were the top 5 on people’s lists.


The current disorganised state of the renovation sector results in a costly and stressful experience for the homeowner. Refresh Renovations provides a solution to this, through a 5 step process. - Chris Caiger, co-founder, Refresh Renovations

     1. Hidden costs

The survey found that the highest concern people have going into a renovation is that there will be hidden costs down the line. 30.6% of people who took part in the survey expressed this as their biggest home renovation fear.

Their concern isn’t without reason; News network CNBC has reported that more than one third of homeowners find it difficult to stay within their home renovation budget.



     2. General costs

Financial stress came up again as the second highest fear, with 12.8% of people saying that they were concerned about the general cost of a renovation.

According to Refresh Renovations co-founder Chris Caiger, the current disorganised state of the renovation sector results in a costly and stressful experience for the homeowner. Refresh Renovations provides a solution to this, through a 5 step process.


     3. Dissatisfaction

Many homeowners selected that they were worried about getting their money’s worth. 9% of homeowners fear that, after investing a significant amount of money in improving their home, they won’t be satisfied with the final result and will regret the renovation.

This can often be the result of a homeowner having to deal with too many trades and trying to manage a home renovation without the time or experience to ensure it is carried out efficiently.

Which brings us to what our survey found was people’s fourth highest renovation fear:


   4. Personal lack of skills & knowledge

9% of survey participants said that they weren’t confident in the skills and knowledge that they would personally be bringing to the renovation, while 7.4% felt uneasy about their ability to find tradesmen who would provide high-quality workmanship. A fear of having to coordinate trades was also noted.

Again, facts suggest that these are practical fears. In 2018 The New York Times published an article which revealed that complaints against home improvement contractors are consistently within the top 5 complaints filed annually in New York.


   5. Unexpected delays

Renovations running over the estimated timeline is another concern, especially as it causes homeowners to spend more than what they originally budgeted for. It is a common issue which can sometimes be put down to unexpected challenges such as long-term hidden damage. For the most part, however, projects running overtime comes down to poor project management and processes.

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Working with a renovation consultant who can manage your renovation for you provides a solution to all five concerns. Refresh customer Mel Ang agrees, stating in her Refresh testimonial,

“As working parents with three young children, our renovation project would have been impossible without Saleem and his trusted, hard-working team, who are reliable and efficient”.

Another Refresh customer, Justine Cornwell, comments on how working with renovation consultant Steve Wang resulted in her ideal renovation. She also notes that having him project manage for her had a positive influence on her schedule and finances.

“Steve Wang and his team have been fabulous and they have transformed my house exactly as I wanted. On time and on budget.”


Why do stressful and disastrous renovations happen?

Most people who carry out a renovation say it was one of the most stressful experiences in their lives”, tells Refresh Renovations co-founder Chris Caiger.

“There is really no reason why this should be the case.”

The reason that stressful renovation experiences are so common, explains Chris, is because of the way they are generally managed.

“Typically what happens is the design and build stages are split, which undermines good communications and leads to ongoing problems. Renovations are complex projects and the planning and building stages need to be managed together.”

After gaining a deep understanding of how fragmented and disorganised the renovation sector is, Chris, along with co-founders Jon Bridge and Barry Bloomfield, developed a solution: Refresh Renovations.


“The Refresh process covers all stages and ensures the homeowner has good costing information early in the process”, reveals Chris.  

“As a business, we have carried out years of research in the building industry and have the knowledge and resources to be able to transform the way renovations are delivered and create a great experience for homeowners. Because Refresh is bigger than small builders we also have excellent project management tools to keep projects on time and within budget.”

“The renovation segment is a huge market”, adds Chris. “We are inspired by the opportunity to make a significant difference to the industry and to improve people's experience with such a major investment.”


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