Renovating an Old House in Melbourne – A Guide to a Successful Project

6 mins read
Renovating an Old House in Melbourne - A Guide to a Successful Project

Renovating an old home can be a daunting task, but the end result is worth it. Not only does it add value to your property, but it also gives you the opportunity to create a space that’s truly your own. Melbourne is a city full of older homes, and with its unique architecture, it’s no wonder that many people choose to renovate instead of tearing down and starting again.

If you’ve decided to take on the challenge of renovating an old house in Melbourne, it’s important to have a plan in place. This guide will walk you through the steps you need to take for a successful project, from finding the right property to navigating council regulations and finding the right tradespeople.

The Benefits of Renovating an Old House

Renovating an older home has many benefits, both financially and emotionally. First of all, it can be a more affordable option than building a new home from scratch. By renovating, you’re preserving the history and character of the property and adding value to your investment. Additionally, older homes often have unique features that would be costly or impossible to replicate in a new build.

Finding the Right Property

Before you start your renovation project, you need to find the right property. Look for a house that has good bones and is in a desirable location. You should also consider the size of the property and how much work needs to be done to bring it up to your standards. It’s also important to have the property inspected by a licensed building inspector before making an offer.

Getting Council Approval

Council regulations in Melbourne can be complex, so it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary approvals before starting your renovation project. You’ll need to submit plans to the council, and they may require changes or additional information before granting approval. It’s also important to ensure that your plans comply with local building codes and regulations.

Creating a Budget

One of the most important steps in any renovation project is creating a realistic budget. This should include all costs associated with the renovation, such as materials, labour, and permit fees. You should also budget for unexpected expenses, as these can arise during any renovation project.

Choosing Tradespeople

When it comes to renovating an old home, choosing the right tradespeople is essential. Look for experienced professionals who have worked on similar projects in the past. It’s also a good idea to get multiple quotes from different tradespeople to ensure you’re getting a fair price. Make sure that any tradespeople you hire are licensed and insured.

Designing Your Space

Designing your space is one of the most exciting parts of any renovation project. Take the time to plan out your space carefully, and consider factors such as lighting, storage, and flow. It’s also important to make sure that your design is functional and practical, as well as visually appealing.

DIY vs. Hiring Professionals

Deciding whether to DIY or hire professionals for your renovation project can be a difficult decision. While DIY can save you money, it can also lead to costly mistakes if you’re not experienced. It’s important to carefully consider your skill level and the complexity of the project before deciding whether to DIY or hire professionals.

Project Management

Project management is essential for any renovation project. Make sure you have a plan in place for managing your project, including timelines, budgets, and check-ins with your tradespeople. It’s also important to have a contingency plan in place in case of unexpected issues or delays.


Q: How do I finance my renovation project?

There are several options for financing a renovation project, including home equity loans, personal loans, and credit cards. It’s important to choose an option that works for your budget and financial situation.

Q: How much does it cost to renovate an old house in Melbourne?

The cost of renovating an old house in Melbourne can vary widely depending on the size of the property, the extent of the renovations, and other factors. It’s important to create a detailed budget before starting your project to ensure you’re aware of all costs.

Q: Do I need council approval for my renovation project?

In most cases, yes. You’ll need to submit plans to the council and obtain approval before starting your renovation project. It’s important to consult with a professional early on in the process to ensure that your plans comply with local regulations.


Renovating an old house in Melbourne can be a complex and challenging project, but with the right plan in place, the end result is worth it. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your renovation project is a success. Don’t forget to refer to our Guide to Buying a House in Melbourne if you’re still in the market for a property to renovate.

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