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2010 RENOVATION REPORT:

What it costs to renovate, repair and hire trades and household services

By Alex Brooks and RenovationPlanning.com.au , in conjunction with ServiceSeeking.com.au , explains  the highest, lowest and average costs of trades and contractors supplying home repair and renovation services throughout Australia.

There are only two things renovators ever want to know: how much will it cost and how much will it cost. The answer is never simple – the costs of materials, labour and the time to schedule each job means costs vary. Always.

But one thing renovators can keep an eye on is the average costs of trades and labour, which varies from state to state and even within cities. How much does it cost to call in a painter? What about a plumber or electrician? ServiceSeeking.com.au identifies the highest, lowest and average costs of trades and contractors supplying home repair and renovation services throughout Australia.

There are state by state differences for prices, with Victorians usually paying slightly less than renovators in NSW or Queensland. Victorians pay an average out 4.6% less than both New South Wales and Queensland residents. For example, bricklayers charge an average of just $48.13 in Victoria, $54.31 in NSW and $59.38 in Queensland. Carpentry is similar, with the average hourly price for a carpenter 23.9% more in NSW than Victoria.

The following prices supplied for more than 50,000 home renovation and repair jobs across Australia between October 2007 and April 2010, this Pricing Guide for Household Trades & Services offers groundbreaking data on what homeowners should be paying to renovate and repair their homes.

Costs an architect will charge for renovation?

Architects charge anything between $18 and $250 per hour for their labour, with an average quoted hourly rate of $101 per hour, according to ServiceSeeking.com.au. The average quoted price for renovation or extension drafting is $10,000.
Typically, an architect will make a site visit and work with the client to produce drawings and plans to their liking. Architects can also assist with submitting plans and development applications to councils and the relevant authorities.
Some architects can recommend builders and contractors, provide project management and interior design services, as well as help source fixtures and fittings. Often, architects have relationships with suppliers of building materials and can negotiate a better price than you can ordinarily get through retail channels. Architects can be up to 30 per cent cheaper in Victoria than in NSW or Queensland.

 

Costs of a builder for a home renovation?

Builders charge between $35 and $80 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $57 per hour. New home building costs vary widely from state to state, being more expensive in South East Queensland.
The average cost of a building job sourced through ServiceSeeking.com.au was $69,873. Despite this difference, the average quoted hourly rate for new home and renovation jobs is very similar with new home jobs fetching $49.07 per hour and renovation and extension projects pricing in at an average of $52.80 per hour

Costs of a bathroom renovation?

Renovating a bathroom, or just adding some cosmetic improvements, can be expensive. It’s hard for a renovator to estimate the costs of a bathroom renovation as it depends on the scope of the job and whether it will be a repair or a complete rebuild. The average total quoted price for bathroom renovation work is $5,799. Commonly, a bathroom renovation can include the services of several trade specialists like plumbers and tilers. Most renovation quotes do not include prices for fixtures and fittings, but do include some basic consumables. Bathroom specialists will often be able to help their customers select appropriate fixtures for their new bathroom and negotiate favourable prices with suppliers. The hourly rate for a bathroom renovation ranges from $20 an hour to $150 an hour, depending on what’s included in the quote.

Costs of a kitchen renovation

The kitchen is the most commonly renovated room in the house, and the average kitchen renovation job quoted on ServiceSeeking.com.au costs around $1,789. Kitchen renovation specialists charge anywhere between $20 and $95 per hour, with an average quoted price of $49 per hour. Total prices vary depending on whether materials are included. Prices for kitchen renovations vary dramatically depending on the quality of appliances, fixtures and fittings used. In many cases, kitchen renovations require the skills of many different tradesmen like plumbers and gasfitters to plumb in sinks, ovens and dishwashers, or carpenters to build and install cabinets and benches. There are full-service kitchen renovation companies, which will co-ordinate all the various trades and components of the job, or there are small suppliers that will deal only with components such as benchtops or cabinets.

Costs of installing kitchen and bathroom fixtures and fittings

If you're embarking on a kitchen or bathroom renovation, or any type of renovation or building work, your expenses don't end with your builder's fees. In order to get the job done, you'll have to engage the services of a multitude of other tradespeople. Tradesmen typically charge $35 to $75 per hour to install fixtures with an average quoted rate of $56 per hour. The average quoted total for fixture installation is $283. The most common jobs involve fitting new taps, basins and vanity units in kitchens and bathrooms.

Costs of hiring a cabinetmaker

The average full price quoted for cabinetmaking & joinery jobs is $1328. Cabinetmakers charge anywhere between $20 and $89 per hour, with an average quoted price of $47 per hour. Total prices vary depending on whether the job is part of a larger project. Many customers request quotes for cabinetmaking and joinery as part of a larger renovation or commercial fit out. Prices are also often exclusive of materials. Examples of cabinetmaking and joinery jobs include shelving, custom pieces and walk in wardrobes. Prices for custom pieces are usually quoted on a per hour basis, and may or may not include a price for design.

Costs of hiring a carpenter

The average full quoted price for carpentry jobs is $2,019. Carpenters charge anywhere between $20 and $100 per hour, with an average quoted price of $48 per hour. Customers most often request quotes for timber and patio decking and staircase installation.
Carpenters also quote on new home builds and general renovation jobs which can be co-ordinated by a project manager. Some customers require carpenters for maintenance and smaller jobs such as planing back doors and window sills. Quotes can include timber and building materials. Carpenters sometimes work in teams and customers will pay more if more than one carpenter is required to complete the job.


How much does a plumber cost?

Plumbers charge anywhere between $25 and $178 per hour, with an average quoted price of $68 per hour. The average total price for a typical plumbing job is $1,093. Low end hourly rates are for basic work like fixing leaks and drips and can often be completed successfully by a handyman rather than a qualified plumber. High end hourly rates often include the labour of a plumber and apprentice. Total prices vary depending on whether materials are included. Simple consumables like washers and hoses are commonly included in the quoted price, whilst more expensive or specific parts are not included. As plumbing can be dirty work, many plumbers offer to clean up after themselves. You should make sure that a plumber is licensed and insured.

How much should I pay for gasfitting work?

Licensed gas-fitters typically charge between $50 and $88 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $66 per hour. These rates often include the services of a skilled gasfitter and an apprentice. The average quoted price for a complete gas-fitting job is $823.
Typically, gas-fitters are employed to install gas ovens and piping into new kitchens, repair gas piping and leaks, plumb in gas hot water systems, or install bayonet taps or connections for gas heaters. Some tradesmen often have relationships with suppliers of appliances like hot water heaters, and can help negotiate a good price for their customers. Any tradesmen working with gas installations and pipe repairs must be licensed and insured.

How much should my electrician cost?

Electricians charge anywhere between $30 and $140 per hour, with an average quoted price of $65 per hour. The average total price quoted for electrical work is $948. Common electrical jobs include small jobs like the installation of new lighting, fans, powerpoints,
or safety switches, through to complete re-wiring or circuit repair. As with many trades, quotes often include both the services of a skilled electrician and an apprentice. Basic materials like wiring and switches are commonly included in quotes, but more
expensive electrical fixtures like lights, fans or safety switches are priced separately. Make sure that any electrical work is carried out by a fully licensed tradesman.

How much should my carpentry job cost?

The average full quoted price for carpentry jobs is $3,052. Carpenters charge anywhere between $25 and $100 per hour, with an average quoted price of $50 per hour. Customers most often request quotes for timber and patio decking and staircase installation.
Carpenters also quote on new home builds and general renovation jobs which can be co-ordinated by a project manager. Some customers require carpenters for maintenance and smaller jobs such as planing back doors and window sills. Quotes can include timber and building materials. Carpenters sometimes work in teams and customers will pay more if more than one carpenter is required to complete the job.

How much should my bricklaying cost?

The average full quoted price for bricklaying is $8,165. Bricklayers charge anywhere between $35 and $85 per hour, with an average quoted price of $52 per hour. Builders often arrange bricklaying as one part of a larger home renovation or landscaping job. They will often exclude the cost of materials in their quote when quoting on an hourly basis. If a fixed price is provided, then bricks and materials are usually included. Customers request quotes for bricklaying to build retaining walls, besserblock walls, internal walls, external brick fences, garage conversions, residential and holiday home construction.

How much should general building & labouring cost?

The average building and labouring job costs around $27,910. Builders charge anywhere between $20 and $95 per hour, with an average quoted price of $51 per hour. General Building & Labouring covers everything from full new home builds, renovations, decking, new storey builds, knock down and rebuild, narrow block new home construction, garage construction, commercial fit outs and subdivisions. Materials are often quoted separately. Builders often work in teams and the hourly rate quoted can often include more than one labourer. Customers often include individuals with no building experience and also owner builders.

How much should I pay for a handyman?

The average home handiwork job costs around $1,010. Handymen charge anywhere between $15 and $150 per hour, with an average quoted price of $50 per hour. Handymen commonly perform basic tasks like gardening or clearing gutters, hanging pictures, replacing light globes or smoke detector batteries, through to more complicated repairs of plaster or tiles, fixing leaking taps, and simple carpentry jobs.

How much should I pay for building maintenance?

The average quote for building maintenance work is $5,209. Building maintenance experts charge anywhere between $25 and $70 per hour, with an average quoted price of $47 per hour. Building Maintenance jobs range from strata maintenance in apartment complexes to jobs around the house. Customers request quotes for a wide range of different jobs, including patching walls, tightening door hinges, fixing leaks and repairing appliances. Larger jobs that require more than one tradesman will result in quotes with higher hourly rates.

How much should a glazier cost for window repairs?

Glaziers cost between $50 and $150 per hour with an average hourly rate of $83. An average glass and windows job costs $3,084. Quotes typically include installation and supply of materials.
 

How much should my air conditioning installation cost?

Even if you've opted for a passively designed home, with a smart aspect and natural ventilation, at some point as the weather gets warmer or cooler some artificial assistance may be required.

Air conditioning installation and repair costs between $28 and $140 per hour, with the average job costing $1,487. Quotes typically include basic installation only and no hard wiring, customers also usually asked to supply their own brackets.  Pipes and ducts more than 3-4 metres will also generally attract a higher fee.

If you're concerned about the costs associated with air conditioning you might want to consider installing curtains and blinds. Blockout blinds and curtains, which filter the amount of sun streaming in and heating up a room are perfect for a nursery and can be installed for an average of $895 per job.

How much should I pay for hot water installation & repairs?

It will cost between $50 and $100 per hour with an average quoted rate of $81 per hour for hot water system installation and repairs. The average total price quoted for hot water system work is $1933, which often includes the supply of a new unit. Many quotes include the supply of a new unit and removal of the old unit. Commonly, customers are switching to solar or off peak systems to reduce energy costs. Many consumers may be entitled to a State or Federal government rebate for installing more energy efficient and environmentally friendly systems.

How much should I pay for a locksmith?

Locksmiths charge anywhere between $45 and $55 per hour, with an average quoted price of $48 per hour. The average total price quoted for locks and security work is $449. Commonly, customers request quotes for replacing door and window locks or alarm systems.

How much should I pay for an alarm system to be installed?

The average total quoted price for Security Alarm installation is $930. Security experts charge between $50 and $77 per hour with an average quoted rate of $68. Typically, quotes include the supply of the alarm system itself as well as installation. An alarm system usually includes a central console or panel, several motion sensors, internal and external sirens and cabling.

How much should I pay for my household appliance repairs?

The total quoted price for an appliance repair is $781. Repairers charge anywhere from $15 to $110 per hour, with an average quoted rate of $67 per hour. Common appliance repair jobs include installing dishwashers or waste disposal units that
can require the skills of a plumber. Often, appliance repair quotes include expensive spare parts, especially for whitegoods, like
fridges, washing machines or dryers. This often makes the cost of repair almost as expensive as buying a replacement appliance. If your washing machine goes belly-up, a repairman will cost anywhere between $15 and $110 per hour to call out. With the average job costing $359 , in some cases in might be worth ditching your old machine for a brand new one – or seek out a laundromat!

How much should lighting installation and repair cost?

Electricians and lighting specialists charge anywhere from $20 to $90 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $54 per hour. The average total quote for lighting repair or installation is $250. Most lighting work requires the services of a licensed electrician. Common jobs include repairing halogen down-lights, installing bathroom lights like the IXL Tastic or installing basic security lights. Most quotes do not include the lights themselves.

How much does pest control cost?

Pest controllers and exterminators charge between $50 and $90 per hour, with an average quoted price of $61 per hour. The average total quote for pest control work like an inspection and spray is $271. General pest control usually includes an inspection and chemical spray treatment to get rid of ants, silverfish, moths, cockroaches, fleas or termites.

How much should I pay for flooring jobs?

Businesses quote anywhere between $30 and $70 per hour for flooring depending on the square meterage and the type of flooring required. At an average of $50.46 per hour a typical job is priced at $2,848.

Flooring specialists can give you quotes on a range of different flooring including timber, laminate, cork and bamboo, with most of these materials not included in the price.  

Flooring businesses can also polish existing floorboards, as well as concrete floors.  If you're a fan of the industrial look and opt for concrete floors be prepared for some added expense. Lots of concrete floors need restoring before they can be polished, so filling in major holes or cracks will cost extra. If opting for the ever-popular floating floorboard trend be aware the underlay – be it cork or otherwise - is normally not covered in a standard quote.   

Carpet tends to be cheaper to install than floorboards, with the average job  costing just $765, however this price can creep up depending on the coverage required, carpet ply and whether you also require the original carpet disposed of. 

How much should my ceiling repair or installation cost?

The average full price quoted for work on ceilings is $2,003. Builders charge anywhere between $30 and $65 per hour, with an average quoted price of $50 per hour. Ceiling experts quote on jobs that range from repairs and maintenance to installation of new ceilings and cornices. Paint and plaster is often included as part of the quote. Hourly rates rise if a customer requires more than one trades person.

How much should my walls and cladding job cost?

The average full quoted price for walls and cladding jobs is $3,311. Walls and cladding experts charge anywhere between $34 and $90 per hour with an average quoted rate of $49 per hour. Common jobs include the installation and design of feature walls, erection and installation of internal and external walls, cornice/skirting work, wall sheeting, plastering, rendering and taping. Quotes often exclude painting and electrical work. Walls and cladding experts will charge more if more than one trades person is required to do the job.

How much should gyprock installation or repair cost?

The average total quoted price for work with gyprock is $3,016. Builders charge anywhere between $29 and $75 per hour, with an average quoted price of $47 per hour for installing and repairing plasterboard and Gyprock. Commonly, customers request quotes from Gyprock experts for ceiling and wall installation and repairs. If more than one person is required to do the job, the hourly rate increases.

How much does plastering and rendering cost?

The average total price for plastering and rendering is $2,545. Plasterers and renderers charge anywhere between $25 and $420 per hour, with an average quoted price of $53 per hour. The most common plastering job is to repair holes in walls. Many plasterers will include undercoat and matched paint in the cost of the quote. Many plasterers prefer to give fixed price quotes rather than hourly rates.
Rendering quotes are usually priced on an hourly rate basis and many quotes include supply of bondcrete, supply of steel corners, supply of sand and cement and other materials to finish off the job.

The most common plastering job is to repair holes in walls. So if you're in the middle of renovating it might be a good idea to make a plasterer your last port of call to patch up any damage created by other tradies throughout the works.
Plasterers prefer to give a fixed price rather than quote an hourly rate, with the average price of all the job listed, $2,598.

How much should painting cost?

Painters charge anywhere between $25 and $250 per hour, with an average quoted price of $41 per hour. The average full quoted price for painting work is $3,139. Painters generally work in teams. Larger jobs typically require 3 or more painters and that is when the quoted hourly rate creeps above $150 per hour. Painting quotes typically include labour, paint and materials, two coats on walls, doors and trims and three coats on the ceiling. Sometimes quotes require the preparation of surfaces, like sanding or removing wallpaper.

How much should tiling and paving cost?

Tilers charge between $26 and $128 per hour, with an average quoted rate of $43 per hour. The average quoted full price for tiling & paving jobs is $2,470. Customers look for tiling and paving quotes across a wide range of activities, including home renovation, bathroom renovation, commercial fit outs, swimming pool areas, landscaping and “whole of house” tiling. Quotes often include labour, and basic materials like glue or grout, but will not usually include the cost of the tiles. Tilers often have relationships with suppliers and can negotiate better prices on tiles than customers can though retail channels.

For bathroom tiling hourly rates start from $20 per hour and range up to $150 per hour, with the average rate per hour around $43.  These rates typically include labour and basic materials such as glue or grout but generally don't include the cost of tiles. However, tilers often have relationships with suppliers so can negotiate better prices on tiles than customers can through retail channels. n most cases, the cost of sealing/waterproofing and polishing the tiles isn't included in the quote price either. The preparation of the floor bedding is also an optional extra, if required a tiler can normally do this at a rate of around $45 per square metre. The average job price is $3,419, in addition to the size of the job, the size of the tiles themselves can often affect the cost of the quote.

How much should my demolition cost?

Demolition experts charge anywhere between $32 and $95 per hour, with an average quoted price of $53 per hour. The average quoted price for demolition work is $3,684. Total prices vary depending on whether the job is part of a larger project. Many quotes exclude or list separately bobcat hire and council waste disposal fees and charges separately. Customers request quotes for demolition of internal walls as part of a larger renovation, demolition of entire houses, site levelling, removal of above ground pools, stripping out kitchen and bathrooms.

How much should asbestos removal cost?

As broken asbestos is a known carcinogen, removal is typically more expensive than ordinary rubbish removal. Whilst not dangerous when intact, broken asbestos can cause serious health problems and should not be disposed of along with normal waste. Asbestos is typically found in walls, roofing and eaves, and typically its removal is part of a larger job like a roofing restoration or renovation.

You should definitely seek out a professional if you come across asbestos throughout your renovations. While not dangerous when intact, broken asbestos can cause serious health problems. Careful, accurate removal and disposal of this poison in absolutely essential and will set you back an average of $65.84 per an hour, with the average asbestos removal job costing $6,245.  

Asbestos is typically found in walls, roofing and eaves and if found can set a job back considerably in time and money. An asbestos clearance certificate normally attracts an additional fee.
 

How much should landscaping cost?

Landscaping services range from $20 to $350 per hour, and include anything from the shovelling of fertilizer to the installation of lavish water features. Price varies considerably between handy gardeners and trained horticulturists, with the average price of a completed job calculated at $5,174. Most landscaping quotes don't include the cost of major excavation for sandstone blocks and paving, or the paving itself. An average outdoor paving job costs an average of $3,089 while earthmoving and excavation is priced anywhere between $25 and $400 per hour.

How much should I pay for installation or repairs to doors, fences & gates?

The average door, fencing and gate jobs is $2,833. Door, fencing and gate experts charge anywhere between $25 and $75 per hour, with an average quoted price of $50 per hour. Fencing jobs are the most common job in this category. Customers often seek builders to construct boundary fences or to update a fence that might be old or dilapidated. Door jobs are usually treated separately. Customers ask for door experts to install new doors in residential housing and holiday homes. Customers request bi-fold doors, exterior doors, panoramic doors, interior doors and French doors to be installed.

How much should I pay for roofing or guttering work?

Roofing specialists charge between $32 and $90 per hour, with an average quoted rate of $55 per hour. On average the full quoted price for roof installation jobs is around $2,864. Guttering - a job vital to make sure water is drained away from th building and roof - can also be expensive, with the average price of a gutter eplacement being $3,057. Simple roofing jobs include the cleaning and repairing of guttering, waterproofing, or repairing leaks and cracked tiles. Small projects may cost a few hundred dollars in labour and materials. More complex projects include the complete replacement of corrugated iron or roof tiling, which can cost several thousand dollars. Quotes often include the provision of materials and many roofing experts offer to clean up at the end of the job.

How much should I pay for drainage & sewer work?

Plumbers typically charge between $70 and $85 per hour with an average quoted rate of $77 per hour for drainage and sewerage work. The average full quoted price for drainage work is $1,313. Typically, these types of jobs include plumbing new connections into existing sewerage systems, installing or repairing stormwater drainage or unblocking drains and sewer pipes. Some plumbers use closed circuit TV cameras to identify blocks and breaks in drains and sewer pipes.

How much should concreting cost?

At an average of $3,855 per job, cement rendering is a relatively inexpensive way of instantly improving your home's facade – and street appeal. If you're an owner/builder a concreter is also necessary to lay the foundations of your home, as well as pour your driveway.

The average cost of a concrete slab is $3,796, while it costs an average of $2,868 to pour a driveway. It's a good idea to have your driveway poured prior to the commencement of building works so building materials can be easily transferred to and from the site. The concrete pump is often not included in the total price and can add an extra $600.

If you prefer the look of brickwork for your driveways and paths, you can engage the services of a bricklayer for an average of $35 to $90 per hour.

How much should pool, spa and sauna work cost?

The average quoted price for work on pools, spas and saunas is $4,686. Tradespeople charge anywhere between $35 and $66 per hour, with an average quoted price of $46 per hour. The most common job in this category is an above ground pool installation and quotes are generally on an hourly rate basis. Occasionally quotes will include a fixed price and may include excavation, reinforced concrete shells, plumbing, filtration, plans and approval. Generally, removal of excavated soil, electrical connection, pool fencing, surrounds and landscaping and lighting will be extra.

How much should I pay for a gardener and lawnmowing?

Gardeners typically charge between $15 and $120 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $39 per hour. The average quoted price for a gardening job is $810, though regular gardening or lawn-mowing services cost significantly less than this. Quotes with high hourly rates often include the services of several gardeners simultaneously. Small gardening jobs include recurring lawn-mowing and regular garden maintenance. Lawnmowing costs between $28 and $55 an hour with the average job costing $88. These typically cost far less than larger one-off jobs which can involve some landscaping like laying turf, or removing trees and large amounts of vegetation. Before contracting gardeners to remove trees or perform large landscaping projects, customers should be sure not to violate local council regulations.

How much should rubbish removal cost?

Rubbish removal is typically the last – and most often overlooked – step of the renovation/building process. You'll be hard pushed trying to find a tradie willing to take their rubbish with them, so alternative arrangements should be made.

Many people think they can just chuck a load in the back of the car and head to their nearest tip and don't value what's really involved. It's the job of rubbish removalists to ensure waste is disposed off correctly and efficiently. This challenging task costs between $25 and $120 per hour depending on the quantity.

How much should I pay for excavation work?

Excavators typically charge between $30 and $85 per hour for labour, with an average quoted rate of $73 per hour. The average total price quoted for earthmoving and excavation jobs is $2,242. Typical jobs include clearing land, levelling or grading sites for new building projects, or basic landscaping projects. Quotes typically include the supply of bobcats or other machinery and can sometimes include the removal of earth and waste.

How much should I pay for cleaning services?

 Cleaners can cost as little as $15 per hour and charge an average of $29.80 per hour. They normally spend a few hours at your home, making the average total price $165. Duties typically include mopping, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting and cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. If you want a specific area targeted once in awhile, such as the fridge cleaned out, you might want to confirm the task is included in the quoted price or how much this additional chore will cost.

Carpet steam cleaning is another popular service required by many homeowners. Whether you're simply after a re-fresh or are looking to do a thorough  “once over” before you move out of a property, carpet steam cleaning is available for    
an average of $44.08 per hour or $229 per job.

Upholstery and and fabric cleaning costs an average of $193 per job. To ensure your home is clean inside and out, you may want to also invest some  attention in window cleaning and high pressure cleaning. A window cleaner costs an average of around $35 per hour, while it costs an average of $267 per job to clean your home's exterior, this service can be be particularly useful if your home is lightly coloured. The total cost also obviously depends on if the home is single or multi-storeyed.

 How much should I pay for furniture removal

 Removalists charge an average of $109.89 per hour, with an average full quoted price of $517. For this price, your team of removalists will take care of the heavy lifting and make sure your furniture is properly secured to minimise damage. Local travel is normally included in the price but there could be an additional charge if you're moving out of your direct area.

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© 2007 Alex May