Have you looked at houses for sale recently while they were open for inspection? It’s always interesting to see the many different ways in which people can spoil what were once lovely old homes! You may also find that these homes have had illegal building works of some sort or another.

Picture this – A home originally built in the 1930’s with a range of period features that are well preserved inside and out. The 1980’s ‘improvements’ however, are dull, drab and disappointing. The renovation was poorly designed (to access a bedroom you have to go through a study), poorly built (there was a hump in the kitchen floor you could stumble on) or poorly maintained (the “spacious rear sun deck” is hazardous – doesn’t comply with the building regulations and demolition is the only option). On top of these, the house has a poky ensuite, a dysfunctional kitchen and a leaky extension which was all built only a decade or two ago.

Archicentre Australia assesses thousands of homes for home buyers and finds illegal building work of some sort or another in 25 to 30 per cent of the homes assessed.

The sooner people stop designing their own renovations or using ‘bush experts’ or ‘para-professionals’ who have little or no idea how to add value to a property the better everyone will be.

You don’t need to spend a fortune; simply make sure that whoever’s designing the building and doing the building work has some clue as to how to maximise the property’s potential within a budget, (but not by cutting corners to save money, which could lead to a future problem).