Niki Dart and son Jack are getting ready for renovations to their home. Picture: Annette DewHOMEBUYERS who can’t find their dream property have taken matters into their own hands with new figures revealing a surge in renovations.A new survey has found 76 per cent of Queensland homeowners have renovated or are planning to renovate – up from 61 per cent in 2015.The survey by Westpac revealed nationally there had been a 21 per cent increase since 2015 in those who had renovated, were renovating or were planning to renovate. Westpac home ownership spokesman Andy Wright said it was one of the real trends which stood out in the latest Westpac Home Ownership Report.“We’ve always had this love affair with renovating – we’re seeing that in popular shows like The Block. We love the trip to Bunnings on the weekend to grab a sausage sandwich and pick up some stuff to do our DIY jobs.’’Niki Dart and her husband Steve are among those about to take the renovation plunge at their Pacific Pines home.They bought the home in 2004, but it was after the arrival of their son Jack six years ago, that they started to think they may need something different.In the past 12 months they started to look around at what was available and found existing homes either didn’t quite meet their needs or where too expensive.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours ago“We couldn’t find exactly what would suit us, a nice home in a good location, without at least doubling our mortgage,’’ she said.“This home itself is still a great home it just needs to be tweaked to our needs now we are a family.’’The process is now underway with a visit from an architect this week to help them map out their plans.Mrs Dart hopes they will have all of the work completed by the end of this year. They plan to work on the main bedroom, backyard and outdoor entertainment area, bathrooms, kitchen, flooring, and turn their garage into an ensuite.Mr Wright said the cost of buying a new home, in particular stamp duty, was having an impact on home buyers deciding to renovate instead.“It’s the millennial homeowners who are most likely to be on this renovating journey. They’re in a really busy stage of their lives, and (renovating) is taking away the stress of having to move and allowing them to nest in a place of their own,’’ he said.“The importance of a safe environment to bring up kids is a really important part of the psyche of Australians. There’s also a good cohort of retirees choosing to renovate and make their house ready for the next wave of family to come through, rather than sell and downgrade.”A third of homeowners approaching retirement were prioritising renovating ahead of 13 per cent opting to sell, Mr Wright said.