With the right knowledge, common mistakes can be avoided. The ability to identify what projects are worth doing, and who the target market is if you are selling, is a learned skill. With some hard work and renovating, it is possible to drastically change the value of a property.
A major key in any renovation project is to avoid over capitalisation. As a general guide, you should aim to only spend between 5% and 10% of the property’s value on a renovation. The aim is that for every $1 invested on improvements you will get a $2 return.
While structural renovations often yield the best returns, they also more frequently turn pear shaped – profits can be eaten up by unseen problems and delays. On the other hand, cosmetic renovations can still yield great returns if completed to a high standard, and there is less risk of additional problems being uncovered.
When considering cosmetic renovations, think about what you notice when you inspect the home. Paying attention to these things, and with simple and cost effective changes, can have a huge impact – implement attractive cosmetic finishes that catch the eye.
It is a good idea to create an inventory list for the home, identifying what requires attention. Once you have done this, research the best, cost effective ways to make the improvements.
Also, if you are thinking of selling now or in the near future, consider the demographic of your area and what potential buyers are looking for. Driving around your locale and viewing homes that are attractive and selling quickly will give you a good idea of what buyers are currently looking for.
So, let’s get to renovating. Here are my top 8 ways to add value to a property – without costing you an arm and a leg.
1. Street Appeal
If a house doesn’t look appealing from the outside, chances are potential buyers won’t make it past the driveway. First impressions really do count, so start with a little do-it-yourself cleaning and tidying up:
- Clean up the garden and add a few extra plants, particularly flowering varieties.
Estimated Cost: $1,000.
- Wash down the exterior of the house, including paths.
Estimated Cost: $100.
- Add a fresh coat of paint to all surfaces.
Estimated Cost: $500.
- Render the front façade and paint the sides of the home, if the home has outdated brick.
Estimated Cost: $40 to $80 per square metre.
- Style the front porch with pots, décor and a chair if room permits.
Estimated Cost: $150.
- Add a picket fence.
Estimated Cost: $800.
- Repair any damage in existing fences.
2. Fresh Paint
Nothing improves a home’s appearance as cheap and easy as paint.
Neutral tones work best for larger areas, while one or two highlight colours for trimmings looks great (gutters, fascia, front door, posts).
If needed, you can seek expert advice from a colour consultant to help you make the best colour decisions for your property. Just make sure you request a ‘basic’ colour scheme. Consultants usually charge around $200 for inside the property and an additional $200 for outside the property.
FYI: It costs around $4,000 to have the inside of an average 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home professionally painted, and $5,000 to paint the outside (including external walls).
DIY painting should cost you around $500 for the inside of an average 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home, and $700 for the outside the home (including external walls).
3. Make Repairs
Repair any damage to walls, floors, doors, fencing and cracked tiles etc. to present the home as best as possible.
It is relatively cheap to do most repairs yourself. For example, replacing a toilet can cost as little as $200 installed.
The floors of a home are the single, largest visual area of the property, so it is a good idea to present them in an appealing way.
Fresh flooring will make a potential buyer feel that the house is clean and inviting. To freshen up your home’s flooring, try the following:
- Rip up old carpet and polish timber floors if the home has them.
Estimated Cost: $4,000 (for an average sized home).
- Install new carpet.
Estimated Cost: $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the type and quality selected.
TIP: Linoleum flooring comes in some great finishes like a timber or tile look, and it is often cheaper than carpet.
Estimated Cost: $2,000 for an average sized home.
- Let there be light – open up blinds, curtains and windows to let light and fresh air in.
- Replace outdated lighting with simple, contemporary styles. Light fittings have never been cheaper and there is a huge variety available from hardware stores.
6. Revamp the Kitchen
A dirty, outdated kitchen is a sure way to put off any potential buyer.
Revitalize the kitchen cheaply and add value to the home with the following suggestions:
- Cupboards – The cheapest option is to paint your existing cupboards. Specialised paint is available for laminated surfaces.
Estimated Cost: $200 for a small kitchen.
- Hardware – Replace handles with new metal or timber ones.
Estimated Cost: $160.
- Benchtops – Install new benchtops.
– DIY laminate starts at around $50 per square metre at places like Bunnings and Masters, or $200 per square metre customized.
– Stone veneer benchtops: $250 per square metre.
– Solid stone benchtops: $450 per square metre.
- Replace old tap fittings with a stylish modern fitting.
Estimated Cost: $200.
- Appliances – if your existing appliances are working and cleanable, you don’t need to replace these. However, if they are broken or in bad condition, look out for sales or factory seconds to save costs.
7. Bathroom Refresh
Just like the kitchen, small changes to your bathroom(s) can have a big impact. Try things such as:
- If the wall tiles are outdated but in good condition, try painting them white with tile paint.
Estimated Cost: $200.
- For the floor, it is better to replace old or broken tiles, re-grout or cover the entire floor with a tile look linoleum and upgrade the shower tiles.
- Add new taps or, if taps are ok, add new tap heads.
Estimated Cost: From $50.
- Paint the vanity if it is in good condition or replace it if it isn’t worth salvaging.
Estimated Cost: Replacing the vanity will cost $250.
- Style your bathroom with lovely, colour coordinating towels.
Finally, create storage with shelving and cabinetry. Storage is one of the top priorities that potential buyers look for.
DIY wardrobes and cabinetry can add extra storage. Ikea offer packs at an affordable price.