Chances are, even if you haven’t even bought your first home, you have plans, and even some of the know-how to get started on home renovations. We’re a nation of fixer-uppers – our handymen are prime-time celebrities, and we love nothing more than taking to our ageing housing stock in an attempt to spruce up our nest, whether for profit or love.
Many Aussies feel comfortable tackling smaller home renovation ideas, but when it comes to larger projects, we tend to balk initially. This is probably because once a renovation project enters a certain category when it comes to price and difficulty, we want some sort of assurance our time, effort and home renovation costs won’t go to waste.
We’ve put together our best tips for making sure your home reno is worth the money.
Work with what you have
Time was, renovations focussed mainly on extending the existing structure of your home to add more internal space. Nowadays, you might be wise to re-think this strategy. Not only is this going to be one of the more costly home renovation ideas, it’s going to turn a certain section of buyers off. Sure, your home may now have an extra bedroom and bathroom, but the building is now a conglomerate of different aged construction. Added to this, you might have sacrificed some backyard/outdoor space to increase your home’s footprint, which isn’t a great sell for families. Look at what you’ve already got, and how you can make it better.
Focus on repairs
Before you head to the kitchen and bathroom showrooms, cast an objective eye over your place. If you were buying your home today, what would you identify straight away as needing repairs? Maybe you’ve got a leaky roof, peeling paint, cracked tiles or some faulty electrical or plumbing – getting these fixed ASAP will not only be cheaper than larger reno projects, they’ll ensure you’re not in a weaker bargaining position as a seller. It might seem strange, but just getting your home up to scratch is one of the best strategies for maximising your home renovation spend.
Stay a while
If you’re thinking about renovating, you’re either gearing up to move, or are staying put and want to make your house nicer to live in. If you’re renovating to sell, it’s worthwhile conducting an expert, such as a local estate agent or lender, to see what your current home might sell for, both in its current state and post-renovation. If you’re happy with the price estimate for your house as-is, you might be able to avoid the hassle and sell sooner. If you’re tempted by the lure of post-reno price potential, make sure you watch your reno budget to avoid over-capitalising before a sale.
Green is good
Depending on your home renovation project, you may have the option of energy-efficient appliances, windows, doors and fittings. These are worth considering, as they’ll not only save you money in energy costs in the short term, they may prove enticing for potential buyers.
The old faithfuls – kitchen and bathroom
Thinking like a buyer, what are the two rooms in any open-house you pay the most attention to? Kitchen and bathroom, right? Makes sense – they’re the most used rooms in any home, and typically allow you to achieve 100% return on your investment on re-sale, if done right. They may be the most expensive rooms in a home to renovate, but buyers will appreciate this, and you’ll be in a stronger position as a seller to get the price you want.