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Top summer home additions

top summer home additions imageIt’s summer, and if you’re lucky, you’re looking ahead to some time off work and much needed rest and relaxation. Summer break is also the time many of us turn our attention to our home; with longer days and spare time handy, it’s prime renovation and home improvement season.

But, apart from a renovation loan, where to start? Well, while it’s always important to find balance with any renovation project, so that you’re improving your home’s liveability while hopefully increasing the value of the property. The mercury has already tipped over 40 degrees once this summer, so if you’re thinking renos over the holiday season, it might be wise to think about improvements that will help you stay cool, or at least take advantage of the weather.

Ducted Air Conditioning

If you’re done sweltering away, and you’ve already optimised your home from an energy efficiency perspective, Ducted Air Conditioning might be the way forward.

Cost – Depending on the size of your home and the complexity of the system you’re after, a good entry point for cost is around $5,000. Keep in mind, you should also consider the ongoing running costs of your new system, but most ducted air conditioners are very efficient when it comes to power usage.

Pros – Firstly, your home will become much more liveable. Having your vents placed correctly should mean you’re now able to control the temperature of each zone of your house, potentially opening up new living space for you to use in the warmer months. Of course, more and more modern homes include ducted air-conditioning, so, depending on where you live, having ducted installed may be an extra selling point if you decide to move on one day.

Cons – IF you’ve got a larger home, requiring a more costly system, the price point for installation can become an issue (you really do get what you pay for, though). Of course, ducted only affects your indoor living space as well, so if you’re an outdoors type, you may need to consider additional ways to stay cool over summer, like a pool or spa.

Look out for – The right ducting. Make sure your installer is certified by Ducting Industry Association, ADMA. Knowing that inferior ducting hasn’t been used will give you peace of mind, knowing your system is not only safe, but energy efficient.

Solar Panels

More interested in using the summer sun to help you knock down your energy bill? You’re not alone. Take a drive through any suburb in this wide brown land and look to the rooftops…

Cost – While it’s important to know the cost of your solar panel, price alone shouldn’t be the main determining factor. A general rule is to expect a few hundred dollars per solar panel installed.

Pros – This one’s all about the energy bill. While the time it takes to start actually seeing return on your investment may vary depending on your setup, the end state is for you to be lowering your energy bill significantly. Again, most modern homes come equipped with a solar set-up, so if you’re thinking of selling, it can be a great way to update your home and increase your potential sale price.

Cons – If you’re thinking of installing solar just to sell soon, you may get a nasty surprise. Installing solar panels can be a mid-long term investment, so unless you’re planning to stick around for a few years, you may not see any return.

Look out for – The right solar cell type for your home. Polycrystalline are the most popular among mid-sized residences, with a great size to efficiency/heat tolerance ratio. And don’t forget your warranty – make sure you know what you’re buying.

Swimming Pool

Don’t tell the kids you’re even considering a swimming pool until you’re 99.9% sure you’re going to get one. Trust us.

Cost – If you opt for a concrete pool, you can expect to pay between $35K - $100K. As a cheaper option, a fibreglass pool will generally be between $7K - $25K all told.

Pros – We’re a nation of water lovers. Not only will you ensure yourself many years of fun, having a pool as part of an outdoor entertainment area will make your property more desirable when it comes to re-sale.

Cons – The ongoing costs and maintenance. Not many first time pool owners will be thinking beyond their first dip, but a pool can add to your water and power bill. Make sure your filter setup is energy efficient and timed to be active in off-peak times, and if you don’t fancy cleaning it, you may have to shell out more for automated cleaning equipment.

Look out for – Many, many things. Make sure your installer has council and water board approval. Make sure you know all inclusions and components before getting started. And fencing – make sure you have your fencing sorted.

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