If you are looking to buy a property specifically to spruce up – adding value to your home – then it is crucial that you consider what low cost DIY renovations you can make that will have maximum impact. For this to work you need to buy a property that fundamentally has a good floorplan and will benefit from fresh home decoration ideas rather than a face lift.
I don’t like rules of thumb when it comes to renovating, such as spending 2% of a property’s value on kitchen design trends. These can be useful guides but shouldn’t be taken as gospel. Kitchens and bathrooms are very important rooms, so while you need to be careful not to overcapitalise, you also need it to be up to the standard required by buyers in your suburb. Under-capitalised renovations can cost you as well so don’t go too far with the cheap kitchen and bathroom renovation ideas.
Painting is probably the most cost effective DIY home improvement way to transform a property.
When hunting for a project, we love garish colour schemes that turn other buyers off. Properties that have been tenanted by chain smokers are fantastic to transform with a lick of paint. An unloved weatherboard goes from looking high maintenance to charming. Get expert advice on colour selection and interior design trends. It’s a lot of money to spend if you get it wrong.
It is often said that kitchens sell properties, so pay particular attention to this important room. They can also be the most expensive room to renovate, which might be fine if you are DIY renovating for your own enjoyment, but if you are renovating to sell or to rent then you need to be mindful of maximum impact for minimum outlay and look for some cheap kitchen renovation ideas.
You can save money by using flat pack cupboards. These come in standard sizes, so plan out the best configuration; there are free online tools that can help. Avoid fashion colours and kitchen design trends like the plague! They can date the whole house.
Of the latest trends in kitchens, it looks like stainless steel appliances are here to stay, so don’t be scared to invest in them. But there is a wide variance in terms of functionality and cost, so be careful not to over capitalise. Always find space for a dishwasher, even if it is only 45mm wide or a single dish drawer. Check out auction websites but make sure you know the retail prices first!
Cheap bathroom renovation ideas can be really effective in lifting a tired or grubby bathroom. It is usually easy to replace the shower screen, taps, toilet and vanity. Then you could paint the tiles and walls and resurface the bath. If you are doing a bigger renovation, keep the cost down by retaining the location of the existing plumbing.
If you can fit a bathtub in, do so. But don’t bother with bathroom design trends and install those tiny ones, or worse still, square baths. Put in a really nice shower instead. In a family home, a bathtub in the main bathroom is always preferable to one in the ensuite. Young families like to have the bathroom close to the kitchen (but not too close) for bathing the little mites at witching hour.
If you can’t fit two bathrooms in a renovation, try to put a second WC in somewhere – the laundry can often be a good spot for it. If you have a four bedroom place, aim for an ensuite off the main bedroom as well as a family bathroom to add value to your home.
It’s all about what’s appropriate: twin vanities in an ensuite are great, but not if you are tight on space. And forget the spa bath.
Top 5 questions to ask before you renovate:
- Why am I renovating? For me? To add value to my home? To sell?
- What is my budget?
- What are my DIY home improvement skills? (Be honest here!) How much can I do versus trades people?
- Have I been out looking at open homes to see what finishes local buyers like?
- Have I asked a couple of local selling agents what improvements they would recommend for adding value to my home?
Veronica Morgan is the co-host of Location Location Location Australia and principal of Sydney based Good Deeds Property Buyers.
The information in this article has been provided by a third party. Aussie makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the article. The article does not constitute financial, tax or legal advice. Any suggestions or recommendations made in the article should not be relied upon as such. If you need advice, you should seek advice from your own professional advisors.
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