Ten Best Value-Adding Renovations

Tuesday, October 08, 2013 in Bathroom, Extensions, Kitchen, Outdoor Living, Painting & Plastering, Repairs, Resources

Ten Best Value-Adding Renovations

The best way to gauge whether your renovation is worth doing, is to employ the services of a real estate agent or valuer. What is your property worth now? And where would it sit after the renovation? What is valued in your particular area? (as the financial return is usually linked to the property’s location) Also, are you renovating for a better resale value, better lifestyle or better rental return? All of these factors determine what adds value.

Here is what HY’s broadly view as the top 10 renovations: 

  1. Extensions. Convert roof space for a parent’s bedroom or retreat; remodel a basement to create a playroom, cinema or bar; add a room to create an extra bedroom, extra bathroom or bigger kitchen. Build a granny flat. Having lots of square footage is what people want so extensions can add significant value. Adding an extra bedroom or bathroom is a sure fire way of attracting a whole new market to your home.
  2. Kitchen. Perhaps it’s to do with the raging success of TV shows like Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules, and the big focus on entertaining and family time in the hub of the home, but renovating your kitchen should be high up on your list. Think modern appliances, space-efficient storage, open-plan kitchen/dining areas. As a general rule, kitchens can cost from $9,000 for a revamp to $35,000-40,000 for a complete refit at the top end. And it’s worth it. Check out our kitchen section for how much to invest and how to tackle this zone.
  3. Bathroom. You could tackle a complete bathroom renovation or revamp an existing one. There is so much you can do to make the bathroom inviting to buyers and it’s high up on their hit list. Having an additional bathroom/s of course is a huge selling point, or perhaps you could add a second toilet or move the existing toilet to make your bathroom more spacious and spa-like. Open up your bathroom to an outside area, create a wet room, add a double vanity unit, plenty of storage, underfloor heating, quality tiles, showers and basins. A good amount of Google research by us shows that you should spend about 1-1.5% of the value of your home on the bathroom. And property guru Phil Spencer states that a new bathroom puts 2.88% onto the house value (albeit in the UK, it’s an interesting guide)
  4. Deck or terrace. Research shows that you can get up to 85-90% back on your investment, some even say dollar for dollar. It’s extremely sought after and doesn’t necessarily cost the earth. Whilst tempting to have a go yourself, HY’s recommend getting an experienced tradie with the right tools for decking (which can be expensive in themselves) and also to invest in quality timber to reduce maintenance. Go to our Outdoor Living section for more info including some creative ideas that add functionality and interest.
  5. Sustainability. Insulation, solar hot water, energy-efficient lights, water-efficient fittings, grey water system, drip irrigation, solar panels… Lots to consider and whilst the outlay may be fairly costly for some of these, there could well be rebates that you can factor into your budget (check with your local council)
  6. Façade. In the whirlwind 30 minutes or so that buyers have to view the biggest investment of their life, you’ve got to make a big first impression. Making sure the façade is in top shape is a huge value-add. A lot of this could be down to general maintenance – washing, painting, tidying, fencing, clearing gutters… or you may need to renovate with new fencing, landscaping, new roofing, concreting, repainting, new doors and windows and so on.
  7. Painting. Such a simple thing to do and it makes a huge difference to lift the look and appeal of your home. At HY’s we only use the highest quality non-VOC paint to ensure zero emissions. It’s so safe that it can be used when pregnant or with new babies around. It’s also of architectural quality and we can colour-match virtually anything. 
  8. Landscaping. Don’t underestimate how much value some decent landscaping can add to your home. Even if you think things look neat and tidy, it’s amazing what can be achieved by having a consultation with a professional landscaper and making some changes/enhancements. You can find landscapers that only charge a small fee for an hour’s consultation, followed by more detailed drawings/plans ranging from about $500 - $1500. You can even start out with a small budget and work up to spending more in this area. Get the basics right. Pare things back, neaten it all up and have the right plantings to suit your home’s style and climate. Make sure your fencing is in tip top condition. Then add water features, rock features, lighting, pergolas, cabanas… the options are endless and it really will complete your space, making it more liveable and more attractive for the next buyer. And if you own an apartment with an outdoor zone then spruce it up with a vertical garden. Landscaping is a lot of fun as well. Get inspired by using Pinterest and create a board for your own ideas!
  9. More space and light. Without doubt a great investment is to add more space and light. There are plenty of great window and door options and if bi-folds are too pricey for your budget, have you considered stacking doors? They are a fraction of the cost and actually more practical (easier to install fly screens, no ‘flapping’ doors in the breeze and no nasty trapped finger accidents with small children) Your property might benefit from adding a skylight, or by knocking down some non-load bearing walls to open things up. Internal sliding doors mean that you can open everything up when you need to, or hide that home office/study or additional bedroom when you need to. 
  10. Flooring. Last but not least, an effective renovation is to upgrade or update your flooring. Timber floors are always a winner and there are some great options for floating floorboards or the laying of solid timber floors which double up as good insulation. Polished concrete is also popular and offers fantastic underfloor heating options. Have existing floors sanded or polished. Whatever you do it’s a great investment because beautiful floors ups the standard of your interior and therefore the likelihood that someone is going to fall in love with your home, and pay plenty of money for it.


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