If you’re renovating to make a profit, don’t spend a cent more than you absolutely need to. Cherie Barber shares her expert tips to add value to any property.
If you’re renovating to make a profit, there’s something I always stress: don’t spend a cent more than you absolutely need to. Retain and recycle what you can; spend the minimum to get the maximum; and don’t splurge on flash fixtures and fittings when you can shop around and find smart alternatives for a fraction of the cost.
Here are five easy ways to add value to any property:
1. Break out the paint brush
It’s the cheapest, easiest and most effective way to instantly transform a property. If money’s tight, you can do it yourself. Inside, choose neutral colours that will lighten, brighten and appeal to most buyers. Choose a glistening off-white for all the woodwork. There’s simply no other improvement you can make to a property that will deliver the kind of easy return that a tasteful paint job does.
2. Add an extra room
Any agent will tell you: adding a room, adds value. But be sensible about it. If you have to turn the living area into a shoe box to steal space for a new room, then the value add is questionable. However, some properties have a spare dining room, sunroom or other redundant space that can quite easily be converted into a bedroom. It may just require a false wall and door. Have a good study of your layout, and see if you can do a clever rework to extract an extra bedroom somewhere.
3. Let in the light
Nothing is more off-putting than a gloomy interior. So look for ways to bring in the light. Is there is a big, unruly bush outside the living room that’s hogging all the sunlight? Can u replace heavy old curtains with some modern micro-venetian blinds? Can you add a skytube or skylight to a dark kitchen, hallway or bathroom to flood it with light? Check with your local council, but often you don’t planning permission for these. Can you buy an entry door with frosted glass panels that let the light in? Capitalise on every way possible to bring in natural light.
4. Polish the floorboards
This is another easy one. You may have daggy carpets covering beautiful hardwood timber floors. In which case, rip up the carpets and have your floorboards polished. It’s a timeless look that will never date. It hasn’t for the last few hundred years, anyway. If you are in an apartment block, be sure to run your intentions past the strata committee first, as bare floorboards are not permitted in some blocks due to noise issues.
5. Add a deck
This is something you can often do without the need for council approval, but always check first. You can add a deck in a weekend and instantly create an outdoor room. Big hardware stores like Bunnings make the job very straightforward these days. Often, a deck turns dead outdoor space into a really user-friendly area. And let’s face it, Aussies love the outdoors.
Cherie's final Renovating for Profit workshop for 2014 is in Sydney November 20, 21, 22. Click here for details.