Top 5 Renovations That Will Add Value to Your Home

You can drive up the value of your home through minor renovations, or spend more to give it a real facelift.

The returns on home improvements can be in the vicinity of tens of thousands of dollars, except you need to be careful not to overcapitalise.

A swimming pool, for example, may cost you around $50,000 to build. If this only adds that same amount to the value of your home, this is not a worthwhile investment.

If you want a pool for your own enjoyment, go for it, but depending on your property value and your local area, it’s likely not to be a priority in your renovation budget.

On the other hand, a fresh coat of paint internally or externally and done (neatly) by you might only set you back $1,000, yet could add $10,000 – $20,000 to the value of your property.

A key point to remember is that visible renovations add more value to a property than invisible ones. If you rewire the house at great expense, it won’t necessarily add value. Buyers can’t see it, and they also expect the house to be wired safely as standard.

Renovating for capital gain means doing something that puts your place above the competition and has a bit of “wow” factor. Here’s a list of the five most profitable renovations you can make to increase your sale price.

1. Kitchen

A modern kitchen can add $50-60,000 to the value of your home, but they can also be costly, so be careful not to spend more than you will make back. You can purchase fantastic flat-packed kitchens for a few thousand dollars and assemble them yourself.

Also, consider visiting discount retailers to hopefully pick up a bargain on premium quality appliances. In demand features include butler’s pantries, island benches and open-plan kitchen/dining spaces. However, before knocking down any walls, double-check with a professional that it’s safe.

2. Bathroom

Like the kitchen, this can be quite an expensive exercise, but often worth it given buyers seek a modern kitchen and bathroom before most other features. Re-tiling and re-flooring can be a considerable expense, as can rearranging the room. To keep costs a bit lower, try to utilise existing plumbing outlets, rather than have them moved. If you can’t afford the full renovation, at least aim to re-grout the tiles to get rid of unsightly mould, and change tap, toilet and shower fittings to make it more contemporary.

Repainting existing tiles is another cost-effective way of sprucing your bathroom. If you only have one bathroom, consider adding another toilet in the laundry as buyers like the option of more than one. Remember, for any plumbing work, you must engage a plumber.

3. Re-painting inside or outside

Even if you get the professionals in, you can almost certainly make more back than you spent (except perhaps with weatherboard homes). An excellent paint job inside and out can add around $20,000 to your sale price. The average cost to paint a house is $20-$30 per square metre according to HiPages, with a two bedroom unit costing around $2,500 – $3,000 to paint. The exterior of a two-storey house is between $5,000 and $8,000 (with prices between $10,000 to $20,000 if it is weatherboard).

4. Outdoor Area

A relaxed bunch, Australians like to take in the best of our mild climate and spend plenty of time outside. An inviting outdoor area that is similarly low-maintenance is a coveted addition to any home. Inclusions can range from a deck and barbecue area, a pergola, fire-pit and of course some space for kids to keep themselves entertained. Think about what sort of buyers you are targeting and create the right garden to appeal to the market.

5. Granny Flat or Shed

Depending on your location, many local government areas (LGAs) now allow you to build a granny flat without planning permission, which is attractive to buyers who may like an additional income stream or who may have elderly or teen relatives needing their space and privacy. These, of course, can be quite costly, so do your research to make sure you will see the financial return when you sell. If not a granny flat, buyers love a great man-cave or “she-shed” and garage, so if your budget allows consider erecting a versatile detached building or shed. For any additional works of this nature, be sure to check with your local council about what’s permitted in your area.