The words home renovation may seem daunting, but changing the look and feel of your home does not have to be expensive, or require an expansive restructure. Sure, adding new bedrooms, new kitchens and new bathrooms will often help increase your house’s value, but it’s amazing what some heavy-duty cleaner and elbow grease will do.
Cost-effective home renovations are also quick fixes, not a gut and replace.
Five design styles for home renovation inspiration:
|Open plan living room and kitchen||Contemporary style with flow-on rooms and wide space|
|Home garden entertaining space||Patio entertaining area with elegant dining set-up|
|Man cave||A space for the Kiwi bloke to call his own (sorry ladies)|
|Clean and opulent||Uncluttered entrance with opulent touches|
|Quirky and full of character||Unique touches to give your home an individual feel|
Check regulations before starting home renovations
The small-scale home renovations we are talking about here won’t tend to require any building consents. But, if you are planning something a bit more extensive, it pays to check the New Zealand Government guidelines around home renovations.
For example, fences over two metres high, and putting in a swimming pool or spa pool require building consent.
On the other hand, general repairs and maintenance, closing in an existing veranda or patio or building a deck at ground level will generally not require building consent.
These are also things to keep in mind if you are doing up your home to sell it. Making your home more visually attractive is a great idea, just check you are dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s.
Show bathrooms, kitchens some love before house valuation
If you are planning on splashing out a bit on your home renovations, you should start with your bathrooms and kitchens, according to Realestate.co.nz.
“Prospective buyers know they’re going to spend a lot of time of the kitchen of any house that they buy. A tidy, modern looking kitchen can seriously improve the value of a home; when it comes to updating there are two options: replace or recover.
“The state of your current kitchen, budget and end goal will determine which is the right option for you. Whether you’re looking to replace or recover, your key targets are benches, cabinets, drawer fronts, skirting; handles, whether door, drawer or cabinet, are noticed more than most people realise and new or cleaned handles can make a big difference at little cost,” Realestate.co.nz states.
They also suggest adding splashback glass for a modern feel.
Modernising and tidying up bathrooms will also give you a headstart in increasing the value of your home.
“A bathroom that looks old will instantly date the entire property in the minds of prospective buyers. Updating your bathroom needn’t be expensive or difficult; simply replacing the fixtures like cabinet fronts and faucets, as well as the lighting, can quickly modernise the entire room. Replacing stained grout will undoubtedly modernise the room. For those with the know-how, a DIY refit of the bathroom can be very cost effective,” the website states.
Here are some top tips for boosting your house valuation odds:
- Cleaning. Keeping your house clean will extend the life of everything from the kitchen to the exterior paintwork. In the kitchen and bathroom wipe up spills before they sink into the MDF and make it swell. Keep that ceiling free of fly spots – or deter the little blighters in the first place with an automatic insect spray dispenser.
- A lick of paint. There’s nothing better for a slightly tired home than a new lick of paint. It costs money, but with the right choice of colours it can modernise the house almost instantly.
- Create outdoor living. Your home will be much more appealing to buyers if there’s a comfortable area to sit outside. You might want to pave an area and add some sort of covering such as a shade cloth, pergola, or waterproof awning. If you can afford it, build a deck. Fire pits are the in thing right now, in part thanks to TV programmes such as The Block. “Built in pizza oven” is another great selling point. Just ask real estate agents.
- Create more rooms. If you can turn a three bedroom home into a four bedroom one by keeping the same footprint but enclosing spaces or moving walls, then you’ll almost always add value. Make sure, however, that you have council consent.
- Repair, repair, repair. Repair those windows that don’t open and close, the cracking paint on the deck, leaking pipe that will eventually rot the floor.
- Declutter. By getting rid of clutter you can make your home look 10% bigger. Do you have an old-style TV hanging around even though the analogue was switched off last year? Or just masses of books that you’re never going to read? Get rid of them and the unneeded bookshelves. While you’re at it, why not review your clothes that you haven’t worn for a decade and donate them to charity – it’s a win win!
- Simplify your garden. Is your garden overgrown? Simply removing carefully chosen plants and pruning the rest will make a huge difference. So will choosing some “trendy” plants from the local garden centre.
- Create a man cave. If ever there was a modern selling point for a home it’s the “man cave”. Turn that damp draughty garage into something that a man would aspire to spend many an hour tinkering in.
Finally, if you’re going to do major work, find out what it’s really going to cost and speak to a real estate agent about whether it’s worth it. The home renovation shows you have been watching might have you throwing your budget out the window – and throwing out windows – unnecessarily.