Thinking of selling your home? If you want the best return for your investment then you should be thinking about the ways in which you can improve your home’s value.
Simple renovations could increase your home’s value by a huge amount. But before you begin there are a few things to consider, from how you’ll finance the renovation to whether you intend on hiring contractors or doing the work yourself.
The basic rule for a simple home renovation is that it shouldn’t cost more than 10% of your home’s value. If you go over this limit then there’s a chance that the profit you make from selling won’t justify the amount you’ve spent on the renovation.
But what if you still don’t have the budget for it? Don’t stress, renovating your home to increase its value is more straightforward and simple than most people realise.
Here are 5 big and small, cost effective ways to increase the value of your home.
1. A good cleaning
This is a straightforward recovery option that will instantly add value to your home. Every home buyer judges a property by its appearance, so before you commit to any big renovations ensure you at least get this one part right. A good clean is also the best first step in assessing what parts of your home need to be upgraded.
Cleaning is a relatively cheap and easily DIY task if you’re looking to save some money. But if you do choose to take the DIY route, it can take up a lot of time and manpower (depending on the size of your home). So asking your friends and family for a hand might not be a bad idea.
Wipe, scrub, spray, sweep, vacuum, steam, and air as much of your home as you possibly can. Clean every nook and cranny from behind and underneath the dishwasher, as well as doors and door handles.
Not only will cleaning make you more organised for when you finally move, but you’ll also be able to check for any broken bits, water stains, missing grout, cracked floorboards, and old/worn fixtures. From there, you’ll identify whether any drastic changes need to be made. Are the kitchen tiles coming off? Is the kitchen bench warped and broken?
Cleaning will ultimately give you a fresh perspective on your home that you can use to further increase its value.
2. A neutral paint job
Whoever buys your home is going to repaint it whatever colour they want, but this shouldn’t deter you from spending some money on masking some of your home’s flaws or enhancing its assets with a fresh paint job.
This is considered a recovery option as you don’t need to worry about fixing the structure of your home. It’s important to remember, however, that you’re not painting to meet your own tastes. Instead you should be trying to make the space appeal to as many buyers as possible. Neutral colours and tones are therefore the best way to go.
Here is a quick snapshot of the basic costs of painting your home:
- Interior – $16-18 per square metre, including the ceiling, which cost more depending on its size.
- Exterior – Anywhere between $12-30 per square metre. The least expensive surface on which to paint is brick. Timber is also relatively cheap if in good condition, however if damaged you will have to spend extra on having it prepped and repaired prior to painting.
Painting the interior
Bunnings has a fantastic online tool called the Colour Planner that can help you decide which colour scheme works best for your home. Simply upload a photo of any room in your home using the software, and then explore your home’s potential by applying different colours to the walls and spaces until you find a colour you like. All you have to do then is head to Bunnings and pick up the paint!
The store also suggests using the 60-30-tell rule for interior spaces, which breaks down a room’s colour scheme into:
- 60% dominant colour,
- 30% secondary hue, and
- 10% accent colour.
Using this ratio you should be able to create a nicely balanced colour scheme for your home that won’t overpower or off-balance walls.
Painting the exterior
The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see, and so it’s crucial that you get the colour right. The same rule applies for the exterior as the interior in that neutral is always best. Unlike the interior of your home, however, there are additional factors that you need to consider when it comes to painting the outside. These include:
- Sunlight – This will make any paint on the exterior of your home look lighter than it is. It will also make the paint look different during different times of the day, e.g. brighter in the morning, and cooler during afternoon and night.
- Environment – Use your surroundings to inspire your colour palette. Look at the natural flora in your garden as well as the fencing and streetscape. A home that complements its surroundings will impress homebuyers over one that sticks out like a sore thumb.
- Architecture – The design of your home can be a helpful guide as to how you should paint the exterior. Use the unique detailing and features to your advantage to enhance your home’s appearance.
Exterior painting is considered a long-term investment as it isn’t just about making your home more appealing but also about protecting it from the elements and UV rays. So do your homework, as the right paint will not only last longer but will also keep your home cleaner by preventing mildew and mould from growing.
PRO TIP: If you’re thinking of doing some DIY paint, consider investing in or renting an industrial paint spray gun. Not only will this save you hours of labour, but it will also give you a fresh even surface that will give your home that extra lift that homebuyers are looking for.
3. A happy heart of your home
The kitchen is essential to every home. Prospective buyers know that they’ll be using this area of the home everyday, therefore it is one of the most important spaces to consider in terms of adding value. When it comes to the 10% rule, allocate 2% of this to your kitchen renovation budget. This will include labour, materials, and fixtures, so make sure you try and find the most cost effective ways to transform this space.
A great tactic for renovating a kitchen is to make it appear larger and more modern than it actually is. A modern design that is neutral and extremely functional, with good taps, storage space, and bench tops is a good basic foundation. But don’t overdo things; remember to keep the kitchen humble, especially as most buyers will be happy so long as everything is in good working condition and the place looks stylish and tidy.
Some things you may consider replacing in the kitchen include:
- Cabinetry – You can start off by simply replacing the handles on cabinets and drawers. Decoglaze has a fantastic range of cost-effective glass door inserts in a variety of modern colours and designs. These durable inserts can be installed over your current cabinets to create a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic that will instantly modernise the space.
- Lighting – Don’t let bad lighting in your kitchen distract potential homebuyers! If your existing lights are not giving the space adequate illumination, this could work against you. Buyers want to see a kitchen that will be hassle-free while cooking, and low lighting is certainly not going to make cooking any easier. Consider replacing old lighting with new LED lights that are energy efficient.
If your kitchen is missing these items, consider adding them to increase value:
- Splashback – To give your kitchen a truly sophisticated and modern feeling, adding a glass splashback will instantly increase the chances of you getting a good return on your investment. Here at DecoGlaze we have a variety of affordable splashbacks in different colours to suit all your kitchen needs. Durable and easy to clean, DecoGlaze™ Glass Splashbacks naturally reflect the light in your home to create a dynamic and fresh space that potential homebuyers will love.
- Lighting – Again, don’t let bad lighting let your kitchen down. If you identify that the space in your home isn’t getting enough light, consider adding additional lighting to brighten up the space and make it more functional. Lights can be installed in numerous places around the kitchen, including above the kitchen bench, in wall cabinets, over the range hood, or in the ceiling. So have a good think about which spots in your home need more lighting and which already have enough.
4. Modern bathroom
The bathroom is another fundamental space in your home that will instantly increase or decrease your home’s value. This space makes a big impression on potential buyers as it will be used everyday by at least one person. The bathroom’s value lies in its functionality, a bathroom with a shoddy toilet, leaky shower, or cracked tiles will rapidly diminish the value of your home.
When renovating or updating this space, use only up to 1.5% of the 10% renovation budget. Again, this will include labour, materials, and fixtures, so you need to be vigilant in finding the most cost effective ways to transform the space. Much like the kitchen, the best way to approach renovating this space is to make it appear larger and more modern than it is. But remember, all this space needs to be is functional and aesthetically appealing. Don’t overdo it by spending money on changes that don’t need to be made.
Some ideas on what to replace in the bathroom include:
- Tiles – The general rule for tiles is the lighter the tile the bigger your bathroom will appear. To get the most out of your bathroom it is recommended you choose a light coloured tile that is rectangular shaped or 300mm x 600mm or greater. But if you have your heart set on darker tiles, remember it will make your bathroom feel smaller and potential buyers may not want to feel like they are restricted or overwhelmed by the walls.
- Taps and showerheads – Modernise your bathroom by installing water efficient taps and showerheads to make it more environmentally friendly. Potential homebuyers will love the idea of saving money, and by simply installing a water efficient showerhead you’ll prevent them from losing $100-$150 annually on their water bill. In terms of taps, aerators are a cost effective solution and they are very easy to install, with many screwing or attaching to the end of the tap nozzle for easy removal.
Items that may be recovered include:
- Grout – Grout is easily replaced and at a reasonable price. It can be a DIY job if you are confident using a caulking gun. This quick fix instantly updates the space making it feel fresh and new. So at the very least, update any old, stained or discoloured grout in your bathroom before putting your home on the market.
If your bathroom is missing the following, consider adding them to increase value:
- Splashback – Here at DecoGlaze we have a variety of affordable splashbacks in different colours to suit all your kitchen and bathroom needs. Durable and easy to clean DecoGlaze™ Glass Splashbacks naturally reflect the light in your home to create a dynamic and fresh space that potential homebuyers will love.
- Glass walls – Here at DecoGlaze we also have a range of stunning Glass Bathroom Walls that are perfect for creating that sleek modern vibe that will make your property stand out to potential homebuyers. DecoGlaze glass can cover entire walls in your bathroom, from floor to ceiling, and can also be cut to provide holes for taps, shelves, showerheads, etc for a sophisticated seamless look.
The major benefits of installing DecoGlaze Bathroom Walls include:
- No more grout! And no more crevices for dirt to accumulate,
- Stronger and more uniform than tiles,
- Non-porous finish thus eliminating the need to scrub dirt or mould (simply wipe them clean),
- Available in any colour, shade, or pattern, and
- You can also use images!
Along with the façade of your home, the garden is one of the first things a homebuyer will assess when they see your property. Dead plants, unmown grass, and a lack of garden beds can be seen as an indicator of the potential upkeep of the home. And the more work it looks like it will need, the less likely someone will want to invest in it. Studies have shown that plant type, size and design sophistication around your home can increase perceived home value by 5 to 11%.
Landscaping is therefore a very effective way to increase your property’s value. It creates ambience and sets the tone of your property’s personality. Is your home an English cottage or a coastal abode? Let your home’s best features shine through by making it appear fresh and inviting. And the best part is you can do this all yourself!
Items you can replace in the garden include:
- Grass – A lush new lawn will make any home look good. The most cost effective grass for covering a large area is Kikuya.Compared to Buffalo grass, Kikuya is almost 50% cheaper at about $4.50 for every 100 square metres.
- Plants – Plant-out your property to disguise shortfalls like a lack of privacy from neighbouring homes or close proximity to busy roads. Plants can be effective barriers that give the illusion your home is more secluded than it really is. Depending on the plants you use, they also might grow to become effective sound barriers that absorb the sounds of traffic or people. If you want immediate results, most nurseries have a variety of mature plants on hand. It will cost more than buying seedlings or saplings, but the expense will be worth it if you want to put your home on the market soon.
Items you can recover include:
- Grass – If your lawn is looking brown, patchy, or worn, consider oversowing it with a lawn seed blend. This is a relatively cheap option that when done right will have your grass looking thick, green, and healthy in no time. However, if your grass is more unkempt than lifeless, edging and mowing your lawn will give your home the appearance of being low maintenance and fresh. Go for restrained and tamed by edging your lawn with a sharp spade or by using a physical barrier like timber sleepers, brick or stone.
- Trees, shrubs, and bushes – Another way to give your home the appearance of being low maintenance is pruning and trimming shrubs, bushes, and trees. A quick tidy up is a simple but effective solution to a messy outdoor space. But don’t over-trim plants as this will make your garden look bare and in desperate need of TLC which might be a turn-off for potential homebuyers.
If your garden doesn’t have the following, consider adding them to increase value:
- Yard lighting – Line pathways and driveways with lights so people coming home at night will be able to see. Outdoor entertainment spaces such as patios and BBQ areas should also have adequate lighting. Not only will lights give your garden a modern feel, it will also emphasise that your property is welcoming and relaxed.
- Trees – Research has found that a broadleaf tree in front of your home can increase the median property price of your home by almost $17,000. So think about adding a mature tree out of the front of your property for potential home buyers to admire when they come for an inspection.