Whether you’re thinking of selling up or your home is overdue a much-needed facelift, renovations are a great way to spruce up your property while adding value to it in the process.

Many shy away from renovations because of the prospect of high costs. However, it’s often the smaller, overlooked and less expensive jobs that add the most value to your home.

So before putting hammer to nail, check out our list of renovation ideas:

1. Insulation

This one may seem obvious, but if you currently live in a property without insulation, you’d have definitely felt the winter bite this year. Insulation can make all the difference between extreme temperatures and being comfortable, and for prospective new homeowners, insulation is a no-brainer.

A recent study by the Australian Government revealed that insulated homes were not only drier and warmer throughout the year, but also saw a significant improvement in the health of adults and children.

So even if you’re not considering selling right now, insulating your home should be a top priority. Not only will it reduce your energy bill, but it’ll also keep your home comfortable and healthy.

2. Update the small things

Another example of a low cost, high-value renovation project is replacing smaller ticket items like décor, door and cupboard handles and light fixtures.

It’s not only a really easy job to do, but a super affordable way to modernise your home, while also helping increase its eventual sale price.

If you do choose this as your next reno project, remember not to overspend on the latest and greatest handles/fixtures of the season. Spending more than the industry standard won’t increase your sale price any more than the ‘2017 handle of the year’, rather it’ll end up cutting into your potential profits.

3. Adding a deck

This project is a little more expensive, but outdoor spaces (especially heading into spring and summer) are beginning to become even more important and sought after by prospective homeowners.

Properties with decks tend to have better indoor/outdoor flow, which is a great selling point for properties on the market. They also provide the perfect spot for summer BBQ’s and entertainment – another key selling point for potential buyers!

The cost of undertaking this reno project varies on size as well as the bells and whistles you include (e.g. built-in seating, flower pots, etc.), however, according to domain.com.au, a typical deck starts at $1,500 and can reach $10,000 depending on the materials used.

If adding value to your home is a priority, then adding a spacious deck is a really good way to do so.

4. Kitchens sell homes

Although this project is on the expensive side, if you do have some savings to part with, then a kitchen remodel trumps all other projects.

Although bedrooms, living spaces and hallways are cheaper to renovate, it is the kitchen which will turn the heads of prospective buyers. One of NSW’s leading real estate agents Debbie Donnelley says “if you open up by taking a wall down, or make the living space more open-plan, to [allow] it look and feel bigger, you really add value… a kitchen can make or break a sale”.

After all, it’s by no mistake that kitchens almost always feature on ‘for sale’ signs and are often referred to as the ‘heart of a home’.

So with that in mind, make your way down to the local kitchen design store for inspiration, and start making that dream kitchen a reality.

Cost and time: This project is one of the more expensive ones, but the benefits typically outweigh the cost. When renovating a kitchen, expect it to take at least 30-days to complete, and cost (according to domain.com.au) between $10,000-50,000.

5. Update your street appeal

Unfortunately, unlike love, what’s on the outside does matter when it comes to your property.

Debbie Donnelley says “the facade is often the first thing buyers see – either in advertising or in a drive-by. That’s why improvements to it are among the biggest value-adds for your house.”

Even the best of homes will struggle to attract buyers without a well-presented street-front, Sarah Lorden from McGrath Real Estate agrees; “you don’t get a second chance at first impressions, tidying up exteriors; touching up paintwork, fixing fences, locks and window frames makes all the difference”.

So if you’re thinking of increasing your curb appeal, remember to check:

  • The maintenance of plants and landscapes, ensuring they’re pruned, trimmed and looking tidy.
  • The letterbox, and how rundown it looks. This is often overlooked, however, a modern letterbox can set the mood of an entire property.
  • Your front door and the colour of it – this may seem like a minor task, but a front door can make a home feel more like a home.
  • The windows and hinges, make sure these are all tidy and working.
  • The quality of the paint. The exterior paint on your home should be touched up and looking fresh.
  • Lawns are mowed, gutters are tidy and cleaned, and driveway/paving is water blasted.

Fortunately, the cost of creating curb appeal is low, with most tasks being achievable by yourself.

The sum up

Whatever your motivation, renovations (both big and small) can be a great way to add value to your home.

And don’t forget, it’s always best to shop around and talk to both builders and designers before undertaking any major renovation project on your property.

If you require any financial assistance, our expert team of mortgage brokers can seek out the sweetest loan for you and provide the best advice to get your renovations underway.