Adding Value To Property With Smart Renovations

9 Minute Read. 

Adding value to your property is one of the best ways to make the most of an investment. You’ve spent years looking after your property. But there are still plenty of ways to add value aside from good maintenance. To make the most of your property, we’ll break down some hot tips on buying a property that you can add value to, it’s often a lot simpler than you would expect.  

We are recommending renovations for a number of reasons. Building is a great way to increase your capital growth, achieve higher rental yields and shorten time on the market when leasing or selling. Some of these building improvements require a lot of skill, time and money. Other options can be completed by property owners that love to give things a go with a DIY approach.

One of the most important motivating factors with any renovation is profit. When you’re deciding on what to do for renovations, ask yourself this question; Do the initial costs justify the end result of the renovation? One of the best ways to answer this question is by determining whether you’re adding more value to your property than you’re spending.

Adding Value To Property With Smart Renovations

A perfect example:

A property owner can do their own landscaping for a few thousand dollars over a few weekends. This would be a basic garden design with established garden beds. Through this process, the yard has been decluttered and given a fresh new look. This is a great way to improve the houses first impression as visitors come to inspect it.

The alternative would be to get a landscaper in to do all the gardening for you. This may only take a single weekend to complete. Seeing as it’s a professional doing the job, you can expect they would end up creating better results. The total cost for a professional to carry out this work could add up to a whopping ten thousand dollars.

In this example, light landscaping in this suburb only really adds $5000 of value to the home, so it’s clear as to which of the two projects is a winner. Consider this same approach for a number of other renovating jobs. Another great example could be painting a wall or decking. Why pay a professional thousands of dollars when you can do it yourself for less than a thousand?

Listen to our podcast on value added renovations. 

How do your work out how much value you are adding? 

To discover the real value of a renovation there are calculations you can do. A cost analysis is a perfect example. With a cost analysis, you go through a process of comparing sales of properties in the local area. At the same time, you also need to make sure you’re comparing properties that have had similar works completed against properties without the renovation. Just make sure you are comparing apples with apples: land size, property size and age of the home.

For example, you could be comparing a house that has a newly renovated kitchen against one that didn’t. You could also be comparing a house that’s had a carport added to the driveway. This is a popular option for houses that don’t have the luxury of a garage. A great tool every real estate agent uses is RP Data. By paying a small fee you can find suburb reports which have years of comparable sales. 

An easier option is speaking with a local buyer’s agent. Your local buyer’s agent is a professional property buyer. They have access to years of property sale data at their fingertips. A buyer’s agent is one professional you can rely on for this valuable data. They can give you an idea of what value renovation can add to a property. So before you approach a buyer’s agent, come up with a list of potential renovations you’re considering.

  1. Granny flat or Adding a Unit.

When you have a large block of land it opens up so many possibilities for renovations. There are so many extra features you can add such as a spacious garage, rumpus room, storage shed or outdoor entertainment area. One of the best ways to add extra value is with additional accommodation. If you have space in your backyard with side access to the street, adding a granny flat or a new unit can add hundreds of thousands of dollars of equity to your property.

Many investors use this strategy of adding extra accommodation in order to positively gear their investments. By renting out an extra unit on your land you can double your rental yields and reduce your debt when selling one of the properties. This type of project can take a few years to complete and can cost up to a couple hundred thousand dollars. But in the long run, the profit can be far greater than the money spent. So it is wise to do a thorough cost analysis for a project like this before you break ground and start building.

Another issue to consider with a renovation like this is cost blowout. You may have to spend thousands on getting council approval and multiple drafts for the building plans. There’s also chances of the building project taking longer than expected which can generate additional costs. 


  1. Extend a garage or carport to make it a double or triple car space.

Many properties have the ability to extend the width of car space to cater for an extra car park. This may not seem obvious to prospective buyers. As soon as you renovate a driveway and extend it, your property instantly becomes more appealing to couples and families who need the extra driveway space for multiple cars. Adding a carport can also add value to your property. 

Carports provide that extra layer of comfort and shelter that most new homeowners are after. No one wants to get drenched in the rain every time they pull into their driveway. They want a covered path all the way to the front door. Renovations for driveways and carports are generally cost-effective. These renovations can set you back about $5000 to $8000 but they have a great ability to add more value than the cost of implementation.  

 If you want to build an enclosed garage the whole process can get a little more complicated. Building an enclosed garage requires plans and a planning permit. A building of this nature also requires more tradespeople. Think about the professionals you would need such as a Carpenter, Concreter, Bricklayer, Draftsperson and Electrician.  This is another building that can potentially become a cost blowout. Investigate all the costs involved in building a garage before you fully commit to it.


  1. Paint everything, interior and exterior.

From all the renovations we mention here, painting gives you the best bang for your buck. It makes your house smell fresh and feel new, it covers up any movement cracks and potential years of neglect. Did you know most of your exterior can be painted transforming the whole look of your home? Your roof, gutters, eaves, window frames, doors and even your garage door can scrub up like new with a good paint job.

Another advantage of painting is that it can be a DIY job. You don’t necessarily need to call in a professional. Unless the paint job is something that’s really challenging and potentially dangerous like painting the roof tiles. When you choose to do all the painting yourself you can save thousands of dollars that you would have spent on a professional. Just be wary of the amount of time it will take to do it yourself. A professional may be able to take care of the painting in one day. An amateur could take multiple weekends to do the same job.

  1. Basic landscaping.

First impressions matter when it comes to property. When you’re selling or leasing, property buyers and tenants only spend approximately 10-15 minutes in your home before making a purchasing decision. A good garden with plenty of greenery can really make visitors feel comfortable immediately, giving them a good impression. It’s also worth noting that it’s the landscaping that’s heavily featured in the first display photo for your house in an online listing. This further contributes to your home’s first impression and helps it stand out among hundreds of other houses online.

The great part of landscaping is that it can be quite cost-effective if you’re wise about what works needs to be done. You can get a great result for less than $1000. Consider focusing on the following items. 

  • Focus on cutting back anything that looks messy,
  • Mulch looks and smells great and is restively inexpensive.
  • Make things stand out with rocks and timber borders.
  • New trees are usually the most expensive part of landscaping, try save money on smaller trees or make a central feature out of a larger tree.


  1. Neutral Styling

    Neutral stylingIf you are selling your home or leasing it, buyers and tenants alike want to picture their furniture in your home. This is an advanced stage of making a purchasing decision. So make sure you don’t have anything too loud in your property’s styling to distract them. For instance: ultra-bright walls or room colour, big bold furniture, personal photos or bulky items like sporting memorabilia.


Neutral styling will make sure your property appeals to the masses ­– the secret key to any good leasing or selling campaign. Neutral styling is also a great way to make your property look more timeless. Certain colour schemes and furniture pieces can make your house look like it’s in a time warp. There are always going to be colours and furniture styles that are synonymous with certain decades.


  1. Open up the floor plan.

Homes built pre-nineteen nineties usually don’t have open plan areas. Open plan is the elimination of barriers such as walls and doors that traditionally separated distinct functional areas. You can usually combine the kitchen, living room, and dining room into a single great room quite easily. This can be done by knocking down walls to create that big open space that will instantly modernise your property. But before you do anything drastic, it’s wise to consult a building inspector.

Knocking down any walls can be a major safety hazard. Building inspectors can tell you which walls are load-bearing. They can also point out which walls can come out and which ones need to stay in. Load-bearing walls support your roof trusses, and removing them will compromise the engineered structure of your roof and could cause serious problems. Usually, this type of project is cost-effective and has great results. When your property looks more modern it shows a high level of care and maintenance you’ve put into it.


  1. De-clutter.

This one can sneak up on you when you have lived in a property for a number of years.

So, how do you effectively declutter? Reference for-sale properties in your area, see what their online pictures look like, what the property sellers have on their bench spaces and in the corners of the home. This will give you a few ideas on how to make your property presentable.

De-cluttering is the removal of any unnecessary items so that the property doesn’t look over crowded.  It’s the first step in adding value to your home, if tenants and property buyers cannot see what your house looks like, it will increase the time spent on the market.

Trades involved: DIY.


  1. Improve Lighting.

Architects are taught to design properties with sunlight in mind. Home decorators and stylists also pay close attention to the way lighting affects the appearance of a house. Natural light is linked to a person’s mood and the energy a property gives off. So it’s important to maximise the way light moves around your property. Think of using light as a way to enhance features of your home that would often be overlooked. 


Getting more light into your property could be as simple as minimising window coverings. Installing skylights into your roof is another great way to harness natural light. Skylights can help bring open space areas like kitchens and living rooms to life. Best of all they can help homeowners save on electricity. Another clever trick for lighting up a room is using mirrors. Mirrors can act as reflective surfaces to help spread more light around a room. 

  1. New floor coverings.

Some older homes have timber floors running through the property that is hidden by carpet. By removing the old floor coverings, you can achieve that new floor look with a simple sand and gloss for as little as $1000 for a small home. Just keep in mind that the whole sanding and polishing process is best left to the professionals. Doing this whole process yourself can be extremely time consuming and costly because of the equipment and materials needed. 

An old carpet that’s full of dust, dirt and scratches can be an instant turn off for prospective buyers. Changing carpets is another cost-effective way to really give your home that sharp look. Even when an old carpet has been well maintained, it can still be a turn off for your property. Old colours that are no longer in fashion can make a property look very outdated. But how do you decide what type of carpet to get? We recommend you choose carpet based on how long you’re willing to keep the house for. Let this factor determine the cost and the quality of the carpet you go for. 


  1. New window coverings.

A simple upgrade of window coverings can help you tick a few renovation boxes. There are window coverings you can use to let more light into your house. Some minimalist designs for window coverings can help to make your home look less cluttered. Last but not least, window coverings can also help to improve the outside of your house. This is extremely important considering that windows are part of your property’s first impression to potential home buyers. 

A basic window covering can be relatively inexpensive and really change the look and feel of your home’s interior and exterior. Some window coverings are designed so well that anyone can install them. But if you’re still not feeling confident you can definitely call in a professional handyman to install them for you.

Final thoughts

A tasteful renovation can transform your property, increase your bottom line and give you a great story to tell. Many experienced renovators say it’s wise to keep things simple. Instead of doing a massive renovation all at once, try and break it up into phases. For example, you could focus on the floors, then move onto lighting, then fix up the front yard last. By approaching things in steps you can make sure your have enough in the budget to move onto the next thing.

Don’t be afraid to spend plenty of time planning out your renovations. Ask as many questions as you need to. The information you get from all this questioning will help instil confidence in your final decisions on renovations. Last but not least, always try and have some spare money set aside in case things do end up going over budget. There’s nothing worse than ordering a renovation only to fall short financially before the job is complete. Don’t be afraid to set aside an extra 25-50% of the renovation cost so you can be more prepared. 

If you have any questions about renovating a property to maximise a sale price, speak to one of our property experts today. With years of experience in the real estate industry, we understand what some of the most effective methods are for increasing a property’s value. We can review your property and advise on some of the most cost effective ways to renovate your property.

You can book a complimentary, no-obligation strategy session to discuss your situation by filling in our appointment form.

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