Create your best home when you renovate

March 26, 2019
by Hannah Carney

When it comes to renovating our properties, are we investing in the right places or letting our enthusiasm carry us away?

It can be easy to lose sight of the key renovation goals.

Especially if we get side-tracked by Pinterest Inspiration Boards or quirky, on-trend furnishings. It’s important to also think in terms of improving liveability in our home, plus improvements that rate with buyers and add value to the property.

At Schwarz, we have some insight into what works and what doesn’t…

First of all, where should you concentrate your renovation efforts?

This can depend on the type of property you own. For example, in apartments, starting with the kitchen is more important than the bathroom. A kitchen is an important day to day focal point in a home and renovating this space improves the liveability of your property.

In houses, a good floor plan is what makes the difference. That’s because how you enjoy your home relies on the flow between spaces. It also influences future potential buyers.

Do buyers look for what you see in your property though?

You might want to add your own individual flair to it. Whilst it’s important that we enjoy our homes, remember that if you decide to sell, quirkiness can backfire if left untouched. We have seen all-red kitchen and all-black bathroom renovations undermine a sale and reduce the value of property by thousands.

Our advice: when you renovate kitchens and bathrooms, keep the colour scheme neutral. It’s easier to add a dash of colour with accessories – especially as these can easily be changed to your taste.

We have also seen owners of two or three bedroom apartments who don’t like baths, rip them out – only to find, when they want to sell, that they’ve reduced the pool of people willing to buy and/or the price they’re willing to pay weighed against reinstating that bath.

What can you afford?

Another pitfall to look out for is letting your ambition outrun your budget. Renovating on a shoestring looks easy on TV. Remember though that sloppy workmanship can devalue a property, especially when corners are visibly cut. Bad paint jobs, poorly laid tiling or a poorly installed kitchen are all examples we have seen. So, think twice before trying to save money with misguided DIY projects.

We’ve talked about liveability. So, what does that mean?

Essentially, it deals with how you live in your home and its surrounding environment, as well as how your property interacts with the environment.

Achieving liveability could mean making small adjustments or additions, or it can entail a review of your entire home. Liveability features we like to see include the switch to led lighting, the use of cross ventilation, and the addition of insulation, efficient heating, cooling and hot water services.

Improving energy efficiency in a home not only appeals to buyers with an eye to saving money and caring for the environment – it also improves the comfort levels and aesthetics of your home. A home that incorporates the principles of liveability is one with appeal that will last beyond the now.

Our advice boils down to this: renovate to live, but with an eye to the future.

And when you do decide to sell, look around your home and think objectively about the features buyers may look at critically.

If you’re still not sure, get in touch with the Schwarz team. We have plenty of experience – and specific Liveability training – that can tell you what works and what doesn’t when it comes to presenting your property for sale.