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Here are a few renovating tips from Patrick’s new book which has just been released – The Insider’s Guide to Renovating for Profit. To order a copy click here . Inside you’ll find more than 50 other renovating tips!
Renovate for quality, not price
It's one thing to do renovations cheaply. It's another to end up with a renovation that looks cheap. Cheap materials and shoddy "do it yourself" workmanship will actually devalue your property. If you can't afford to do a renovation properly then wait until you have more money or look for a more affordable project.
Make sure you always do a quality job whether you're doing the property up to sell for a profit or tidying it up to rent out. It really doesn't cost much extra or take much longer to do it right than to half do it. Half-done jobs have a habit of coming back to haunt you.
When you're getting quotes, remember, price isn't everything. You also have to consider quality. Make sure builders and tradespeople have the proper trade certifications and ask for references and photos of previously completed work. When it comes to materials, ask for advice from your tradies and get samples if necessary. Other renovators are also a good source of information.
Visit the showroom
These days it's easy to go window shopping on the internet and it's a good way to make a shortlist of the fittings, fixtures and finishes you want to use. However things often look different in the showroom than they do on the web. So, unless you have purchased this particular item before, I recommend you visit the store in person.
Sometimes you get there and the product's not what you thought. It doesn't have the same texture, pattern, or finish that you saw on the website. You might like a sample of tiles or carpet on the web but when you see a few square metres of it in one place, it can look quite different.
Tips for outside:
Create an outdoor entertaining area
The Australian climate really lends itself to outdoor living and entertaining. Outside living areas, such as courtyards, patios and decks are very popular. Putting in a defined barbecue area turns a courtyard or patio into an outdoor entertaining space. Just make sure it's close to the house so people don't have to far to go when they need things from inside.
A covered and shaded area lets you use the space all year round. A shade sail, retractable awning or cantilevered umbrella is a quick and easy solution. Or you could build a permanent structure such as a vine-covered pergola. If you use clear polycarbonate sheeting as a rain shield on a pergola, you can really dress it up by adding a layer of bamboo or reed screening underneath.
One of the strongest design trends over recent years is creating a connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces, so keep this in mind when you're designing the garden. Can you create a smooth transition from indoors to out? Opening up the back of a house with bi-fold doors to create an indoor-outdoor living space is a significant undertaking but it can pay big dividends.
Privacy is important and makes outdoor living areas even more valuable. You can keep out prying eyes with fast-growing hedging plants, reed or bamboo screens, or slatted timber screens. Screens are also great for hiding ugliness, such as the garbage bin area, pool filter, and neighbouring properties. They can also give tired fences a new lease of life.
Use outdoor lighting to enhance lifestyle
Lighting extends the time people can enjoy a home's outdoor areas, adding another dimension to gardens and entertaining areas. It also improves safety, making paths and steps easier to negotiate in the dark and lights workspaces around barbecues. It's relatively inexpensive to install and impresses potential tenants and buyers.
Tips for inside:
Replace kitchen splashbacks
You can add personality to the space above the base cabinets with a new splashback. Stainless steel splashbacks can be installed directly over existing tiles. This is done easily as it comes bonded to Villaboard (a durable, water resistant internal wall lining) which can be glued directly onto the tiles.
Replacing tiled splashbacks with colour backed toughened safety glass is very popular now. If the tiles have been laid on plasterboard, specialist installers save time and cost by cutting the plasterboard around the tiles, and removing the whole lot in one go. They then replace the plasterboard and install the glass splashback on top.
Install big mirrors
Large mirrors in the bathroom – even partial or full walls of mirror – make the space feel bigger, as well as making it easier to make yourself presentable in the morning. Because they reflect 100% of the light that falls on them they also make the bathroom brighter. In fact you can use this trick in any room that you want to feel bigger and brighter.
Patrick Bright’s Blog
Thoughts, findings and tips regarding the property market.