Richard Whitten is a senior writer at Finder specialising in home loans and property.
Home renovations don’t have to cost tens of thousands of dollars.
While remodelling your entire kitchen or extending a room will run into the tens of thousands of dollars, there are cheaper ways to boost the value of your home.
A fresh coat of paint
Now I’m not saying that repainting your house is easy, but if you are looking to do it yourself, the materials are cheap (of course, your time and labour is another cost in itself).
A fresh coat of paint can really transform the look and appeal of a property without requiring extensive renovations. Choosing pleasing, neutral colours is also likely to boost appeal and add value.
Fix the little things
A series of small, cheap repairs can go a long way to making your home more valuable. Seal up small, visible cracks in walls and fences, remove cobwebs and dust, tighten up leaky taps and fix any loose cupboard doors
Even just a quick spot of WD-40 on a squeaky hinge or door handle can make a difference. And a few of those small improvements start to add up.
Rather than committing to a complete kitchen makeover, update small things like cupboard doors and drawers. Even just swapping out old handles with newer, nicer ones will give your kitchen or bathroom a new look.
Similarly, putting in modern lights or new taps and towel racks creates a serious boost in visual appeal. You could go a little bit further and combine this with a repaint and adding tiled splashbacks. Suddenly, you have a much nicer kitchen at a relatively low cost.
A little DIY can go a long way
You don’t have to be particularly handy to do small projects around the house yourself. I’m not much of a handyman, but when I moved to a new place recently, I found a few things that I could do myself.
For example, our laundry has benchtops made of cheap pine wood. These benches were stained and incredibly splintery to the touch.
For the very small cost of some fine-grit sandpaper and a can of wood oil, I now have some beautifully smooth benches that look great.
Spruce up your garden space
If you have a garden, then you have many affordable ways to boost your home’s appeal. If your lawn has bare patches, consider seeding it to green it up or give it a bit of extra attention. Trim your hedges and put in some new plants.
I recently pulled out a row of lavender plants in my back garden that were really struggling (it wasn’t a good spot for them). Just pulling them out made the garden look better. But replacing them with a few shrubs from Bunnings really took it to the next level. And it cost me very little.
If you want to add substantial value to your home, you probably want to consider bigger renovations. But even here, you have to be careful. Just because you spend $10,000 on a home renovation doesn’t automatically mean you’ve added $10,000 in value to your home.
You want to focus on renovations that genuinely improve the liveability of your home and that appeal to buyers. Sometimes sticking to the small stuff is all you really need.