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Best Value Add Renovations

Best Value Add Renovations

By Sarah Lefebvre on Feb 18 2016
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How much does a new room add to your property

Adding Value One Room at a Time

We've had a look at some very specific renovations that can add value to your property when the time comes to sell, which can cut down on energy bills and improve the practicality of a home. But what about doing over an entire room? Obviously fixing up a kitchen is a completely different beast from making over the master bedroom, with different costs involved and different amounts added to your bottom line.

So without further delay, let's see what you should do to some of the key rooms in the home - and if it will put many extra zeroes on your sale price.

Keeping it in the Kitchen

Historically, a kitchen renovation is the go-to task to add value to your home. However, it's also one of the most expensive undertakings. According to 2015 Improvenet research, the average cost of a kitchen remodel is a little over $22,000 in Australian dollars. Given that the rule of thumb is you shouldn't spend more than 5 per cent of the value of your home on renovations, this should be within reach of many home owners.

Moreover, the work that needs doing will vary from home to home. For example, a basic IKEA kitchen setup for small areas can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, if you're replacing cabinet fronts and splashbacks. Budget full kitchen kits can also be found for less than $5,000.

But for a full do-over, you're looking at spending at least $10,000 - up to $25,000 for simple kitchens, and up to $75,000 for a true luxury do-over. This includes flooring, walls, countertops, sinks, plumbing, appliances - you name it, it's covered.

While this might seem extensive, if it's within your budget it can be very much worth it. According to finder.com.au, depending on your suburb, all costs can be recouped when you sell. Moreover, some vendors like IKEA provide guarantees that last up to 25 years, ensuring peace of mind that it will last.

Make sure it stays with the theme of the home though - an ultra-modern kitchen in an older cottage could ruin the home's aesthetic and put people off!

Bulking up the Bathroom

The same principles as the kitchen apply here - it can be done cheaply, but it depends on how much luxury you want to add. According to HGTV, it's possible to renovate a bathroom for $100 per square metre. For small areas that can mean less than $5,000 without heavy customisation.

Brian Johnson from Collaborative Design Architects also told HGTV that it's important to add a 30 per cent allowance to your budget, as sometimes things go awry, and costs can blow out. Adding a new toilet, bath or shower can make this an expensive task, numbering in the tens of thousands of dollars.

And as for returns? Gary Caulfield from Construction Cost Consultants told Westpac NZ that bathrooms can give you a return of up to $1.50 for every dollar spent on it. Gauge the suburb and likely buyers you will be getting - do they want luxury or practicality? Working this out with an agent and a professional remodeler can always be a good idea.

Adding a New Bedroom

Found yourself in the enviable position of having two lounges, or perhaps a basement or attic that could be converted into a new bedroom? You might just have hit a goldmine. Mr Caulfield also told Westpac that you can double your return when you turn a three bedroom home into a four bedroom one.

But what about the cost? In a 2010 Domain article, it was estimated that adding a 20 square metre bedroom would cost anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000. This will be significantly less if you already have space in your house - Graeme Bell from GDB architecture converted a loft into a room for a mere $10,000!

You're unlikely to get this cheap a renovation going unless you are an architect yourself, but it shows how it can be done on a small budget. Given the rising real estate prices in many of our cities, you could be in for significant profits too.

According to Real Estate Institute of Victoria figures, four bedroom homes in certain suburbs were the largest capital gains earners in Melbourne at the end of last year. Making your home join this category through renovation could be profitable indeed!

Don't Go Overboard

Crucially though, you have to keep a cool head. Engage professionals for quotes, and get a set budget from several different firms - if they vary wildly, you need to be careful you're not getting ripped off. On top of this, make it comfortable! If you don't enjoy using these rooms while you live there, how can you be sure potential buyers will?

So no garish colours or experimental designs - keep it beautiful and functional for solid value-adding.

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