The 10 best DIY renovation tips from the experts

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A recent survey by Mortgage Choice found that over 40% of homeowners plan to renovate their home to improve their quality of living.

“While renovations can potentially increase the value of a property, our survey results show that the purpose for many Americans is to improve their lifestyle by customizing their home to suit them,” says Belinda Williamson head of corporate affairs at Mortgage Choice.

The survey revealed that the outdoor entertaining area was among the top three most popular areas to renovate, followed by upgrading the kitchen and bathroom.

Property Observer has compiled a list of the top 10 renovating tips from the many experts.

TOP 10 RENOVATING TIPS

1. Chris Gray (Property Empire) Start by choosing the right property, making sure it is an unemotional investment, as opposed to an emotional home purchase.

Are you looking to buy, renovate and sell, or buy, renovate and hold? If you’re selling it’s imperative that there is an immediate and almost guaranteed profit in the deal. If you’re looking to hold, you need to buy the right property that will continue to grow strongly forever. The renovation profit in a hold strategy is more about icing on the cake, maximizing your rental return and ensuring you have minimal maintenance to do in the future.

2. Shaynna Blaze (Selling Houses Australia) Assess your lifestyle.

Before working out the design and layout of your home, the first thing for any renovators to ask themselves: how do I like to live? Is your lifestyle casual? Do you like to entertain? Do you hate cleaning or noise? These different lifestyles will not only affect how the layout is but also the surfaces and colors you end up choosing.

3. Nick Tobias (Tobias Partners Architecture) Research your architect.

Establish a shortlist of architects you feel are best equipped in terms of aesthetic and technical prowess. Spend time reviewing the work of different practices, including speaking to past clients. Remember to keep things simple, trends come and go.

4. Andrew Winter (Selling Houses Australia) Put your hard earned cash where it shows.

Make sure you put your hard earned cash where it shows. Quality kitchens and bathrooms will always add value to your home and a smart façade will make your house the envy of your neighbors.

5. Amanda Talbot (Stylist and author) 5% of the value of your house should be in your kitchen

Your kitchen needs a wow factor, including good storage; quality hardware, drawer runners and soft closing drawer mechanisms. 5% of the value of your house should be in the kitchen.

6. Cherie Barber (Renovating For Profit) 1% of the value of your house should be spent on your bathroom

Aim to spend between 1% to 1.5% of your current property value on your bathroom renovation. If your property is worth $400,000 you would spend around $4,000 renovating it.

Once you know your budget, allocate your money according to how immediately obvious each component is. If the vanity is the first thing you see when you come through the door, spend more money on a nice vanity, splashback, and mirror. Your bathroom is the second most important room in your house, besides your kitchen, in terms of adding real fiscal value.

7. Angus Kell (Archicentre) Go Green

Go Green and cash in on the latest change in buying behavior. Buyers can’t get enough of solar hot water, rainwater tanks, and drip-feed irrigation systems

8. Patrick Bright (EPS Property Search) Never avoid doing the work yourself to “save money”

A small budget means there is always a temptation to do some or all of the work yourself to save money but DIY renovations can easily backfire. If the quality of workmanship is substandard this will diminish your sale price, possibly eliminating any profit you might have made in much the same way as under-capitalising on a renovation.

9. Lisa Montgomery (Resi Mortgage Corporation) Landscaping is important

The indoor/outdoor room is now a popular part of the Australian lifestyle, so allow for a percentage of your overall budget to be spent on landscaping so you can complement the work you’ve carried out inside the house. Even if your budget is modest, basic greenery and clean, functional outside areas will only improve a property’s appeal.

10. Carolyn Burns-McCrave (House Rules, Burns-McCrave Design) Work from the inside out

A good floor plan is at the heart of a successful design and that each space should be tailored to the people who live there. Burns-McCrave says to work from the inside out; creating spaces that function and flow before thinking about colors and accessories.

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