Renovating Wisely

Oct 30, 2017 8:00:00 AM Share this:

When it comes to renovating, the result can significantly increase the value of your property if done well, but bear in mind renovations can also cost the most if not planned and completed carefully. 

Disruption Any renovation is a disruption, so before your bathroom and kitchen are ‘out of order’ have a Plan B for alternate locations to cook and shower.

Timing Whether getting in a professional builder to run the whole project or managing it yourself, be very clear on the timeline between facilities being out of order and back in working condition. That’s when Plan B comes into place.

Coordinate Kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms that require the most specialist expertise. Coordinating everyone to do their job at the right time in the right sequence is crucial to ensuring a half-finished room doesn’t languish for days, and even weeks. You will need plumbers, electricians, builders, cabinetmakers, painter, floor layers, to name a few. With many tradespeople so busy these days, if one is unable to complete their job as per the schedule, be ready to suddenly reschedule the others in the sequence.

Contingency Before your kitchen is out of order, ensure you will have a supply of water, with a microwave and kettle as your mainstays. Consider preparing and freezing a selection of meals in advance to simply defrost and microwave. Bathrooms are a little harder to cope with if they’re not working, so really think that through before pulling the place apart.

3 Money Savers

  1. There is a huge cost difference between flooring types. Make sure you understand not just the per metre cost, but installation costs which vary depending on type. The beauty of bathrooms is that you may even be able to find an off-cut at a huge price reduction. But be careful not to cut any corners as flooring takes a lot of wear and you want it to last, particularly in wet areas where children can create tidal waves at bath time.
  2. If you still like your kitchen layout, consider just replacing the bench top, modernising the taps and changing the cupboard/drawer handles when painting or refinishing your doors, drawers and fronts.
  3. While planning your bathroom and kitchen changes, think carefully about implications for plumbing. Using the same plumbing layout for taps and wastes can save a lot of money as your plumber will only be installing new fittings into existing pipes, rather than pulling up walls, floors, ceilings, pathways and lawns to lay completely new plumbing systems.


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Topics: Selling, Property Tips, Home Buyers, property focus, Renovations, Home Maintenance

Home maintenance reacts to economic climate

Aug 10, 2017 8:00:00 AM Share this:

There is no doubt the market is under pressure. Expendable income for consumers seem to be diminishing and the overall economic climate, interest rates and ratings agencies downgrades are filtering through to the man on the street.

Despite the doom and gloom outlook FNB’s latest property barometer on residential maintenance and downgrades explains that there is only a slight weakening levels of home maintenance and downgrades.

The FNB Estate Agent Survey has recorded a very mild weakening in agent perceptions of home maintenance and upgrades in the 2nd quarter of 2017, after a brief prior 2-quarter strengthening.

This is not surprising as recessionary conditions were imminently going to influence this sector of the market. As I’ve explained in the past investing in a home is a long term commitment but home maintenance is an area subject to short term economic fluctuations.

This weakening might reflect less on home investor confidence and more on retail price increases. Home-owners investing in upgrades on their home are to a large extent reliant on affordability. In our experience most home-owners know that upgrading their home will add value to the property and often a very good return on investment decision.

Yet, households are less likely to spend, as budgets are tightening during this economic cycle. What then happens is that any expenses seen as unnecessary over the short to medium term are not a priority, this sort of activity spills over to upgrades and maintenance.

It is difficult to predict what is going to happen over the next two quarters. There are a lot of variables influencing our macro- and micro economic conditions, and whilst consumer confidence continues to remain under pressure this cycles term is uncertain.

Statement by
Richard Gray

Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer

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Topics: DIY, Home Maintenance, climate