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

Are your renovations influencing your property's value?

Jul 31, 2017 8:00:00 AM Share this:

The smallest of changes can mean the world of difference. You'll be surprised to see what a fresh coat of paint, landscaped garden or a few technological additions like an automated gate or solar geyser can make.

Many homeowners buy with the intention of renovating or upgrading their property. Whilst there are various upgrades that can make a significant difference to the value of your property certain changes can detract from the property's overall aesthetic and value.

There are an array of factors that assist the home owner in making the right choice and that need to be taken into consideration before planned renovations are put into action.

As a general rule it is always a good idea to consult several reputable renovations companies in your area with contactable references and a portfolio of their body of work to consult from the start. Equally, gauge their willingness to provide advice, insight and eagerness to participate in the project as a influencing factor too.

With a consultant providing advice you are then able to equate your budget with your desires.

Secondly, know that not all homes are built for additional rooms and structures, so be sure to identify the alternatives to explore space in ways that can add value whilst staying within your budget range.

Another factor that plays a part is establishing your long term aspirations for the home. Although it is very often difficult to predict your priorities over a twenty year period, knowing whether you want to create a family nest or an investment property with a high return over the medium term can play a major role in the type of renovations you want to make.

For example; if you're looking for comfortability, more space or an environment that is aimed at accommodating a growing family, adding value could take a backseat over needs. However, making a few small changes to that plan can incorporate both your needs and simultaneously improve the value of the home.

Overall, there are many factors to take into account, but equip yourself with the knowledge and research to make an informed decision.

Richard Gray
Harcourts South Africa CEO

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Topics: Renovations, property value

Things to consider before building a granny cottage

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

If you have an empty space in the backyard just right for a granny flat or self-contained dwelling, it might be the perfect way to add some extra rental income or provide for a growing family. Here is a list of things to consider before you start building.

Will it pay off?
Depending on the size and set-up of your proposed structure, a small flat could cost R500,000 or more to build, so it’s important to do your homework on how much you can expect to charge for rent and whether that will cover your costs.

If the sums add up, granny flats can be great long-term investments, and may add considerable value to your property when it comes time to sell as both owner-occupiers and investors will see the potential for extra revenue.

Do you need consent?
If your planned granny cottage will have a kitchenette and bathroom, you will most likely need both building and resource consent from your local council, so make sure you check out the rules and get your applications in before picking out the paint colours.

Will it stand the test of time?
It is important to make sure any building is properly consented, and also that you use quality materials and reputable tradespeople so you don’t end up with unexpected costs or problems in the future. This is also essential if you plan to sell the property as buyers will want to be sure the extra dwelling is safe, secure and well built.

Who will live there?
If you are planning to rent the second dwelling out on the open market, make sure you have thought through the logistics of having your tenants living (almost literally) on your doorstep. It will likely make it very important to choose the right people, and may mean you want longer leases to prevent high turnover. You will also need to consider things such as privacy, parking, visitors coming and going, and responsibility for maintenance of any shared spaces.

The same considerations might need to be made if family members will live in the flat, but being able to offer teenagers or elderly parents their own independent space so close to home can be a practical and positive option for many Kiwi families.

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Topics: Renovations, home renovation

What’s the long range colour

Feb 2, 2017 6:38:13 PM Share this:

New season's fashion isn't just for your wardrobe. The team at Resene take a look at what colours fashionable homes will be wearing over spring and summer.

Think shimmer and glitz, white with black accents, unexpected colour combinations and iridescent as well as toned-down hues. Luxe metallic finishes, whites with charcoals and earthy greys, dusky tones, and exuberant pops of bright colour are all on trend for the coming months.

While it may seem like only yesterday we were celebrating the new year, colour forecasters are already predicting our palettes for 2017 and 2018. Dress your walls with earthy hues or dusky tones and you’ll be right on trend. Dusky pinks are here now (think Resene Ebb), but we’ll also see a rise in popularity of dusky blues and greens such as Resene Duck Egg Blue.

Colours like Resene Secrets are bang on with the trend for cool Nordic landscapes, where icy colours come to the fore. And the Scandinavian look is here to stay, with a continuing trend towards whites and off-whites, with earthy tones.

Darker stains are giving way to more natural, lighter stains, like Resene Woodsman Natural, and lighter rimu colours.

Wallpapers are becoming more adventurous, providing a lush, stylish backdrop along with a playful ambience. Glamorous, shiny wallpapers are also on trend, with metallic finishes and a hint of shimmer.

Want more intensity? Pops of colour remain strong, including vibrant jewel tones, like teal blue.

 We’re also seeing an increase in colour blocking, a design technique that uses blocks of colour, either in similar shades or opposites, together.

“It’s a great way to introduce colour,” says Deanna Hills, Resene Colour Specialist, “especially if you’ve got a square room. You might colour block half a wall, and it could look like a headboard. Or you could colour block random areas and nooks, or start from the ceiling and go diagonally down to the floor.”

 Stairwells are often colour blocked, with the bottom half painted charcoal, for example, and the top half painted white.

“Colour blocking is really fun,” says Deanna. “It makes something of a space.”

 Another continuing trend is brightly coloured front doors.

 “People are really opening up to having a bit more personality,” says Deanna, “and coloured front doors are a big trend. I’ve done a couple of reds, like Resene Red Berry, as well as Resene Wild Thing, which is yellow – a charcoal house with a yellow front door.”

 From wake-up shades of teal and red to cool icy blues and dusky pinks, and smatterings of black and white, whether you prefer an achromatic colour scheme or one with a host of vibrant hues, the coming season’s colours has something to suit all tastes.


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Topics: Maintenance, Renovations

When not to renovate your property

Nov 15, 2016 10:44:36 PM Share this:

When not to renovate
If your property needs repair or you’re considering a few renovation projects to get it ready for sale, there are a few things you need to consider first.

Although well-planned, cost-effective renovations can add value to a home, there is always the risk of over-capitalising. That’s why it pays to consider the types of renovations that add value and appeal to potential buyers. So, when you’re looking to sell, when shouldn’t you renovate?

Remember, renovating for your own personal use and renovating to attract a wide range of potential buyers are two different things. It all comes down to your return on investment or ROI. Basically, you’ll want to ensure the amount you invest in the renovation is less than the value you’re adding to the property, and the sale price you’re likely to achieve.

Here we explore some of the situations where we wouldn’t recommend renovating if you’re looking to maximise your sale price.

Check your margins
If your property isn’t in desperate need of repair and you’re confident you have a decent amount of equity existing in your property, renovations may not be necessary. Especially if after crunching the numbers, you’re not confident you would be increasing the sale price by that much, and remember a return on investment can never be guaranteed.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to renovating a property for profit, is to spend no more than 10% of the property’s value on the alterations. So, the first step would be to ensure you have an up-to-date valuation of your property, undertaken by a professional.

The next step would be to work out a budget, and ensure you add a buffer in case of unforeseen additional expenses. Using the 10% rule, this means a home valued at R500,000 would have a total renovation budget of R50,000. Any more than this, and you risk

Do you need a quick sale?
Most renovations take time, to plan and budget for as well as to be completed. So, if you’re looking to sell soon, renovations may not be possible. Remember too, that renovations often go over budget and can take longer than anticipated so factor all these considerations into your decision.

Who are you renovating for?
Some renovations appeal to most buyers, such as a kitchen or bathroom upgrade, but others are personal to you and your needs, taste and style and therefore won’t appeal to the largest number of potential buyers.

This can include adding extensions such as granny flats, converting bedrooms into specific-purpose rooms like a media room or library, and separating rooms by adding additional internal walls.

Who are you selling to?
This is where research is key. What is the demographic of your property’s neighbourhood? Mostly singles and couples? Mostly retirees or mostly families? Finding out who the neighbourhood is likely to attract will help you determine suitable renovations and not so suitable ones.

For instance, if your local market is likely to attract families, think carefully before adding stylish but potentially hazardous staircases, or ornate glass features. Or if your potential buyer is most likely an investor, keep renovations to a minimum as they will almost certainly have their own plans and your changes may add no value to them at all.

Ask if you’re unsure
When planning a renovation, don’t shy away from asking your local real estate sales consultant their opinion on the condition of the property, the type of buyer the home is likely to attract, what similar homes in similar condition are selling for and any renovations they would recommend. You may be surprised, if your home isn’t in need of massive renovations your sales consultant will tell you and you may save yourself a lot of hassle, time and money.


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Topics: Add Value To Your Property, Selling your Home, Renovations