• Ben Percival

Add Value to your Property | RENOVATION REDLIGHTS

Step 4: Add the Finishing Touches // Part 4

This little road trip has taken us through every nook and cranny of the home and by now, your home possibly looks like a million bucks. But like all good things, your renovations eventually need to come to an end.

It can be easy to get so wrapped up in your work, that what started as a fun weekend project now involves a crane and a concrete mixer. You want to be spending your hard earned cash on the things that matter only, because a well-executed renovation can add up to 10% to the value of your home, according to

You can renovate until the cows come home, but when you upgrade to add value, you want to ensure that every dollar you part with, brings you a good ROI. Some features simply aren't worth your coin! Asking yourself a few simple questions could help avoid getting carried away and staying within your budget.

  • Will the average Joe like it? If the materials, styles & items you’re considering won’t appeal to the wider public, it’s not a selling feature - don’t bother.

  • Does the feature you’re contemplating enhance your home? If the futuristic light fittings clashes with your heritage interior - don’t bother.

  • Does the renovation cater to the right market? Know what is selling in your area, so you can decide how much to spend and how much it will cost you. If you’re selling an entry level unit, but considering adding in a $30,000 kitchen bench top - think again.

Hopefully, you've weeded out some options already. But where do I really draw the line? Cue my renovation redlights:

1. A backyard pool

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge - hold your horses. I bet you didn't factor in: the fencing, safety requirements, tiling, the pool cover, cleaner and lighting, heating and pool maintenance products. Believe me, the numbers add up real fast.

We all love the idea of having a pool, but the effort, money and time spent on ongoing operating costs, cleaning and maintenance can be a real turn off for potential home buyers.

Additionally, what adds value in one suburb can detract in another. In some scenarios, adding a pool to your property may increase it’s selling price, but in many cases it simply acts as a deterrent. Find out what’s in high demand in your market and act on that.

2. Kitchen & bathroom blowouts

Kitchens and bathrooms sell a home” definitely has some truth to it. Spruce them up if they are looking a bit outdated and tired, but carefully consider what you're spend your money on.

If the rest of your house looks dated, renovating the kitchen or bathroom may not always increase the property’s value.

The two most important things to keep in mind:

  • The type of home you own

  • Where your property is located

If you are targeting the average market, spend cautiously, to avoid overcapitalising. Butler’s pantries, sophisticated appliances (built in espresso machine anyone?!) and high end materials can add value to your home - if you are sitting at the higher end of the market.

Should you happen to be numbers person (like myself), here’s a hot tip :

  • Kitchen: Spend between 4% and 6% of the property value.

  • Bathroom: Spend Between 2% and 3% of the property value

3. Custom features, luxury fittings

A rule to abide by: don’t spend more than 5% of the purchase price on upgrades. Trips to homeware stores can be fun. They are also the biggest trap when it comes to going overboard and blowing your renovation budget.

Keep it simple and neutral. If you’re fixing up an older house, or planning to renovate only a room or two, choose carefully. Consider the house design in it’s totality and maintain a clear design throughout.

4. Excessive upgrades

When renovating to sell, the aim is to appeal to the largest pool of buyers as possible. Keeping a certain type of buyer in mind when renovating (for example young families, older couples etc) may help maintain cohesiveness!

Your idea of a perfect home isn’t identical to everyone else's. Loud colours and highly customised designs are never the way to go when you’re renovating to sell. A coloured feature wall in the master bedroom, a hectic carpet and bright tiles are definitely not one size fits all. Buyers will appreciate a home with good lighting, both natural and artificial, but they won’t necessarily agree with your taste.

5. Poor DIY work

Know your limits and accept that what you see on TV is, well TV. Everyone can run, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we all enter the Olympics. The same goes for painting, a DIY favourite. You may end up doing more harm than good, and spending even more for to someone fix your mistakes (or yourself, if things go south!).

If the is room in your budget, hiring a highly skilled tradesperson may be the best decision you make on your selling journey. Leave any DIY work you’re not entirely confident with to a trained professional.

In case I haven't deterred you from going into your renovations all guns blazing, please consider leaving at least these ten things to the new owners:

Stay away from projects that can become very tedious & expensive and will go unnoticed. Even if they are in need of an upgrade, most buyers will consider things like air conditioning or plumbing to be regular parts of the house they shouldn’t have to pay extra for:

1. Insulation

2. Ducted air conditioning

3. Underfloor heating

4. Replacing the roof

5. Re-concreting the driveway

6. Rewiring

7. Alarm system

8. Extensive landscaping

9. A walk-in wardrobe

10. Eliminating Rooms

This brings us to the end of our renovation road trip. I've shared every detail I could think of to bring your home to mint condition, and I hope you've picked up some handy hints along the way.

Next up, we'll be talking all things styling. You want to show off your hard work in the best light possible, and I'll tell you just how to do that!


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