Home renovations that make a real difference to the value of your property
Category Newsletter: Lead Article
For a homeowner who wants to renovate their property, there is an endless list of things that can be improved on in a property. "You can literally rebuild the place if you were so inclined (and had the budget for it) but most property owners want to know which renovations ultimately add the most value, as a means of building of their investment," Floris de Kock, principal at Leapfrog Polokwane, explains.
Here's where the Leapfrog team believe the most value lies:
In most houses the kitchen is the heart of the home. It's a space that everybody uses, it's the place where everything from cooking to homework gets done, and often it's the central socialising point for both everyday interactions and when guests visit.
"A nice kitchen almost instantly adds to the value of a property," De Kock believes. It's a high-volume space which also means to subject to far more wear and tear than something like a lounge or bedroom. It's also where we work with water and electricity and food and laundry and pets and children, which means it typically gets dirtier and more worn out than even the bathroom.
"It's probably safe to say that keeps need to be renovated and/or updated every 15 to 20 years. In some cases cosmetic improvements will be enough to make it look and feel like new and, in other cases, you may be better off replacing everything from the cabinetry to the stove that only has the one plate working anything," De Kock advises.
There are always cheap(er) ways to make improvements and renovations but the kitchen is a space where you don't really want to cut corners. "It's very likely that you'll make back what you spent on a kitchen renovation, and more, if you decide to sell," De Kock advises.
Here it's about optimising the configuration and opting for fittings and finishings with a classic aesthetic and of a high and durable quality.
Steer clear of things that are too trendy, or too "right now". Gold-plated taps and a black bathtub might make your bathroom look like one that belongs in an international decor magazine, but it's very likely that in a couple of years that very look is the equivalent of those bright orange tiled bathrooms of the late 70s and early 80s.
"It's a far better bet to go for a style that has remained constant over the years like a white sanitaryware and stainless steel fittings.
Naturally one wants to personalise the space but rather do that with accessories such as plants, prints, towels, mats and the like.
The main cost factor in a bathroom renovation is around the location of the plumbing. "When you start moving the toilet to where the shower is and remove the bath to add a double vanity, the renovation costs are going to be substantial because the plumbing will need to be reconfigured," De Kock explains.
While rethinking the layout might be exactly what the bathrooms needs to be more practical, one often finds that by simply replacing shower screen and doors, painting the vanity or resurfacing the bath can make a very big difference without breaking the bank.
Whether a full bathroom makeover is necessary or not will vary from property to property and the preferences of different people. "In some cases a R150 000 bathroom makeover will add R250 000 to the value of your property and in other cases R15 000's worth of cosmetic improvements will do the same.
"There is no denying that an outdated, grimy bathroom puts potential buyers off because in their heads they're already adding R200 000 to the cost of the property to account for a renovation," De Kock believes.
The trick is to do it practically and cost effectively, and this does not just apply to property owners who want to sell, but to anybody who cares to look after and maintain the aesthetic integrity of their home.
Almost nobody says no to extra space. Whether it's a scullery that leads off the kitchen, an obscure corner that has been fitted with cupboards or the back end of the garage that has been extended by a metre or two, extra space is always welcome.
"One only has to look at the rise of self storage facilities around the country to realise that space is highly sought after. A property that offers extra space, especially cleverly designed and uniquely optimised space definitely adds to the value of a property," De Kock believes. She adds that this is because while a buyer can't necessarily afford a bigger property that would naturally offer more space they may be able to afford a couple hundred thousand more for a property that addresses the space need.
"It is always a good idea to consult a trusted property advisor if you're looking to do renovations as they'll have valuable insights to contribute around market trends and preferences," De Kock concludes.