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Renovation dos and don’ts to save money

If you’re thinking of doing renovations without spending an absolute fortune, what is a good idea and what should you avoid?

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By IOL | December 6, 2021 | Architecture

If you’re thinking of doing renovations without spending an absolute fortune, what is a good idea and what should you avoid?

Minor kitchen remodel:

Creating a modern and functional kitchen can add value to your home and make you happy.

Experts say that when you sell you can expect to recoup about 72% of what you have spent.

The work could include replacing appliances with new, more energy-efficient models; replacing cabinet handles and refacing or repainting cabinet doors; installing new countertops, adding new flooring and painting the walls.

Beautifying the bathroom:

Like kitchens, bathrooms get a lot of use which can lead to them looking tatty and even unhygienic. Avoid making major changes that affect pipes and plumbing, as that can be expensive, but it’s not too hard to cheer up a bathroom.

New taps and better lighting can make an enormous difference. Chipped cabinets can be replaced, tiles re-grouted and stained baths can be resurfaced.

And in a bathroom that doesn’t have a shower, a fixture can be added over the bath. The final touch would be to do up the walls with a fresh coat of paint.

Going green:

It’s time to think seriously about doing all we can to live greener lives. This can be an extremely expensive exercise, but you don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to do it all at once.

Estate agents say buyers are keen on the basics. With Eskom rates increasing, and the heating of water one of the biggest users of electricity in the home, it makes sense to install a solar geyser.

You’re likely to recoup your outlay within three or four years and from then on your hot water is free. Another relatively easy fix is saving on water by introducing tanks for watering the garden or sinking a borehole or wellpoint.

Depending on the water quality, this water can be used to top up swimming pools as well.

Fix the floors:

Tired wooden floors can be sanded and sealed, making a big difference to a room. The chill of tiled floors can be offset by bright rugs.

If you have a bit more money, putting down laminated or modern vinyl flooring can spruce up a home.

Kerb appeal:

If you’re thinking of selling your home – even if you’re not – you can make it look brighter and fresher by improving visitors’ first impressions.

A big job would be to repaint the exterior, which costs a fair bit, but signals that your home is smart and well-maintained.

If that’s a bit much, painting the front door and window frames can give fresh appeal and so can tarting up the garage door, which is often the first part of a property people see.

Finally, add pots full of flowers for a bright and welcoming look.

Renovations to avoid

Going open plan.

Open-plan homes are popular and allow light to flow from bright spaces into darker corners. But they mean knocking down walls and can be very expensive. Also in a time of working and schooling from home, private spaces might be more practical and efficient.

A similar warning is attached to a plan to extend a master bedroom by absorbing another bedroom or dressing room – especially if you plan to sell the house in a couple of years. Many buyers want bedrooms, not extra space in one bedroom. Some agents put the value of an extra bedroom at 15%.

Installing a swimming pool:

If you’re certain you’re going to use it or have children of the right age who will, go ahead. But pools are expensive to sink and maintain, the installation can temporarily ruin a garden, and they take a lot of maintenance.

Agents say the number of potential buyers who want a pool tends to be offset by a similar number who are firmly against a pool.

This article was originally published on IOL.

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