Renovating a house: where to start
24 September 2020
Whether you're looking to improve the home you're currently living in or spruce up an investment property before selling it, when renovating a house you'll probably wonder what room to start with. If the plan is to do a full renovation, you may need to chip away at it (quite literally) over a number of years before all rooms have been refreshed. This is because it can be hard to afford it all at once, especially if you need to move out of the home while renovations are taking place.
So, what's the best room to start with?
There's no easy answer to this, as it will depend on your overall renovation goals. Instead of asking 'what room do I start with?', ask 'what do I want to achieve overall?'.
I want to add value to my home: renovate your kitchen
Most people will tell you to start with your kitchen, as this is thought to provide a good return on investment. The kitchen makes a lot of sense as the first place to improve, because:
- It's a high-traffic area, so chances are your family will often be here preparing meals and spending time together.
- This is also an area of the house that guests will often see (more so than your bathroom, for example). A shiny new bench top and stainless steel appliances can really make an impression.
I want to attract buyers (but can’t spend a lot): renovate your front yard
For a cheaper and simpler option that will make your real estate agent jump for joy, why not focus on your home's external appearance? Updating your front yard doesn't have to be expensive. You could start with some simple improvements:
- spruce up the garden
- plant some shrubs and flowers
- install a water feature
- put in a fancy new letterbox
- paint the front fence.
I want to freshen up my house: renovate your bathroom
Together with the kitchen, the bathroom is always a popular room to renovate. Why? Because a sparkling, spacious, beautiful bathroom, as opposed to your current bathroom – you know, with its cracking paint, missing tiles, and pink 50s bathtub – could potentially help increase the value of your home.
A clean, fresh bathroom can update the feel of a house, making it seem newer.
If you're tossing up between renovating your bathroom or another room, consider this: how much time do you actually spend in your bathroom? How important is it to you?
I want a simple fix for the whole house: apply a coat of paint
Maybe focusing on one room of your house isn't the place to start for you. Think about refreshing your home's overall appearance with a sparkling new paint job. This will make the whole house feel fresh and doesn’t have to cost the earth.
I want to make my house bigger: add an extension
Another option to consider when renovating is building onto your house. This can be especially useful if you're expecting a new member to the family, or if your house could do with more comfortable living space. Don't underestimate the power of an extra lounge room to make a house more functional.
Extending can be expensive, but it could also be a great way to add value to your house. By building onto your house you're adding to its overall size, which may make it more valuable when it comes to selling.
When renovating your home or investment property, think about what you want to achieve and what resources you have. If you're after a quick, cheap refresh to entice buyers, a paint job or a tidy up of the front yard might be enough. If you're after increased functionality and have the time and resources to put into a bathroom or kitchen renovation, that may be the way to go.
- From House to Home with Shaynna Blaze
- Renovation costs: how to avoid overinvesting
- Renovation costs: advice from a builder
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