Article published 19 August 2021
Most popular renos
The latest Houzz survey2 pinpoints the most popular renovations among Australian home owners. Kitchens top the list, accounting for almost one in four (23%) renovations. That’s closely followed by living rooms (20%), bathrooms (17%), and surprisingly, laundries (17%).
However, the pandemic is also driving demand for a home office – a project being tackled by about one in ten Aussie home owners.
How much can you expect to pay?
The final cost of a renovation depends on a variety of factors. It’s a no-brainer that a kitchen makeover is likely to set you back a lot more than freshening up a bedroom. But your renovation budget will also be shaped by the scale of your project, the materials you have in mind, and whether you plan to use tradies or roll up your sleeves and take a DIY approach.
The common thread is that plenty of home renovations don’t come cheap. The latest Archicentre Cost Guide3 shows a kitchen makeover can cost from $15,000 to $43,000. A new bathroom can cost up to $27,000, and even the humble laundry can soak up a renovation budget of $17,000.
If you’re thinking of landscaping the yard to turn your outdoor space into a green haven, the costs can be lower though still not cheap4.
Removing a tree can cost up to $2,000. Concreting the driveway could set you back $95 per square metre. Hiring a professional landscaper can cost around $55 per hour, with a full garden makeover potentially setting you back around $4,000.5
Will the renos add value?
If you have home improvements in mind, it always pays to avoid the trap of overcapitalising. That’s when the cost of the renovations outweighs the value they add to your home. There’s not much point spending $40,000 on a flash new kitchen if it’s only going to add $20,000 to your property’s market value.
To avoid this pitfall, property experts suggest a general rule of thumb is to spend no more than 5% of your home’s value on renovations6. So if your place is worth $600,000, a kitchen budget of $30,000 may be reasonable. If the makeover includes eco-friendly appliances, a kitchen reno can have the added appeal of saving on power bills.
Sometimes, it can be a (relatively) simple matter of seeing your home through fresh eyes. Finder research shows that lack of natural light is a turn-off for 46% of home buyers7. So installing a sky light could make a difference to your home’s market appeal, while also cutting energy costs.
When it comes to outdoor areas, landscaping can boost your home’s value by up to 15%8. But be warned, high maintenance features like a swimming pool won’t appeal to everyone.
The upshot is that it’s all about knowing what works for your particular home and location. If in doubt, talk to a couple of local real estate agents for an idea of whether your planned project will deliver a decent uptick in your home’s value.