October 4, 2013 by admin



There’s a lot to consider when deciding whether or not to renovate your first home; from how much you can afford to spend, to how much you should spend – and where.

How much should you spend?

As a first homeowner you should avoid taking risks when renovating and spend conservatively. To make sure you don’t overcapitalise (when you spend more on a house than what you can sell it for) it’s a good idea not to spend more than 5% of the purchase price on renovations.

A well-planned and executed renovation can add up to 10% to the value of your home, especially if you hold onto the property for five or more years.

Should I renovate?

Just because you can afford to renovate, doesn’t make it the right decision. You should consider all the pros and cons before committing your time and money:


  • Added resale value.
  • Make your home more comfortable and improve your standard of living.
  • Invest in quality fixtures and fittings that will stand the test of time.
  • Save time and money by renovating instead of re-locating. You can avoid all the stamp duty, agency and legal fees that come with moving by re-modelling your home to suit your changing needs.


  • Potential to overspend and overcapitalise.
  • May have to move out of home while works are being completed (or live in dust!).

What should I renovate?

For the best return on your renovation spend, you should be selective in your renovation choices. Some common value-adding renovation projects include highly-trafficked rooms like:

Average size: 8 square metres


  • Install a canopy rangehood and dishwasher.
  • Use stone for surfaces.
  • Keep the design open-plan.


  • Purchase expensive fixtures and fittings.
  • Compromise bench and storage space.
  • Use an unusual colour palette.


Average size: 6 square metres


  • Install a frameless glass shower.
  • Lay floor-to-ceiling tiles – Include a double vanity (if there’s room).


  • Make extensive changes to the plumbing.
  • Replace a combined bathtub/tub with a shower only.
  • Overuse mosaic tiling.

Other renovation works to consider

New Flooring
Average size: 150 square metres (standard 2-3 bedroom home)

Extra Bedroom

Average size: 12 square metres

Deck or Patio

Average size: 9 square metres

Although you might not be able to do it all, if you take your time to select the areas of your home that would benefit most from a revamp, you stand to boost your standard of living – and bank balance.

So finally  budget for an additional 10% on top of your planned costs, so you’re prepared for any unexpected expenses.


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