Should you renovate or redecorate?

We all get a little tired of our decor occasionally, but have you ever found yourself procrastinating about whether you should redecorate, or go the whole hog and renovate? Obviously renovating can involve serious costs and commitment, but redecorating can make a dramatic improvement without anywhere near the cost. Ultimately, you should think firstly about how the market will respond to your property when you come to sell. What will the next owner want?

Don’t overcapitalise
You’ve heard that before but very few people can differentiate between what they like and what the market values. The key here is to ask opinions, but not just of your friends and family. A real estate agent or building information centre can help give you a realistic view of how best to improve your home, without overcapitalising.

If you live in a suburban property with an aging kitchen, bathroom and décor, and you’re not confident you could manage the process of renovating to achieve a modern style, you might be best placed to redecorate - with a view to preparing your home for sale to a renovator or developer, rather than attempt a renovation yourself.

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Ensure you have a set budget when planning a renovation

If you’ve noticed that local builders are demolishing homes like yours and replacing them with brand new ones, that’s probably a sign that there’s little value in renovating your kitchens and bathrooms. Your property may lack the street appeal that the market is now looking for, so you’d be risking overcapitalising by only addressing the interior.

In circumstances like these, setting a budget for minor redecorating would be the better course of action. By re-painting some rooms, or even just a single wall in a room, you can brighten your home’s interior, improve its value, and give it a fresh lease on life - until the time comes to sell.

Consider your home’s long-term suitability
If you still love your home’s location and believe it will suit you for the long-term, then definitely consider renovating. Many kitchen companies provide a complete service, from design through to installation, and you might be surprised how creative they can be when it comes to planning better, more space efficient designs.

Oftentimes, a modern kitchen can be installed without the need for structural alterations to your home, which improves functionality while adding value and appeal. Just remember, neutral colours and quality brand name appliances add the most value and desirability when selling.

If you’re really lucky and your kitchen is already well designed, just replacing the doors, bench tops and appliances might be the most cost-effective solution. Likewise, with a well-designed bathroom, you may be able to refresh its appearance with new taps and fixtures, some strategic colour changes with towels and mats, and perhaps a new bench top.

Floorcoverings
Wooden floors are really popular these days so if your carpets are stained, smelly, getting threadbare, or you still have shag-pile, why not rip them up and polish the floors? Find an inconspicuous spot, like the corner of a room or inside a cupboard, and then pull up some carpet to see what lies beneath. Even ordinary pine flooring can achieve the extraordinary with some stain and a polish.

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The decision to redecorate or renovate should be made in the context of the longer-term suitability of your home

Ambient light
If a dark room or corridor is getting you down, investigate the broad range of clever skylight solutions now available. You’d be amazed how much natural light can be ducted to a room now, without the significant expense and building work that was once required.

Modern LED lighting even makes it possible to cost-effectively light a challenging area without running up large power bills. A visit to a lighting centre will leave you buzzing with options you might not have thought even existed.

Don’t forget the big picture
In the end, the decision to redecorate or renovate should be made in the context of the longer-term suitability of your home and your financial circumstances. There’s no need to rush is so talk it over with friends and family, develop some ideas, and get some quotes. Then, ask a real estate agent for an appraisal and discuss your renovation or redecoration plans with them. Again, seek several opinions and you’ll receive a range of different thoughts and opinions. This will help you arrive at a fully informed decision.

What is your view of spending money redecorating on an investment property? Let us know in the comments section below.