Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Renovating For Profit

Profit.

Bet I have your attention now. Who doesn't like money?

The last few years, and a glut of renovation reality shows such as ‘The Block,’ have sparked an unprecedented interest in renovating for profit. Whilst TV and selective editing may make a profitable renovation seem either exceedingly simple or abysmally dramatic, the truth lies somewhere between. We have compiled some renovation tips to help guide you in a successful and profitable renovation.

With any business it is absolutely essential to consider the target market of your ‘product.’ Thinking of your renovated home as a product, which has to be tailored to the target market will ensure maximum return on investment. Your home is only ever worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, and these factors can greatly impact on the marketability and subsequent profitability of your property.

Think carefully about the suburb you live in and the profile of likely buyers, considering there needs and wants. Is your property in a growing family neighbourhood? An extra room that dominates the backyard may not be such a good idea. A pseudo retirement village? Reconsider that second storey. Dominated by yuppies and snags? Time to rethink the interior decorating!

Matching your home with the target demographics wants and needs is a necessity in order to maximise the end result. When renovating for profit your marketing knowledge can be as important as your handiwork.

That being said, there are a number of ‘smart’ renovations that can almost always be counted on to add value to your home.

· Bathroom (An ensuite or extra bathroom)

· New Kitchen with increased bench space, and new appliances

· Built in storage, particularly in bedrooms.

· Use of loft space i.e. an extra bedroom

· Larger windows or doors that illuminate rooms

· Off street parking

· Integration of outdoor rooms

But whilst these are all certain to add value, their initial cost may negate any increase in the final sale price. An extra bathroom can become expensive dependent on existing plumbing and access issues. Whilst the maximisation of your final sale price is important, minimising your costs is just as important; both affect your bottom line.

Impeccable research into cost effective, yet stylish and quality building materials is essential, whilst Do-It-Yourself Labour can significantly reduce the costs of your renovation although this is largely dependent on the level of involvement you are capable of undertaking in a spectrum ranging from complete control of the project with DIY labour to the employment of a supervising professional to design, co-ordinate and construct the entire project.

Approximately 50-60% of build cost is labour, so taking on some of the work load yourself can be a big cost-cutter. This is of course dependent on having the necessary skills and qualifications; there are still times where going with the professional may be a more prudent option. These choices will be largely individual, depending on your experience, financial limitations and time constraints.

Renovating for profit is as much about renovating smart. Sensible planning, consideration of potential buyers and well thought out design choices will insure your wallet is full, and your home beautiful. The CompleteHome.com.au Renovate page is full of tips and information to begin your profitable renovation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Building Your Eco Friendly Home

With the carbon tax debate heating up and environmental issues a media staple a certain environmental consciousness has crept into society. Once the domain of hemp wearing hippies, the incorporation of eco friendly home design features is now an important consideration for any homeowner. Whether building a new home or renovating and upgrading an existing home, sustainable building design can be incorporated at any stage of the building process, whilst having a positive impact on the environment and your hip pocket; the greater initial investment offset by savings of as much as 20% over the life of the building.

As with any major building or renovation project there is a huge, almost overwhelming number of options and factors to consider in designing and building. The importance of careful planning cannot be understated when considering any project, but when developing or renovating your eco friendly home meticulous preparation will ensure minimal material waste and environmental impact.

"When developing or renovating your eco friendly home meticulous preparation will ensure minimal material waste and environmental impact"

A trained architect (such as those from archicentre.com.au) can help to incorporate sustainable building design features into your eco friendly home. Site selection, passive and active solar considerations such as natural shading, and the use of winter and summer sun positions, natural ventilation, insulation, and resource efficiency techniques, when well implemented, can negate the need for more traditional though inefficient, heating and cooling systems.

When it comes to eco friendly housing your choice in building material is another important consideration as is sustainable building design and choosing locally produced and natural products to reduce the carbon footprint embedded in transportation.

Ceiling insulation, despite the disastrous rebate scheme, remains one of the most cost effective ways to save on your power bill and when combined with thermally efficient windows and doors, such as Architectural Window Systems Vantage Windows, can have a substantial impact on the thermal dynamics of your home.

The installation of solar panels is one of the most effective ways to reduce your energy consumption, whilst safeguarding your wallet. With government rebate schemes available and meter connected systems available, in which the power your home produces is fed back into the grid there has never been more incentive to invest.

There are also a number of smaller scale yet effective ways to contribute to the environment whilst developing your eco friendly home;

  • Energy and water efficient appliances (look for highly rated energy efficiency and WELS products;)
  • Swapping traditional light globes for energy efficient fluorescent bulbs;
  • Replacing traditional shower heads and toilets with pressurized low-flow alternatives;
  • Capturing ‘grey water’ to irrigate the garden.

Regular maintenance is another important consideration to ensure and maintain eco friendly housing. Leaky taps, showers and toilet cisterns can all contribute significantly to water wastage, whilst worn weather seals can impact negatively on the thermal efficiency of your home.

These measures are all important considerations as the nation takes a certain level of environmental responsibility. The most efficient utilisation of our natural resources, complemented by stunning design ensures the best possible result for any building or renovation project and future generations.