With Australia (and most of the world) under lockdown, many of us are finding ourselves stuck at home in isolation bingeing on Netflix and socialising over Zoom.
Being stuck at home in self-isolation also presents a great opportunity to finally get on top of all those projects around the house you’ve been putting off or simply haven’t had the time to do.
Recent data shows that Aussies have been spending 20% more on DIY projects, home furnishings and equipment during the lockdown.
It’s possible to make some minor renovations to your home without breaching the quarantine rules, but it may require some thought. Making multiple trips to your local Bunnings every day to pick up supplies doesn’t really mesh well with the concept of social distancing, so you may have to plan your projects ahead of time, make a list of what you need and buy in advance.
Stores like Bunnings also offer delivery and click and collect options, so try to use these when possible.
If you’ve got bigger projects to tackle that will require tradies, they’re still operating because they’re an essential service and they’re taking all the right hygiene precautions. If you’ve got any doubts, get in contact with your tradie first and ask them what precautions they’re taking. Most are now required to wear masks and gloves and use hand sanitiser liberally, but have some on hand if you’re being extra cautious.
1. Refresh your outdoor entertaining area
If your outdoor space is looking a little bit sad, it’s a great time to get outdoors into the sunshine and spruce things up.
No matter how big or small your outdoor space is, there are plenty of little things you can do to improve the way it looks. Hang some fairy lights for night-time ambiance, add cushions, pot some plants, tidy things up, and update your outdoor furniture.
If you want to get really stuck in, consider building a beautiful big deck with built-in bench seats, or even create an outdoor kitchen so you can still entertain outside in winter - just don’t forget to get an outdoor heater.
2. Update the facade
There’s nothing worse than seeing a house with peeling paint and a neglected front yard. If you’re trying to sell your house, it will immediately put buyers off because there is little street appeal.
Your house is the first thing people see so you want to make sure it looks enticing and well looked after. You may want to repaint the gutters and doors in fresh colours and tidy up the garden by trimming hedges, freshen up garden beds and give the lawn a good mow.
You can even repaint fences and the rest of the facade to really ‘lift’ your home.
3. Update tiles
Splashback tiles can seriously date a kitchen or bathroom.
It’s hard to go wrong with modern, white tiles (like subway tiles) especially if you’re trying to sell your home as these will appeal to most buyers.
4. Change your light fixtures
Replacing dated light fixtures with modern new ones is one of the quickest ways to update your space and make it feel brand new.
5. Style your home
When you’re living in your home, it can be hard to see it with fresh eyes. But try and imagine that you’re a potential buyer seeing it for the first time. Does it feel cluttered or even too empty? Is your furniture too big for the space or positioned badly in the room? Have you mashed too many different design styles together or played it safe by being matchy matchy?
If you’ve got a keen eye for design, it’s easy to make your space look like it was designed by a professional. Rearrange the furniture so it flows better, sell furniture that’s too big and bulky and replace it with more slimline pieces that suit the space better.
Add cushions and rugs, replace ugly dark curtains in favour of light, neutral ones. Consider hanging pendant lighting, creating open shelving, updating the hardware on your cabinets, placing a throw over a chair, and adding potted plants.
Fund it with a redraw
You may be thinking “I’m not made of money” but there are ways to fund these simple changes without breaking the budget.
If you’ve made extra repayments on your home loan, you could consider taking advantage of your redraw facility.
A redraw facility allows you to dip into the extra payments you’ve made on your home loan.
These extra repayments will accumulate separately to your normal repayments. Let’s say for example, your minimum monthly mortgage repayments are $2,000 and in one month you repay $5,000. You could withdraw the extra $3,000 whenever you like.
Some homeowners choose to redraw for expenses like:
Paying down debts
Paying for a holiday
Funding a wedding
Keep in mind you can only withdraw the extra repayments you’ve made on your loan - not the minimum regular repayments.
At loans.com.au, you get the flexibility of accessing your redraw facility 24/7 by using our Smart Money app and an unlimited number of withdrawals with your redraw facility.
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