Renovations that can make your home feel brand new

Renovations that can make your home feel brand new

There's something exciting about taking out a home mortgage and buying a new house. Whether it's completely brand new or lived-in, it brings a sense of fresh beginnings to its new residents. But this can't be a reality for some. This is especially when you consider the fact that housing prices in Australia have risen quite a bit over the last few years. CoreLogic RP Data's monthly indices show that among the five capital city aggregate (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth), dwelling values increased by 8 per cent in the year to December. This has pushed up the figure to $720,170.

For those dreaming of a new home, it could mean holding off on such a purchase - at least for now. However, this isn't the only way to give your living space a new change of scenery. Taking out a construction home loan to apply some renovations is an exciting alternative.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there was almost $2 billion spent on renovation work over the June quarter in 2015. This trend estimate is a five percent increase over the same period the year before, showing that home improvements are increasing steadily in popularity.

Let's take a look at a few ways you can solve a few common shortcomings by renovating your current home:

We don't have enough bedrooms

Accommodating a new family member or the desire to have a spare guest room is one important reason that people move to larger homes. However, the upscale in cost can be quite significant. Let's take a look at housing in Melbourne as a quick example.

With the building of a new wall, L-shaped rooms often have the capacity to host a new bedroom.

According to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, the median price of a middle city suburb house with three bedrooms was $675,000 in September 2015. For a four-bedder in the same region, this figure was $955,000. As you can see, this is an astronomical difference of $280,000 (or 41 per cent increase in price). Instead, why not consider using a construction home loan. You could knock down a wall or two and build a new bedroom.

Obviously, the potential to do this varies depending on how much space is available. Still, you might be surprised at how much unnecessary space you have that can be utilised for a new bedroom. For instance, with the building of a new wall, L-shaped rooms often have the capacity to host a new bedroom. Spaces such as unused study or playrooms can also have the same potential.

Service Seeking reveals that the average size of a new bedroom is around 13 square metres, with the average cost being $19,000 to $25,000. As you can see, this is a far cheaper solution compared to taking out a new home mortgage.

 Are the kids sick of sharing bedrooms? See what space you have available to build a new one!

Our common living areas are boring

It's easy to get bored with communal spaces in the house. Sometimes, giving certain key rooms a facelift is all you need to inject some character and new life into the entire home. An important one that people often renovate is the kitchen.

Crucial both in function and symbolically as the most interconnected hub in the home, a clean, neat and modern kitchen can be a joy to cook in or even be around. Simultaneously, a cluttered and tired-looking one can make preparing meals a true chore. Take a look at a few ideas you could use in a kitchen upgrade:

  • Try restructuring the kitchen to an open-plan design, which makes it feel contemporary and attractive while being practical to use.
  • Less is more - a sleek, minimal approach to design will often look better than one that has all sorts of extravagant or intricate patterns. One way to do this is to opt for handless cupboards or to have all your appliances banked together at the back of the room.
  • If your home's kitchen is a little more old-fashioned, don't hesitate to experiment with different materials for countertops like marble or smooth wood surfaces.

Service Seeking pegs the average cost of renovating a kitchen at between $14,000 to $18,000.

Our rooms feel dark and drab

Sometimes, all it takes for a home to feel fresh and interesting is more natural light. A lot of this has to do with its orientation. In many regions, real estate that is facing north will receive the maximum amount of sunshine. If your residential property isn't oriented this way or is simply positioned beside a hill or taller buildings, it can feel like your home is constantly covered in shadow. From there, it's not long before your property feels drab, even if it does have a plethora of attractive features.

Passive design principles can naturally and persistently increase the amount of warmth and daylight coming in.

Of course, rotating it around isn't exactly an option. That's not to say there aren't ways to maximise the amount of natural light that enters your home. Passive design principles can naturally and persistently increase the amount of warmth and daylight coming in. Skylights are a perfect example of this. These are windows that are installed on the roof of houses and can be the perfect solution to a home that is feeling dark and drab.

According to the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science, skylights allow up to three times more light in than a vertical window. Tubular skylights are smaller variants of this and channel sunlight in through a reflective tube.

Taking out a construction home loan to install a series of passive lighting features could be all it takes to make your home feel new again. Plus, it'll help to lighten power bills, as you won't be as dependent on electricity for your lighting and heating.

Skylights - a great way to make any room feel more welcoming.

Another way to make your home feel new again is to simply give it a fresh lick of paint. Cherie Barber notes in a LifeStyle Home article that it is "the cheapest, easiest and most effective way to instantly transform a property". Be sure to pick brighter colours as it will help to reflect light around the home, making it feel warmer as well as larger.

An added bonus is that fresh paint also ups the value of your home immediately, meaning that if you do eventually hunt for a new home, you'll have more in the pocket to work with. Considering this is by far the most affordable way to renovate your property, there aren't any real reasons to not try it out.

There you have it - a few ideas that can help transform your home if buying a new one is not an option.