There has been a lot of great articles featured on Pumped On Property about renovating your property, including:
- Simple and effective design tips guaranteed to increase the value of your home
- Design tips for your investment property
- 2015 home design tips from Australia’s leading home builders
Edam Triffett, on of Australia’s leading designers, also wrote an incredible series called – The Definitive Guide to Preparing Your Home for Sale – which show you how you can effectively present your property for sale:
In this article I am going to focus on 10 ways to add value to your house for under $10.
Maybe it’s human nature but we tend to place a great deal of value on certain items in houses. Little things like taps, handles and lighting fixtures are the interface between the built environment and the home and tend to leave a lasting impression on prospective buyers.
Some of these touches can be updated and refreshed inexpensively and can add real value to your house come revaluation or re-sale time.
- Polish Metal
A lot of metal fixtures throughout the house can be brought back to life with a simple polish. In most cases water and a cloth will do the trick. If you need a bit more cleaning power vinegar does a really good job for removing limescale.
My current house was ‘preloved’ and relocated from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast. My taps were about 20 years old and looked disgusting. I was about to throw them out and pay an exorbitant fee for some nicer taps to match my décor when I tried giving one of them a quick clean. After a few minutes on each tap with a little bit of vinegar they honestly came up looking brand new.
Price: $1 for 1L of Vinegar – Woolworths
- Replace Tap Buttons
Until recently it had never occurred to me what a tap button actually is. I always thought of tap buttons as those little things that attach to the end of a tap and sometimes fall off.
During one of my bi-daily (during renovations) trips to Bunnings, I noticed some tap buttons in the plumbing section. I replaced my old, rusty, tap buttons with some nice, shiny new buttons and my tap ware came up brand new.
Price: $4.70 for 4 Tap Buttons – Bunnings
- Redo Grout
This is an easy one. Old grout look can make entire bathroom look dated. Pick up a grout pen and give your grout a refresh.
It’s really easy and makes your grout look brand new.
Price: less than $10 for a grout pen on ebay
- Remove scratches and marks in furniture
If you have heirloom furniture in your house you will understand just how susceptible it can be to the effects of time and children. Scratches, stains and other unsightly marks are surprisingly easy to fix though.
The best way to remove scratches and stains from furniture is to sand the clear coat (varnish) back to the timber, removing the mark and then apply a new layer of clear coat. Use 40-80 grit to start with, then back off to 120 grit and finish off with 240 grit and apply at least 3 coats of varnish.
My father is a furniture maker and he swears by sanding between coats.
Price: $8.90 for 250mL Timber Varnish + 80/120/240 grit sandpaper ($1 for 3 sheets)
- Replace Your Cabinet Handles
In the some circles handles can make or break a kitchen. Handles though, are surprisingly inexpensive. Replacing handles on a kitchen or bathroom cabinet will add perceived value and leave a lasting impression on visitors.
Polished stainless steel handles are a good choice for modern cabinetry. Handle retailers also usually have ‘bargain bins’ full of handles they want to get rid of.
Try to get handles which are the same size as your existing handles for a quick and easy changeover.
Price: $10 for C27 Square Stainless Steel (96mm) Handles – Handle House
- Redo your Flooring
Ok so this one is a bit of a cheat but I recently purchased close to 10m2 of Bunnings’ most expensive flooring for a measly $10. During one of my countless trips to Bunnings I happened to notice a fair few torn boxes of flooring stacked in the trade section. I asked a staff member what they were doing here and they let me know that they are for sales for $10 because the boxes were damaged and some of the flooring inside might be marked. I thought this was a good deal ($10 per box) until I found out it was $10 for the lot! Only condition to this deal: I needed to take the lot with me.
Needless to say my car was packed full of boxes of flooring on the trip home. I replaced my walk in wardrobe with the flooring and did not find any scratches or dents in the flooring.
Whilst you might not be able to get the same deal, it goes to show how important it is to ask questions. Most retailers will be very happy to offload product with some minor cosmetic damage.
Price: $10 for 10m2
- Re-mulch Your Front Garden
It’s been said that an entrance to a house creates a lasting impression on the visitor. Nearly all detached houses these days will have a small garden in the front. Nothing can make this garden look better than a dark load of mulch.
In every suburban neighbourhood there will always be one resident who ordered way to mulch for their garden and has a big pile out the back of their house. In most cases they will give it away for free, but why not buy them a lottery ticket to say thank you (Australian’s love the lottery).
I would suggest dumping the mulch straight over the top of weeds rather than pulling them out.
Price: $5 for Lotto Ticket
Clean Your Windows
You should really be doing this anyways – enough said. Professional cleaners can get a window looking brand new quickly and cheaply with basic window cleaner.
Price: $3 for 500mL of Ajax Spray N Wipe
- Remove Ceiling Stains
Ceiling stains are unattractive and can also signify water damage beyond the surface, drastically reducing the perceived value of a house. Personally I prefer to repaint ceilings but it is possible to remove stains from a ceiling cheaply and easily.
To remove stains from a ceiling mix some bleach with water and add to a paint applicator. Use a paint roller to apply the bleach (or a soft cloth). Make sure the room is properly ventilated and place a drop cloth below where you are working.
Price: $8 for 1L of bleach – Woolworths
- Tidy Up Cables
I’m not a real estate expert but if I was looking at an office area in a house and saw the mess of cables that sits at my current desk I would be a little turned off to say the least. Keep the number of items plugged in at the desk to an absolute minimum or have no items plugged in (on The Block they usually just have a MacBook sitting on the desk).
I would suggest unplugging all of your office items, laptop, modem, printer, chargers and putting them inside a drawer.
Over to You
For this list I came up with methods for adding value based on my own experiences. If you have any of your own ideas for adding value for less $10 feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below and we will add them to this list!
I would like to thank Rhys Clay for writing this article. Rhys has just completed his first property relocation and renovation and made over $100,000 in equity in the process.
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