Top value-add home renovation trends
06 Mar 2014
In the competitive environment of the real estate market, standing out above the crowd is essential for homeowners who want to increase the value of their property and ensure that they get the best possible price for their homes should they decide to sell.
Many homeowners have turned to renovation as the key to increasing both the home’s value and its appeal to would-be buyers. This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says renovation projects are currently on the upswing.
He notes that while renovating could be the answer for those looking for an edge in the market, it is essential that any remodelling project be undertaken in the correct manner to ensure that it has the desired impact.
He says if adding value is the end goal, then it is imperative that the project is handled by a trained professional who has the qualifications to complete the work according to the highest possible standards. The cost of fixing badly completed renovations will far outweigh any savings made by cutting corners or using someone who is not qualified, he says.
Goslett advises that homeowners speak to several well-regarded contractors before moving ahead with any renovation projects. He says they should provide each of the contractors with the same information so that it is possible to compare quotes and that they also check the contractor’s references and read any reviews that may be online. “This is a great way to obtain information about the contractor and establish whether or not any previous clients have reported any problems with regard to communication, delays or site clean-up.”
According to Goslett, certain home improvements will add more value to a home than others such as kitchens and bathrooms, for example, which remain the most popular areas to upgrade. Statistics suggest that while these rooms can be costly to renovate, they will push up the value of the home more than any other remodelling project.
Knowing the current renovation trends and what potential buyers are looking for will assist homeowners to decide which projects to undertake and how to make the most of them.
Goslett has the following tips for homeowners…
Open plan living areas
Many renovation ventures involve removing walls to create an open space and flow between the rooms, particularly the kitchen and living areas. Removing the walls can make smaller homes appear bigger, and can create a more social atmosphere where household members can interact even while they’re busy in different areas of the house.
These renovations include placing an island in between two previously separated rooms to define the spaces while still creating flow. Often, hardwood or similar style flooring is used in the kitchen and living spaces for continuity.
A growing trend among homeowners is the need to reduce wasting energy. A large proportion of home improvements include eco-friendly systems that effectively cut down on energy usage and a home’s carbon footprint. These renovations include home automation systems, water-restricting showerheads, solar panelling and replacing old light bulbs with LED lights.
A growing number of homeowners are also including recycled building materials into newer spaces to save on resources and create an eclectic combination which is trendy.
Homeowners with the space and resources are focusing on creating luxurious bathrooms, which include underfloor heating, stand-alone tubs and showers that feature multiple water options. The emphasis is on both extravagance and comfort.
Smart technology customisation
With technology being very much a part of our everyday lives, many property owners have included smart technology customisations into their renovation projects such as charging stations for phones or computers. Some of these renovation ideas involve adding charging stations into existing cupboards so that the gadgets and wires are out of sight or installing electrical outlets with built-in USB charging ports.
Goslett says while knowing the top trends is important, it is more important to ensure that the project grows the investment value of the property and adds to its appeal. With any renovation project the key is to have a budget and a plan before getting started, he says