Nila Sweeney
Whether you want to upgrade your own home or renovate an investment property, this guide to low-cost property renovations will help you move forward with your project.
 
While there are plenty of cheap and easy improvements you can make to your house, it’s worthwhile keeping in mind that in some areas, you simply can’t skimp.
 
Electrical work, for instance, should always be handled by a qualified electrician – and you shouldn’t attempt large scale renovations unless you personally have the skills to handle the job. 
 
You also need to make sure that you focus on low cost renovations that will add more value than they’ll cost you to do.
 
“The greatest risk for renovators these days is spending too much on the wrong things,” says Terry Ryder from hotspotting.com.au. “Owners can pour big money into expensive fixtures, the highest-quality floor tiles or a swimming pool and add nothing to the value of the home.”
 
To make sure you don’t end up going down this path, consider the following budget-conscious improvements and renovations:
 
Light fittings
Upgrading the light fittings in the main rooms, including the bedrooms and the main living areas, is a relatively cheap means of modernising your property.
 
Parking
Does your property have some sort of off-street parking, such as a garage or carport? If not, is there an opportunity to create parking space by erecting a shade sail? Parking can add considerable value, particularly in built up areas.
 
Floor coverings
If you’re not too fussed about the colour or style, phone a few different carpet and flooring retailers and ask whether they’re selling any discount off-cuts or end-of-line inventory. You may also be able to snare a bargain from an online auction site.
 
Kitchen
The idea of upgrading your entire kitchen may seem too expensive, but there are smaller renovations you can do to refresh this space. For example, install a ready-made pantry unit to increase storage space. Resurface the benchtops if they are too dated or dirty. Update the handles with modern versions and replace tired, worn tapes with shiny new tapware.
 
Bathroom
Add instant space to a small bathroom by adding a mirror to an entire wall. You can also update the tapware and showerhead to modernise the room, and consider adding a heated towel rail for a bit of added luxury.
 
Painting
An oldie but a goodie, painting is one of the quickest and simplest ways to refresh a property, without breaking the budget. The materials will only set you back a few hundred dollars, and your only other expense is labour. Recruit friends and family members to help you paint, with the promise of beers and a BBQ once the work is done!

It can be confusing to know whether to get a variable rate or fixed rate mortgage, and what features are important. That's why it's important to not only check the right rates, but make sure that you're getting the right features in your home loan. Get help choosing the right home loan