Renovating for profit and how to enjoy the process

Everyone knows you can make a lot of money renovating homes – but is it really worth the hit to your sanity? With home sales breaking records around Australia, that truly is a million-dollar question.

But relax. With a bit of thought, you can have your cake and eat it too. (Or if not the cake, then at least the new kitchen where you’ll bake it.)

Here are some top tips on how to maximise your renovation profit, without minimising pleasure.

Bathroom renovations that add value

A dated bathroom is a huge turn-off in the eyes of any buyer. But it doesn’t need to cost a lot to turn the tap to HOT.

Your first rule? Keep existing fittings such as the taps, toilet and shower where they are, as moving pipework around can be a costly job.

A bathtub is a must for young families with children, so even if you don't use it all that often, keep that old salmon pink one and re-glaze it in a crisp white.

For maximum resale value, keep tiles and fittings calm and neutral in order to ensure the space appeals to the largest possible cohort. Inject your personality with art, plants and ultra-colourful towels.

Kitchen renovations that are worth the most

The kitchen is every home’s beating heart – or at least its stomach.

And it’s not just about food prep. Many households are run almost entirely from this this hard-working zone, with homework, hanging out, entertainment and dining all happening in the same few square metres.

So think multi-purpose. Ensure plenty of space for flow to ensure you can be cooking dinner while kids are helping themselves to snacks or your partner is mixing drinks for guests (or for you, let’s be honest). An island bench is a clever addition, as it doubles prep space and can transform into a casual dining zone with the addition of a few stools.

Keep the styling and finishes neutral and clean. Small changes – like painting laminate and adding a new splashback – can have a big effect on how open, light and airy the space feels, and also on how much a buyer is willing to pay.

Adding a bedroom to add value

This is an easy one. A two- or three-bedroom home in a family-friendly area will always benefit from an extra bedroom, and extra bedrooms will increase rental income for investors.

One big consideration? If you change your home’s roofline in the process of your renovation, that’ll cost you much more. So rather than extending your home up (or out), steal space from other areas, like studies and old-school ‘dining rooms’, or convert unused roof space into an attic-style retreat.

Open-up your living space – and your profit margin

Many old-style houses are full of lots of small, poky rooms. But the way many people live today – all the comings and goings, casual eating, and relaxed entertaining – doesn’t suit this layout.

So it’s time to get out the sledgehammer. But before you get too hasty, think strategically. It only takes removing a few walls, perhaps enlarging the odd doorway or two, to make your living space feel far more enjoyable to spend time in. If you’ve got a dark space and extra windows aren’t an option, add a skylight to create that open-plan feel, or use cleverly placed mirrors to bounce light around for a similar effect.

Add value with an L-extension

Got a big garden but a cramped house? Then the writing’s on the wall – or maybe on your lawn.

Consider extending out to create a separate wing of your home with an L-shaped build. This is ideal for a master suite, kids' bedrooms or a new living area. It maximises garden views, takes advantage of a possible northern aspect to maximise natural light and warmth, and gives you the space you and – most importantly the next family – needs.

‘A separate wing’ sounds fancy, but it’s actually a budget-friendly way to add some space – far cheaper than adding a second storey. Plus it means your home is still attractive to buyers who don’t love stairs (think those with aging family members, or mobility difficulties).

Need some help to get started? Take the first step with a Latitude Home Renovation Loan.