Adding Value: How to Renovate for a Return on Investment

Deciding where to spend your hard-earned dollars is tricky, but it's important to find the balance between improving your home for your family today and ensuring the next buyer will fall in love, too.


A dated bathroom is a huge turn-off in the eyes of any buyer. Improve yours with a smart renovation: 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 pink one and reglaze it in a crisp white. When it comes to styling, now is not the time to embrace your creative side: keep tiles and fittings calm and neutral in order to ensure the space appeals to the maximum number of people. Inject your personality into the space with art, colourful towels and decor.


Ditto for the kitchen. These days, most household are run almost entirely from this hard-working zone. From food preparation, homework, eating in and simply hanging out, it's vital that this space can support the needs of a busy family. Ensure plenty of space for flow to ensure that you can be cooking dinner while your kids are helping themselves to snacks or your partner is mixing drinks for guests. An island bench is a clever addition, as it doubles prep space, can hold a second sink (so no-one is underfoot) and can transform into a casual dining zone with the addition of a few stools. Keep the styling and finishes neutral and clean.

Extra bedroom

This is an easy one. A two- or three-bedroom home in an up-and-coming or family-friendly area will always benefit from an extra bedroom, and extra bedrooms will increase rental income if the new owners buy it as an investment property. Keep the room under the existing roofline by stealing space from a study or second living area, or convert unused attic space. Whether you need the extra room for your child today, or are planning to in the near future, this is an investment that will be useful for both you and potential buyers further down the track.

Open-plan living

Picture your living space as a hub for modern living, with all the comings and goings, casual eating, homework space and food preparation areas a busy family might need - does yours fit the bill? If not, it's going to be hard for future homeowners to imagine living in your home, but there's no need to completely renovate your home. A boxed-in rabbit warren isn't an attractive proposition - simply knock out a few walls, enlarge doorways and make the most of natural sunlight - a skylight is a great option in homes where extra windows aren't possible - to create that relaxed open-plan look and feel.

L-shaped extension

If your home is lacking much-needed space but has room to grow, make the most of your garden. 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 the 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.

Improving your home right now is not only an investment in your family' happiness, but a smart move for preparing your home for sale.