A Builder on Which Parts of Your Home Are Worth Renovating

By Chris M

Even if you're not rebuilding rooms from the ground up, renovation can be a significant investment. Every dollar needs to be spent where it counts. When you get the renovation ball rolling, it's tempting to fix every little thing - but this only adds costs to an already tight budget, with no guarantee of return.

On the other hand, by making careful decisions on which parts of your home are worth the investment, you can reap ongoing rewards. We asked Norman Garsed from Thompson Lucas Commercial, an experienced carpenter-builder with 18 years-experience, for his advice on where to renovate first.

Who are you renovating for?

It's the question any aspiring renovator should answer before getting started

There are two types of renovations you can really look at," says Norman. "Is [your renovation] for your own wellbeing? Or is it an investment that you're renovating for?

This decision, Norman says, will have the biggest impact on where you should renovate - so establish your goals early.

For selling, focus on the kitchen and bathroom

When prospective buyers inspect a house, the kitchen and bathroom are the first two places they look. So if you're planning home improvements ahead of a sale, start with these.

According to Norman, future homeowners have certain criteria in mind when it comes to the perfect kitchen: "The functionality of it, storage, to try and see themselves living in a house. If the kitchen's really old, people know it's a lot of money to (upgrade). So if the job's already done, it's a really good sales pitch.

The same goes for the bathroom "if it's really tight and squishy" - again, Norman says, "it's just one of those areas where people want to see themselves in it."

To live in, consider the loungeroom and bedroom

If you're renovating your house to occupy it, the loungeroom and bedroom should be at the top of your list. They're where you spend the most time at home, so they should be as liveable as possible. And according to Norm, comfort is king.

Look at your heating and what makes you most comfortable; what makes you want to be in your room?" says Norman. "If it's too small, or you're always cold, that's where you need to start.

Renovating outdoor areas

For all the renovation potential inside your house, don't forget your outdoor areas. Especially if you enjoy a summer barbie, or just putting your feet up with a good book on the balcony. Make the most of the outside with a reno if it's something you enjoy.

I like entertaining, so I like the outside area, the pergola deck," Norman says. "Especially now it's coming into summer. When you've got a nice deck, or a pergola going over the deck, you spend a lot more time in the outdoors - you can have your friends over for a barbecue and wine

Spend wisely, rather than cutting costs

Having worked on builds and renovations from Port Augusta to Darwin, surf coasts and inner cities, Norman has seen it all. He's got one last important tip for making the most of your investment.

Cutting costs initially, may mean you end up paying for them down the line when things haven't gone to plan, or a job hasn't been done properly the first time. For a renovation to pay off, it's important to have a solid plan, budget and expert advice. And to renovate the parts of your home that really matter.

Read more about how you get the most out of a home renovation home loan here.

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