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  • Writer's pictureEstate Conveyancing

Home renovations: what adds value to your home, and what doesn’t

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Written by Kirsten Craze, 7 Mar 2022, 9:22am for News Corp Australia Network

Getting the best price takes more than just listing your home and hoping for the best. Vendors who make savvy decisions prior to listing their property can add tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars to the final sale price.

The trick is not to overcapitalise and spend money on renovations that will not affect the value of your home. With this in mind, we’ve consulted the experts on what features give the biggest boost to your sale price:


The work from home phenomenon looks set to stay, so carving out potential home office zones has proven valuable for vendors.

While a spare bedroom is the obvious choice, an underused dining room, attic or basement could also be transformed into a study.

Backyards can also be useful for appealing to the work from home demographic.

Analysis by CoreLogic and Archistar in 2019 identified 583,440 properties in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane met the criteria for an additional self-contained unit of at least 60 sqm. The research showed the bonus space could boost a home’s value by as much as 30 per cent and add around 27 per cent to its rental income.

Depending on the size and type of construction, a granny flat or garden office pod could cost between $80,000 and $200,000, but usually require council consultation.


The opportunity to dramatically reduce electricity bills is a huge bonus for most buyers.

A 2019 OriginEnergy survey found 77 per cent of respondents thought a house with solar panels was worth more than one without. More than half said they’d pay up to $10,000 more for a house with solar and that figure rose to 60 per cent if the system also had a solar battery. Even renters were willing to pay extra for a house with solar.

The cost of installing a solar system can range between $4000 to $20,000 depending on the system’s size, your location and possible rebates. Solar batteries tend to around $1000 to $2000 per kWh of storage capacity.


There’s a saying: kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Most experts believe a new kitchen could add 5 to 15 per cent to the value of your home, but homeowners shouldn’t invest more than 5 per cent of a home’s total value.

Bathroom updates can be trickier, but still play a major role in a buyer’s decision-making. “Bathrooms, more than any other room in the home, need to incorporate key trends of wellness and self-care with an emphasis on creating harmony,” said Andy Grigor, head of design and innovation for bathroom hardware supplier Methven.

“If a full bathroom renovation is not possible, simply replacing tapware and showers, as well as regrouting tiles will convert a bathroom into an impressive room and add value.”

Mr Grigor said ensuites had become an Australian standard.

“Master suites with ensuite bathrooms can create a feel of luxury and an area for escape, they’re highly sought after and can increase the property value.”

Daggy decor or dodgy plumbing can put buyers off immediately.

“The bathroom is the space where engaging the senses has the biggest impact, from relaxing music to heady scents and most importantly, the experience of water. Even the most beautiful bathroom will lose any sense of wow factor if the shower drips or the taps are outdated.”


Purchasers were often won over by gardens, Jason Hodges, gardening guru and Adbri Masonry ambassador, said.

“Many buyers don’t realise how much the backyard and outdoor areas affect their decision,” he said, adding the “value adds” outside were two-fold.

“Make sure the driveway and path to the front door is easily accessible and welcoming. First impressions count. Secondly, the backyard needs an entertaining space, which can be as simple as a classic paved area.”

Demonstrating there was additional space out the back could be more cost-effective than spending dollars indoors, Mr Hodges said.

“To renovate inside a home you’re looking at over $1000 a square metre, while outside it’s approximately $100 a square metre.

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