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If you want to increase the value of your investment without overcapitalising, here are four outdoor projects that will escalate your property's appeal.
Blogger: Jane Eyles-Bennett, Hotspace Consultants
Summer is on its way, so now is the time to start thinking about any exterior renovations you’ve been planning. Creating a great outdoor living area in your home or investment property is generally an excellent investment – as long as you do the right things, without overspending/overcapitalising for your property. There are many ways to make your yard an inviting place to spend time. Try one of these projects to add to the appeal and comfort of the outdoor space.
Patio or deck
A patio essentially doubles your living space – so you, your buyer or your tenants now have inside the house and immediately outside the house to hang out. Creating a good flow between these two spaces is essential. The closer the floor levels, the smoother the flow. The most similar the floor finishes, the smoother the flow. Whatever materials you can repeat outside that have been used inside (ensuring practicality of course!) will assist in creating that ever-talked-about indoor/outdoor flow. If required, you can do simple balustrading (timber with tension wire for example) all the way up to frameless glass. Cost is not the only factor, consider practicality too (eg. how will glass balustrades be cleaned?).
To assist in generating the all-important indoor/outdoor flow, you can’t go past a large door between the living room and the deck or patio. These can be very expensive (up to $8,000 – $10,000 for a large bifold door) but there are certainly ways to compromise so you can complete all your renovations on budget. Sometimes, allowing one element to suck up 30 per cent of your budget (for instance) is worth it, but often not. Other style doors can work – sliding or French doors are generally less expensive than bifold doors for example. Assess whether the cost of the new door is going to stop you finishing another area of the house you’d considered an important improvement.
Outdoor kitchens are a real luxury – and are the right thing for high value properties in some cases. My view is that an outdoor kitchen in itself is not necessarily a value-add, but if selling the property, it certainly is something buyers might pay more for. A great outdoor space, without a built-in kitchen can be just as valuable in the eyes of a valuer, buyer or tenant. Outdoor kitchens can vary significantly in size and complexity, so ensure the design and the cost of the kitchen suits the property in which it will be installed. Think about the indoor/outdoor flow factor – but ensure all materials are meant for use outdoors.
A fire pit is a simple outdoor renovation that will be the center of conversation and good times with friends and family. Check local fire codes before taking on this DIY job, because some areas do not allow residential fires. Make sure the fire pit is far enough away from the home or other structures to avoid accidental fires. Done well, with built-in seating surrounding it, a fire pit is a great way to add interest in a backyard where landscaping isn’t enough. This is not the right solution for all properties, but it can be the backyard 'wow' factor in the right situation.
About Jane Eyles-Bennett
Jane Eyles-Bennett is an interior designer specialising in renovating property for profit. With over 500 happy clients to her name and millions of dollars in extra profits generated for them during her career, her business Hotspace Consultants is who smart property investors turn to for guidance when embarking on a renovation.
Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.