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$20k reno advice from the stars: 4 tips from House Rules’ Tim and Mat

$20k reno advice from the stars: 4 tips from House Rules’ Tim and Mat

by Sasha Karen | May 16, 2019 | 1 minute read

If you’re looking to inject a bit more value into your property, these tips from House Rules contestants Tim and Mat could add up to $20,000 into your property.

House Rules Tim and Mat
May 16, 2019

Melbourne-based Tim and Mat have a collective experience in the carpentry and renovation industry of at least 20 years under their belts and have a wealth of knowledge about what to renovate in order to see value being added to properties

1. Paint

Investors looking to tackle a lighter renovation should consider a fresh coat of paint, according to the brothers.

“Honestly, a lot of people overlook the power of a paint job, [but] you can instantly make something look 10 times better with the right colour,” Mat said.

For those who are particularly tight with money, it is something that investors can do themselves, but this comes with a caveat, according to Tim.


“You can do it yourself. Because a lot of people don’t have the cash, sometimes, especially when they’re trying to sell a home, they might not have the money to pay a painter, because they aren’t usually that cheap,” Tim said.

“It comes down to time management. Painting is something you can do yourself… if you want to try and save money.

“If you’re not good at it, I would suggest paying someone to do it, because obviously, if it’s a bad paint job, it probably could hurt you more. You’re going to get less out of the work that you are than if you do a good job.

2. Wall knock-outs

If an investor is dealing with an older property, modernising the space by removing a wall could add additional value to the property – upwards of an extra $20,000.

“Sometimes, something as simple as knocking out a wall and opening up a space can make a big difference to how the home feels,” Tim said.

“Sometimes, in the old way of thinking, there’s a lot of walls to sort of segregate spaces in houses. But these days, it’s more about open plan living, and people like a lot more space, so people can look into maybe something as simple as knocking out a wall can actually add lot of value into your home because it frees up space.

“And even if it costs, say, five grand to take out a main wall, it could add up to 20 grand in value to your property.”

3. Check the neighbourhood

At the end of the day, the pair advocated for researching what kinds of style are popular in the area where the property is located, as something that could be a popular renovation in one area could be nearly worthless in another.

It is also important not to go too overboard with the renovations and make sure they meet the cost of the local area.

“What people forget, depending if they’re in a newer, cheaper area for example, and they’ll go and buy really, really high-end finishes, high-end appliances... but you’re not always going to get your money back,” Tim said.

“So, I think the biggest thing is just knowing, knowing your market, knowing your target market and knowing where to spend the money, so there’s a lot of traps for overcapitalising, and thats something that really comes down to knowing your market and just doing your research.”

4. Project by project

If an investor is planning a large-scale renovation, Tim also mentioned that it was important to finish each project as it comes up rather than juggling multiple projects at once.

“A lot of people start one thing and don’t finish another. I think it’s really important to try and tick off those jobs and tick off those, plan ahead and finish the job as you go, because what’ll happen is you’ll end up with 20 unfinished jobs and then it’ll just never get done,” Tim said.

“Sometimes it can be money, sometimes it can be motivation, sometimes it can be poor planning, so I think it’s just having a clear plan and executing it really.

“I know that a big trap a lot of people get into is not finishing off the work and trusting my wife’s been in that position, yelling at me for things that [need to be] finished.”

House Rules is on Channel 7 at 7:00pm and Monday to Wednesday at 7:30pm

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