10 Quick and Affordable Projects to Renew Your Home

By the resi financial blog team, 03 February 2014

Affordable renovation projects

It’s the start of ratings season and all the renovation shows are hitting our screens. If you’re anything like I am, you too start seeing your house as a potential renovation project. This can be a good thing, this can be a bad thing. Some of the biggest mistakes you can make start off with the best intentions, mistakes which could end up majorly decreasing the value of your home and costing you a lot of time and money in the future.

But you are still excited, you are still keen, you have a hammer in hand, ready to knock down something, ANYTHING!

Well, there are a few things you can do, a few quick, easy and affordable projects which will update, refresh and could even improve the value of your home. Whether your budget is a few hundred or a few thousand, there will be something in this list to satisfy your renovation cravings.

Under $100

Paint it black!

Or any other colour… Painting a room can completely change the feel of your house. Even if you stick to the same colour, a freshly painted room looks clean and new. If you are changing colours, think about the furniture you already have, and what would match. Although keep in mind that if you think you will be selling the house in the near future, neutral colours are the way to go, it is the safest option and is less likely to turn buyers off your house. Paint goes for about $45 for 4L which should cover an average sized room. Don’t forget to budget in the cost of the tools you might need to buy if you don’t already have them, such as rollers, painter’s tape, paint brushes and drop sheets.

4L Interior Paint = $45


$100 - $500

Add Some Wow Factor

You don’t have to add a sauna or a movie theatre to create an impact, think smaller, little touches that will impress your visitors or potential buyers. One popular way to do this is to install a water filtration system in your kitchen, a separate tap which only dispenses purified tap water, this will also help lower your grocery bills as there will be no need for bottled water anymore. One of our favourite additions is an electronic door locking system, keyless entry for your house! Browse around your hardware store and look for more of these little touches of luxury to add to your home.

Water Filtration System = $99
Electronic Door Lock = $250

Lighten Up The Place

The size of your home is one of the main factors that affects the value, but instead of adding an extension or knocking down a wall, there a few simple things you can do to give your home a more spacious feel. Replace old vertical blinds or heavy curtains with some new window dressings such as roller blinds or roman blinds. These will let more light in and make the room feel larger. If you add a large mirror or even multiple mirrors around the room, you can also visually double the space!

Average Roller Blind = $95
Large Mirror (1800mm x 900 mm) = $120


Replace Noisy Old Fixtures

Every house has that one ceiling fan that likes to wobble and whine, it makes the whole room feel old and outdated. The same goes with light fittings, nanna’s old dangly chandelier might have been oh-so trendy back in the day, but that was 40 years ago…

Not only will the new fittings look more modern, the glass and globes will probably be clearer and brighter, and add a fresh feel to the whole room.

New Light Fittings = $50 each
New Modern Ceiling Fans = $ 150 each


Lay A New Floor In 1 Day

Floating floorboards are the ultimate quick update to a room. With these easy to install floorboards, you can have shiny new wooden floors for a fraction of the price of getting your carpet ripped up, floorboards stained and then polished, and that’s assuming you actually have floorboards and not the usual concrete slab. You can knock over an average sized room in a day, and you can lay the new floor straight on top of most existing flooring, including carpet! There is a little measuring and cutting involved when you get towards the end of the room, just to make sure the floorboards align with the wall, but nothing an average handyman or handywoman couldn’t handle.

Prices: (For an average sized living room of 30 square metres)
Floating Laminate Floors = $300
Under Floor Lining = $80
New Skirting Boards = $120


Refresh The Exterior Paint

You don’t have to change colours or spray on any fancy designs, a simple recoat will give your home a new, instead of used, look. If you were going to try and sell your house this is an essential step in the process. Buyers will simply keep driving if they see the exterior of your home looking ragged, as they will assume the inside of the home has also been neglected.

Price: (Medium Sized Home)
25L of Exterior Paint = $320


$500 - $1000

Bathroom Mini–Reno

A great room to update for less than $1000 is the bathroom. There aren’t many items in here, and simple little touch-ups can make a huge difference. Little things such as a new tap, or a new mirror can instantly take away the old, outdated look. Bigger things such as a new vanity, basin or toilet will require the hiring of a plumber, or the purchasing of ‘Plumbing for dummies’, but still the combination of this cost plus the fittings would still come in at under $1000, and be well worth it when you have a sparkling new bathroom.

Vanity incl. Basin = $400
Basin Tap = $99
Bath Tap = $99
Mirror = $90
Toilet = $90


Make The Grass Greener On Your Side
Probably the biggest thing sitting on your land is your lawn. It’s usually the first thing visitors see, and feel. For less than $1000 and a free weekend, you can get rid of that patchy, old, yellow-brown-purple lawn you have now and replace it with thick, green grass. You’ll be surprised by just how much this can change the home’s curb appeal.

200 Square Metres of Lawn Delivered = $900


Update Your Entrance

As people come to visit your house, they have to walk straight up to your door and have to wait a minute or two for you to come and greet them, all this time staring at your front door, the doormat, the lights and plants next to your door. If any of these are old or ugly, then this isn’t a very good first impression. All these old, ugly things can be bought for next to nothing. Doors can be bought from the major hardware stores, pre-primed or even pre-painted, and they come in all sizes so you can find one to fit. Plants, pots, mats, and lights are all under $50 each, choose wisely and you could make it look like you spent thousands.

Door = $250
Wall Lamp = $20 each
Pot = $30 each
Plants = $20 each


$1000 +

Make Your Kitchen Shine

Any update to your kitchen can only be a good thing. If you tweak a few little things, you can make the whole kitchen look brand new. For example, if your cabinets are still sturdy and holding up fine, but are a little outdated, simply install some new handles. A door, is a door, is a door, especially in kitchen cabinets, the thing that makes new kitchen cabinets look different from old kitchen cabinets, are mostly the handles! Combine this update with a new oven, cooktop, sink and taps, and you could have the look of a brand new $50,000 kitchen, for just over $1000!

New Handles : $90 for 20
Sink & Tap = $300
Stainless Steel Oven = $550
Glass Ceramic Stove Top = $399


Article written by Blake Moffat, Community Manager from MoneyBuddy.com.au


Categories: blogs, guest, money, people, Renovation, tips