72 april 2015 Australian Handyman 73Handyman.net.au april 2015
here’s no denying we’re a nation
of renovating enthusiasts. And
while large-scale renovations
traditionally increase as interest rates
fall, our passion for fixing up and
making new shows no sign of abating.
Figures from the Australian Bureau
of Statistics reveal a continuing increase
in the amount of hardware, building
and garden supplies purchased.
And building approvals data shows
that the money spent on additions and
alterations is rising month on month.
When you’re renovating a home
you intend to stay in long term, adding
personal touches to create a space that
reflects your family’s needs is great.
But you need a different tactic
when renovating to sell, says Sydney’s
self-styled Renovation Rebel, Jarn Elias.
From working with one of the
largest construction companies
in Australia to creating a thriving
business with his builder father
Jarn knows what works.
‘Simple is best. I see so many people
make emotional decisions fuelled by
TV shows tailored to audiences who
want to see the perfect home, instead
of informing you about strategic home
improvements for maximum returns.
‘When you’re looking for solid
return on investment, you should
avoid personalising,’ says Jarn.
‘Always keep the end user in mind
and think neutral and simple. You
want to present a clean and bright
blank canvas that allows the buyer
to see themselves living there.’
Maximise your return on real estate
with a few clever cosmetic upgrades
words sita simons PICTUREs jake scevola
AfterWhen you’re renovating to sell,
aim for neutral and simple interiors.
74 april 2015 Australian Handyman
AfterNew cabinetry, appliances and tiles
bring the kitchen right up to date.
There are certain rules Jarn says can
be applied to any property to make it
as attractive as possible for sale.
A recent project in the inner-city
suburb of Paddington in Sydney made
a $340,000 profit on a $70,000 reno.
The two-bedroom apartment was
looking old and dated, with exposed
pipes, worn fittings, yellowed walls,
dull floors and an old-fashioned,
decrepit bathroom and kitchen.
‘I was pretty happy when I saw it,
as I knew it was structurally sound.
It just needed a few clever cosmetic
upgrades and a new bathroom and
kitchen, which I always advise if the
existing ones are outdated,’ says Jarn.
The client had the property valued
at between $490,000 and $550,000
prior to renovation in August 2014.
With Jarn in charge, the entire
renovation took one month to finish
and eliminated time-consuming
work and stress for the client.
Once everything was removed and
the bathroom and kitchen gutted, the
floors were cleaned, sanded and
painted with a high-gloss varnish.
Pushing the profit
‘Make the most of the high-value
features. Most people want timber
floors, so really work with that element
if you have it,’ advises Jarn.
‘A glossy finish gives it the wow
factor to stand out as a positive to
a prospective buyer.
‘Period features are always worth
maintaining and highlighting, and
if there are any views, work to bring
the outside in, using mirrors and
reflecting colours in soft furnishings.’
Here, the walls and windows were
painted in Dulux Antique White and
all the light fittings were replaced.
‘Consider the era of the home.
In old buildings, you don’t have to go
crazy with period detail, but references
to the era really work.
‘We spent money on 1920s-style
light fittings that are stand-out features
and highlight the cornices. All this
leads to a cohesive feeling that buyers
respond to,’ says Jarn.
77Handyman.net.au april 2015
AfterFloor to ceiling large-format tiles make
the bathroom appear more spacious.
The kitchen was so old it needed
to be fitted with all new cabinetry.
‘A kitchen is a major selling
point. Save money by keeping the
layout the same and not moving
any plumbing or wiring, but spend
on decent appliances,’ says Jarn.
‘In a small space like this,
integrate as much as you can,
like hiding the dishwasher behind
cabinetry and using touch-open
drawers and doors so the whole
look is seamless and unfussy.’
In the original bathroom, floor
to ceiling large-format tiles make
the room look larger and warmer.
‘We kept the layout the same,
except for moving the shower
from the middle of the tub to the
back wall. It was a relatively
small cost for a big improvement,
which is something to always be
on the lookout for,’ says Jarn.
A floating vanity provides
much-needed storage and adds
a sense of spaciousness as does
the fixed-glass shower screen.
Ripping out the old
78 april 2015 Australian Handyman
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Always keep a few simple guidelines
in mind, says Jarn, and you’ll have
buyers flocking to the door.
✓ Stick to neutral colours such as gumtree
grey, white on white and light beige.
✓ Choose relevant light fittings, as
lighting can really date a home. Invest
in good-quality lights and you’ll see
a dramatic difference.
✓ Go for plain and simple in the bathroom,
but add neutral tonal colours to avoid
a very clinical-looking finish.
✓ Think sleek and highly functional in the
kitchen, with plenty of storage space.
A pop of colour works well in a splashback
in a high-shine finish like glass or tiles.
✓ Opt for a gloss finish on an existing
timber floor to create a wow factor,
or replace the flooring if necessary.
✓ Invest in staging the home for sale.
AfterGo for a gloss finish on timber
floors to create an instant impact.
Consider the era of your property
when you’re renovating to sell.
Styling to sell
Real estate experts agree that an
empty place is less attractive to buyers
than a furnished home.
Styling, or staging, is a finishing
touch that will add profit.
A consultant evaluates the space
and talks to you about what you
need for your home.
They work with the existing
furniture and fill in where needed,
or do a complete restyle with hired
furniture that may include artwork
and garden supplies.
Taking the area and market into
account, the home is styled and
furnished for the sale period.
This allows potential buyers to
really see themselves living in the
home and also produces great
photographs that will attract
maximum interest in the property.
Styling a house allows potential buyers
to really imagine themselves living in it.