When it comes to investment property renovations the question I always get asked is – “how much work should I do”? The answer to this question will change dramatically depending on each person and their current situation. Are you the kind of person that loves DIY (do it yourself) home renovations? Do you love researching cheap renovation ideas? Or does the thought of a month’s DIY home renovation make you feel sick? Only you can answer these questions but believe me there are huge advantages of doing minor renovations let alone a full month’s work on a property
So let’s assume that you have 2-5 weeks to complete your DIY renovations, what is a realistic goal to try and achieve? To a certain extent this will depend on your budget but you would be surprised at how much you can get done if you find some good cheap renovation ideas. My DIY renovation budget is the same for every project I do – I like to call it the “Spend as little as possible” budget! Below is a list of the most obvious and important things that you should look at when attempting a cheap DIY renovation.
A fresh coat of paint is the easiest way to make a house feel new again. The great thing about painting is that everyone can do it and it’s such a rewarding job. I love watching the house slowly get transformed as each new wall is painted and best of all if you do it yourself it shouldn’t be too expensive.
RENOVATION TIP: If you’re going to paint the house beige don’t even bother! Property investors always make the mistake or choosing plain and boring colors. Paint the house as if you were going to be living in it. If you’re feeling really adventurous you could even include a feature wall.
Replacing the existing flooring is another way to make your property feel brand new. You can either replace the carpet or in some houses you can polish the floor boards that are under the carpet.
RENOVATION TIP: This is one part of the DIY renovation process that I would recommend hiring somebody to it for you (floor polishing &carpets). The professionals do such a quick, good and cheap job that it’s hard to make an argument for doing it yourself. To save some money you can rip out the old carpet and left over staples before the professional come.
Bathroom & Kitchen
These two rooms are very important when it comes to renovating your investment property. If you do have some money in your budget then the Bathroom & Kitchen are a pretty good place to spend it. How much work you do here is up to the individual but I would recommend trying to get both of these areas clean, modern and usable.
RENOVATION TIP: Rather than re-tiling you can use Tile Paint to great effect. I have used ‘White Knight’ tile paint over the top of outdated 80’s tiles and the results have been outstanding.
Replacing old Light fittings, door handles and cupboard fittings is a great DIY renovation idea. It is a very easy and cheap way to create a more ‘modern feel’ in your Investment property.
RENOVATION TIP: Look at the expensive designer brands and then find good quality imitations that are a quarter of the price.
One full day in the garden and you can make a big difference to overall appearance of a house. Pull out some weeds, trim some branches, mow the lawns, sweep the driveway and suddenly your property is looking pretty good. You might be saying “Since when is sweeping the driveway considered DIY home renovation”? Well I don’t care what you ‘call it’ – Gardening, DIY, Renovations, Cleaning – the fact is that putting a day or two’s work into your garden will definitely make your house more attractive to potential renters and bank valuers.
RENOVATION TIP: This is a great part of the DIY renovation to get some help from family and friends with. Everyone has done some gardening at some stage and you can even turn it into a bbq event. This will make it more fun and easy as the whole family can come.
Exterior Painting / Render
This might not be your first priority but it will drastically improve the first impressions that people have of your house. If your property is a weather board then a few coats of paint is a great idea or if it’s a Brick house then rendering your property can make a massive difference. Render can turn an old and ugly brick house into a modern a beautiful place in a few days.
RENOVATION TIP: DIY rendering is an incredibly cheap way to improve the value of your house. It can be messy and laborious but the results are fabulous.
Hopefully there is something here for everyone. So my answer to the question “how much work should I do on my investment property”? Do as much as you can whilst spending as little as possible. In the perfect world you would complete all the ideas that I have mentioned in about month and for under a budget of $10,000. Is this a realistic DIY renovation goal? Yes I believe it is very achievable, especially if you (or someone you know) have a few ‘handy man’ skills. Remember that renovating you investment property should be fun and exciting. Best of luck.