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7 Important DIY Considerations That Add Value to Your Property

May 28, 2024

With a shortage of good labour and the increasing cost of construction materials, the idea of updates or renovations ahead of their sale is a daunting prospect for many of our off-market sellers. Despite the knowledge that the right updates and improvements add value to a property, the fluctuations of the market and the current cost-of-living crisis exacerbate the fear of over-investment. 

DIY is a great way to save money

DIY is one way to cut costs, but poor workmanship rarely pays off, so if you're not particularly “handy”, we recommend you leave the big jobs to the experts. Smaller repairs, minor updates, and maintenance tasks, however, aren't beyond the scope of those of us who know our way around a toolbox, especially with the wealth of free information online. 

My husband is still celebrating the discovery of Vaseline as the perfect lubricant to connect our gas heater to a tight bayonet. Only moments before, he swore it was the wrong size. 

But be honest with yourself. DIY – or partial DIY - may save you time and money in the short term, but if it creates more stress or is only a temporary Band-Aid, ask yourself if the responsibility is worth it.

Cutting corners rarely pays off

I've done most of the painting in our properties so I know that DIY is a learning curve. Cutting corners never pays off, so it is important to understand which jobs to tackle yourself and which to leave to the experts. You may think you can get away with inferior tools or not masking the glass on your window frames, but those compromises are likely to cost you.

DIY Considerations That Add Value to Your Property
With a shortage of labor and rising construction costs, updates or renovations before a sale can be daunting for off-market sellers but considering some at home DIY's could add value to your property without the huge price tag..

Understand which jobs you can tackle yourself and which are best left to the experts

Lifehacker recommends asking the following questions before you start:

Is the job worth your time and effort?

How risky is it?

Do you have the knowledge, skills and equipment needed to do it right?

If you're satisfied with your answers, start planning. To help you get your project off the ground, we’ve done some research and come up with the following 7 important DIY considerations that will guarantee your project runs smoothly, save you money, and add value to your property.

  1. Research and prepare well - Your budget is the obvious starting point in your preparation, but it only worth doing if you include EVERY cost, stick to it, and include a contingency. It is easy to overlook costs like rubbish removal or tool hire, but one way you could save money is on delivery fees. Consider hiring a van a couple of times and collecting the materials yourself. In the preparation stage, also check out which permits you require for any structural work - here's a guide to what you need in Sydney - and health and safety requirements. Educate yourself – with so many courses and experts available online, there's really no excuse for costly mistakes.
  2. Get your timing right - When you create your timeline, think about the order of your deliveries to the site, the time of year - because the season and weather can impact your job and the speed of your sale - and the availability of any sub-contractors.Think about whether you will live in the property during the renovation and the impact on your family’s day-to-day living arrangements. For example, a temporary kitchen might be a good idea, i.e., a fridge and BBQ on the deck, so you don't waste money on take-outs while you're installing your new kitchen.
  3. Don’t cut corners - Invest in quality tools and materials and deal with any issues like termites, rot, or Asbestos properly or they'll come back to haunt you. This is what your contingency is for. 
  4. Choose your design wisely - An update rather than a full-scale renovation may make more sense if you are selling. No one wants to over-invest and many buyers want to put their own stamp on their new property. Painting the units or replacing the bench top and splashback may be enough to improve your kitchen's presentation. Moving sinks or toilets is costly, advises This Old House, and they also recommend you consider look-alikes for materials, i.e., vinyl over timber floors, for example, which are often cheaper and more practical.
  5. Consider safety - Think about which personal safety precautions and equipment you require. Safety goggles, helmets, fire extinguishers and a stocked first aid box minimise injuries. Do you know where to turn off your water and electricity? Do you need safety fencing around the work? We recommend you use professionals for any electrical and gas works.
  6. Make “green” decisions –  This is one of the most important features for buyers for the obvious reasons that they save money in the long term and help the environment at the same time. Buyers are willing to pay more for updates such as solar panels and other energy efficiency inclusions. Reclaimed, recycled materials and factory seconds are worth checking out. Get creative. We used our old kitchen cupboards to create our new laundry, but they can also be used to create a kitchen island or storage in other areas of the home or garage.
  7. Know your limits – If larger DIY jobs are beyond your skill set, labouring is another way to save money. Digging, demolition, cleaning and clearing are jobs that most people can do that carry few risks. 

Smart sellers save money where they can

The cost of living is on everyone’s mind right now and smart sellers are saving money where they can. Selling off-market and taking on small DIY projects are great ways to do that, leaving you more money to put towards your next home or investment property

There are a million things to think about when you sell and a one-stop selling service like ours reduces stress, time, and money. Get in touch and discover the many benefits of our range of off-market selling services and packages, from an unofficial FREE listing with Test The Market to our full Seller Assist service. 

We help you sell for a premium.

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