When it comes to selling your home, it needs to stand out from the competition.
Before you put your house on the market, follow our value-adding tips.
Glass splashbacks are still popular but, at about half the price,
acrylic is a cheaper alternative. There’s a great colour range on the
market as well as clear options so you can personalise your selection
with wallpaper, for instance. The only limitation is that acrylics can’t
be used directly behind stoves.
1. Replace splashback
Sometimes making one major change in the kitchen is enough to lift
the whole room, so if you don’t want to mess with the cabinetry, cast an
objective eye over the splashback as it’s a way to inject some personality into the room without going over the top.
You might be able to get away with giving skirting boards, doors and
window and door frames a good clean with sugar soap or a natural
alternative such as washing soda.
2. Refresh with paint
Painting the interior can lift the mood of your house and it’s
inexpensive if you’re willing to do the work. If your budget allows,
tackle walls yourself and get professionals in to do the ceilings, as
these can be hard going on the neck.
If you’re taking the DIY approach, tackle one room at a time. Choose a warm, dry day to start, move all of your furniture into the middle of the room and do the first coat in the morning. As most paint needs only a few hours between coats, you can do the second later in the day and have the room finished by the evening.
Bigger rooms will take more time of course, but the one-room-at-a-time method limits disruption.
are showing a little too much wear and tear, have them re-sanded, which
opens up myriad options as you could have them lime washed, stained,
painted or simply resealed.
3. Update flooring
Getting carpets cleaned can make a huge amount of difference to the
look (and smell) of a home, so calling in the professionals is well
worth considering. However, no amount of cleaning is going to lift a
floor covering beyond its use-by date, so it may be time to replace what
If you decide to rip up old carpet and find old dirty floorboards underneath, mix up a solution of boiled linseed oil, turpentine and white vinegar in equal parts and test a patch with a lint-free cloth to clean and feed the timber. If the wood looks good, you may have unearthed a gem.
“The typical cupboard door is about 600 by 720 millimetres and you
should be able to get a two pack polyurethane finish for around $50 a
4. Quick kitchen fixes
New cupboard doors and handles update a kitchen in a budget-friendly
way. “For a pre-made cupboard door off the shelf, the cheapest option is
a laminated door for around $15,” says Amanda Falconer, author of The Renovator‘s Survival Guide (Penguin).
If you can get away with just painting the doors, Amanda likes the product ESP (Easy Surface Prep), by Flood Company Australia, over which she says “you can paint on almost anything”.
Another option is to replace the benchtop, but consider what will work with your floor, says Judy Dymond, a colour consultant for The Laminex Group. “As your floor is probably the largest area of singular finish, ensure you take the colour and pattern into consideration.”
If you can stretch to changing cabinetry doors and benchtop, “think about combining timber looks for lower and upper storage with a solid colour that complements and links into your benchtop selection,” says Judy. “You can create impact with contrasting lower and upper cabinetry with your benchtop acting as the link.”
If you want to go purely down the DIY route, think about painting the
existing tiles. White Knight makes high-gloss tile paint as well as a
nifty little Grout Pen, for painting over discoloured grout. Plasti-kote
produces spray-on tile paint that provides two square metres of
coverage per can in either white, cream or black.
5. Makeover the bathroom
“You can get a quick lift by replacing the toilet, sink and tapware,”
says Amanda Falconer. “A new toilet gives the impression of cleanliness
and a new sink and taps can also help turn an ordinary or tired bathroom
into something more modern. There are sinks of almost any shape and
colour available, but more organic shapes are the current trend.”
6. Change the light switches
Often, it’s the details that count and standard white light
switches tend to look yellow over time. Getting an electrician to
replace them isn’t a costly exercise and you can often pick up
everything you need at a big hardware store, so the major cost will be
labour. Many brands make coloured or metal switch plates, but consider
the fact switches tend to be utilitarian items that don’t need to be
made a feature of.
7. Rethink window treatments
Sometimes, you don’t realise how grubby a window is until it’s obvious. In the meantime, the dirt is building up and affecting the quality of light. Get the glass sparkling, check latches are working correctly and contact a glazier if any panes are cracked or need replacing. “Putting up a new blind or curtain can be a great start to adding or changing the style of a room,” says Shaynna Blaze, interior designer on The Lifestyle Channel’s ‘Selling Houses Australia’. “For a sleek look, use roller (also known as Holland) or Roman blinds made from simple fabrics and colours. To add extra warmth and style, use shutters or timber venetians, and then there are curtains to add luxury. Window treatments aren’t something we change often in the lifetime of the house, so make sure you wait and save for the best quality you can afford.”
8. Revamp the entrance
First impressions count, particularly if you’re about to put your
house on the market. By painting the front door in a strong colour,
such as red or blue, updating doorway furniture and the entrance mat,
you’re sending a message that your home is up-to-date and well
maintained before anyone even crosses the threshold. Give the area
around the entrance the once-over by cleaning the path, removing cobwebs
and trimming plants. Check the letterbox isn’t shabby and fix any loose
pavers or fence palings.
If the bathroom and kitchen are basically in good shape but just in need of a little updating, look at the taps. By fitting new, good-looking, matching taps, or taps that link aesthetically, you’re bringing a sense of cohesion to the house. Good taps also suggest good plumbing.
10. Groom the garden
Winter is the perfect time to pull on the garden gloves and get stuck into the back yard. After a general tidy up, look at any gaps in planting that need to be dealt with. If you’re putting the house up for sale, gather reasonably established potted plants to fill up these holes as you can take them with you when you go. Get hold of a high-pressure hose and give paths and paintwork the once-over. Clean the barbecue and give outdoor furniture a scrub and, if needed, an oil, as spring is just around the corner.