Home Improvements and Renovations

Home renovations and improvements need careful planning and consideration to ensure that the money you spend on home improvements is money well spent.

Before you consider doing any home improvements it is wise to ensure that your home is in a good state of repair and that if you are considering adding on to your house that you can afford the additional maintenance, insurance, bond repayments and property taxes.

Property that is not well maintained can prove to be very costly when it comes to selling your home. No matter how much bigger your home is compared to those in the neighbourhood if the property is neglected it will not attract a good selling price.

Things to consider with home improvements and renovations:

1. Unless you are a qualified builder it is not recommended that you attempt any home renovations or home improvements yourself. Make use of a qualified builder and make sure that you have proof of his credentials. If possible get references from people who have made use of the builder for similar renovations. Builders who are members of Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) should be used when extensive or complicated renovations are being made. They are generally more expensive than other builders but considering the risk of using substandard builders who could cause expensive damage that could reduce the value of your property, it is well worth the additional expense.

2. What may seem acceptable to you now may prove to be an ugly and obvious add on in years to come. A qualified architect has the ability to differentiate between what will be an aesthetically pleasing renovation and what could turn your house into a monstrosity. It is recommended that you make use of an expert with all major home improvements and renovations.

3. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will increase the value of your property by the amount spent on renovations. Redoing your kitchen and/or bathrooms will not necessarily increase the resale value of your property although it will most certainly make it more of a pleasure living there and will probably make it more attractive to potential buyers should you wish to sell.

4. Beware of over-capitalising on your property. As location is the most important consideration for most potential homebuyers it does not make sense to increase the value of your property way above the average price of property in your neighbourhood. Homebuyers who have the means to pay more for property will look to buy in the most expensive suburb that they can afford to buy in.

5. Remember to notify your insurance broker of the increased insured value of your property if you have chosen to add on to the size of your home. Insured value of property is calculated taking the size of the buildings into consideration and you do not want to find yourself under-insured in the event of a claim.

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