Home renovations are increasingly becoming popular as many people upgrade their homes or buy old houses and remodel them to their liking.
Some prefer to renovate homes to suit their personal needs and preferences, while some renovate so that they can put their houses up for sale.
People that are looking to sell their houses target home renovations that will add value.
For whatever reason, home renovations should be sensible and wise to ensure the intended purpose is achieved.
How To Start With Home Renovations?
Home renovations start with budgeting before involving architects and designers. You need to have a clear plan to avoid wasting money on unnecessary improvements.
Renovation projects can be categorized as;
Curb appeal – this is renovating to boost your home's aesthetic and increases its value. It primarily involves landscaping.
Value-added amenities – you may decide to add a home security system, LED lighting, and stainless steel kitchen appliances.
Basic projects – these can include replacing a leaking roof, having functioning gutters, good floors, walls and ceilings.
Personal preference projects – hot tubs, gaming rooms, swimming pools, and tennis courts.
Note: Not all the listed projects will add value to your home.
Reasons For Undergoing Home Renovations
- To increase its value – renovating to add value to your home is one of the significant reasons. Usually, curb appeal projects are the ones that improve your home’s value.
- For comfort and pleasure – everyone wants a comfortable and enjoyable home. Renovations are done by adding a few amenities for your enjoyment, like a gaming room and a hot tub.
- To improve the home’s function – you can add an extra bedroom or bathroom to efficiently serve family members.
- Securing safety issues – basic renovation projects such as fixing a leaking roof, damp walls, or ceiling and electrical problems.
- Improving the home style – you can renovate your home to conform to the current styles and designs. This type of renovation typically applies to old homes.
- Improve the home’s efficiency – by installing smart security systems, lighting systems, and solar water-heating systems to reduce energy expenses and improve usage.
Home Renovations That Will Add Value To Your Property
As mentioned earlier, not all renovations will add value to your home. If you are renovating to put your house up for sale, you need to know what will add value to avoid pointless spending.
Consider the following renovations to add value to your property;
1) Improving Landscape And Curb Appeal
A well-maintained lawn, patio, and garden improve your home's look. Capture the attention of home buyers with a good first impression.
Make your driveway appealing by paving it properly.
2) Increase The Lighting
Natural lighting is attractive in every home. Potential buyers will shy away from a house that has dark and cramped rooms.
Enhance natural light by installing windows that allow more light or knocking down walls to create an open plan floor where required.
Skylights can also help with lighting.
3) Kitchen Makeover
You should be careful when renovating your kitchen and avoid going overboard. Consider the position and shape when making structural changes.
The investment should be modest such as flooring, improving countertops, upgrading cabinets, and repainting.
Your kitchen should be well designed, clean, and friendly.
4) Bathroom Addition
Consider transforming any extra room or spaces that you have into additional bathrooms.
Extra bathrooms help ease the commotion experienced when a home has only a few, and you have a big family or visitors.
Improving your existing bathrooms by changing the tiles, shower, adding a waterproof system to prevent dampness also adds value to your property.
Home Renovations That Won’t Add Value To Your Property
1) Addition Of Swimming Pools
Several hot and humid areas would benefit from having a pool. However, you need to consider the cost of constructing a pool and maintenance.
Homebuyers with families will also be keen to see if you have a safety measure to protect children from the pool.
Taking all these into account disqualifies a swimming pool as a sound investment when looking to add value to your home.
2) High-End Renovations And Customizations
People usually don’t tend to see and feel the value of expensive upgrades.
Avoid using a large portion of your budget on pricey hardware and fixtures because buyers won’t always share the same taste as yours.
High-end upgrades will do little to increase a home's price.
3) Invisible Improvements
Appraisers and homebuyers won’t always be sold on house improvement that they can’t see because they don’t change your home's look.
Things like improving the HVAC system and replacing gutters should be considered improvements that protect your home’s value rather than increase it.
4) Wall to Wall carpeting
This used to be a popular flooring design but not anymore. Today, many people prefer wooden floors or a mix of wood and carpet.
Homebuyers will likely change the flooring plan to suit their needs.
Home Renovations That Require Planning Permission
Home renovations are projects that are governed by specific rules and regulations.
SA’s National Building Regulations and Buildings Act requires a homeowner to seek approval from their respective city council before making any building or structural changes.
Some of the home renovation projects that will require planning permission include those that will alter the architectural design of your property;
- New buildings
- Property alterations
- Additions to buildings
- Construction of tall boundary walls
- Construction of large swimming pools, patios and garages
- Conversion of garages into extra spaces like bedrooms
Home Renovations That Don’t Require Planning Permission
Home renovations projects classified as minor building work may not require planning permission.
South Africa’s National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act categorizes the following as minor projects;
- Addition of small structures such as private swimming pool that don’t exceed 10m2 in size.
- Extending a room or existing walls that don’t affect your home’s structural safety.
- Roof replacement that uses the same materials used before.
- Additional features such as solar panels and water heaters
TIP: Check with your local authority before starting any home renovation project.
5 Tips For A Successful Home Renovation Project
1. Outline Your Goals
Before starting out, you need to know what you want to renovate and the areas you are looking to improve.
Setting your goals will help to avoid spending on needless materials and services.
Do you want an extra bathroom, bedroom, or an open plan kitchen?
Once you understand the scope of work, it will be simpler preparing a budget.
No project is feasible without a budget. When preparing a budget, ensure you capture costs, including sourcing materials, professionals’ fees, and miscellaneous.
Ensure you have a buffer for any unforeseen expenses that may arise.
3. Obtain Approval
Obtaining planning permission is a vital step. Also, local authorities will approve building plans that have been submitted by professionals registered by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP).
SACAP is the regulatory body that oversees architectural services provided by its registered member to the public.
Some of the documents required to obtain approval include the proposed plan, copy of title deed, proof of payment for application fees, and signed application form.
4. Hire Professionals
Hiring a professional may come before or after obtaining approval, depending on the services you require.
While your family and friends may give you referrals, get at least three quotes from several architects and contractors.
You may also want to consider professionals who offer specialized services, such as retrofitting, flooring, and roofing.
5. Start Project
After your renovation plan has been approved, you can start renovations. You can get a property inspector to keep tabs on the project until completion. Apply for a certificate of completion from your local municipality.
DIY Home Renovations Pros & Cons
- Saves money – you reduce the cost by not hiring professionals and doing the work yourself.
- Gain experience – doing the work enables you to learn new skills every time you renovate.
- Satisfaction – overseeing a project and doing things by yourself will be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
- Quality issues – not hiring a professional to do the work will result in quality issues. The result will not be the same compared to when renovated by an expert.
- Health hazard – the tools and machinery used in a renovation project can seriously injure you when not used properly. It may also cause structural issues.
- Time consuming – since you will be renovating by yourself, it will require you to oversee the whole project from start to end. That will require your full attention.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How Much Does It Cost To Renovate A House In South Africa?
The costs vary depending on the type of renovation, municipality, and labour.
2) What Adds More Value To A Home Bedroom Or Bathroom?
Additional bathrooms are more valuable than bedrooms.
3) Does Painting Increase Home Value?
Yes. It improves the overall aesthetic of homes.
4) What Happens If You Do Renovations Without Planning Permission?
If the renovations did not require planning, then nothing will happen. However, if the renovations required planning, the house or illegal additions may be demolished.
The local authority may also block any unplanned renovations.
5) How Do You Know If Renovations Require Planning Or Not?
Check with your SACAP registered architect or local municipality.
Home renovations are exciting but tedious projects. However, hiring professionals will ease the pressure and boost its value.
Ensure you consult extensively at every stage of the project.