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Kitchen Renovations – Adding Huge Value

A kitchen is the centrepiece for the interior of most properties and one of the most critical areas to get right when you renovate.




A kitchen is the centrepiece for the interior of most properties and one of the most critical areas to get right when you renovate. It’s also the room you’re most likely to over-capitalise on as you renovate your property.

When renovating for profit, it’s critical to get the balance between good looks, practicality and cost, spot on. If even one these is out of whack, then your kitchen is not serving its purpose to you, it’s owner. Either, it doesn’t value up as you would expect or it is impractical and not hardy enough for tenants or future occupiers or it’s simply too expensive – or worse a combination of these!

As always, my suggestion to you when considering your kitchen renovation is to plan, plan and then plan some more. If you have a target to reach then you are much more likely to hit it.

Firstly, consider your intended end result. Obviously you want to make the property look better – but what else? Increase equity in the property? Increase yield? Sell immediately? Hold for a while? These are all questions to consider while you ponder the outcome you want to achieve.

You’ll want to consider the location of the property and the expectation that tenants, purchasers and valuers have for that area (ie: would they expect a dishwasher in your type of property? Would they expect a new kitchen or would a renovated kitchen suffice? What other expectations does your target market have?). This market research is critical to think about when deciding what you will do to the kitchen and the property in general. Talk to local real estate agents and property managers if you don’t know the answers.

The next thing to work out is how much you want to spend on your kitchen reno. This will depend on the type of property, its location, its current value and also its projected post-renovation value. It’s important to get this figure in your mind before you decide what you are going to do to the kitchen. Start with your budget and then work back from there. What can you achieve with the amount of money you have?

As a general guideline, allow 1 – 1.5% of the property’s pre-reno value to spend on an IP kitchen. So a $400,000 property will give you between $4,000 and $6,000 (all up including cabinetry, walls, floor, lighting etc…) to spend – and this is ample if you do the things that smart professional renovators do. You may need to increase this a bit if the kitchen needs replacing entirely. On the contrary, you may be able to reduce this if the kitchen is generally pretty good but just requiring a few clever tweaks.

The suggestion to re-use the existing cabinetry came as a surprise to my client who had originally intended on removing it and buying a whole new kitchen. Instead, he created this new looking, fresher, brighter kitchen for just $4,000.Renovating a kitchen

Renovating is such a cost saver if you have the right sort of kitchen in the first place. Working with what you have rather than discarding the kitchen and replacing it entirely can often be done with a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking.

The best type of kitchen to renovate is one where either the bench-top or the doors/drawer fronts/carcass do not need to be replaced. Replacing both these often leads to false economy so best to consider all pricing options if this is the case.

If you have a kitchen where the doors/drawers are worn, then consider replacing or resurfacing just these. Renovating these will of course depend on their material and condition – sometimes you’re just better off replacing. And if replacing, then consider the material, the dimensions (metric vs imperial?) and additional costs.

Bench-tops can create a whole new look to a kitchen without doing very much else. However they can be very expensive. Shop directly with a cabinet-maker so that you cut out the margins that retail stores add to their prices. Also consider the lesser known brands to save on costs. The well known brands (such as Formica) can be expensive and there are some just as suitable imported products (often from Asia) available as a substitute.

Whether you’re replacing or retaining the doors/drawers, spend some time on selecting a modern handle to complement to newly renovated kitchen. A straight bar style may cost you a little more, but these will more readily modernise your kitchen than a curved ‘bow’ style.

Splash-backs will normally need replacing – if not re-surfacing. There are professional tile re-surfacers out there – or if it’s a lower value property, consider a DIY application with specialty paint bought from a paint store. However for the cost of a new splash-back and the impact it will have on the kitchen, it’s usually worth spending the extra on a new splash-back that suits the new space perfectly.

Replacing a kitchen.

Replacing your kitchen involves a lot more than simply pulling out the cabinetry and replacing it. You’ll have flooring issues, wall issues, plumbing, electrical and goodness knows what else. If you have decided you need to replace the kitchen instead of renovating it, then be sure to factor in all of these costs (as well as a contingency for unexpected works!).

However, there are lots of ways to keep your costs down when you replace a kitchen. Firstly, you won’t be shopping at a retail store, will you? Professional renovators cut out the middle man and shop direct where the trade shops. Specialist kitchen stores are for ‘Mum and Dad’, owner/occupier renovators who are happy to pay a premium for the fact that they are buying from this store or that designer.

If you have a company set up, you can generally open a trade account at retail stores (like Bunnings, Mitre 10 etc…). Cabinet-makers and kitchen suppliers who generally deal only with builders will be more than happy to deal with you if you approach them. They will do everything a retail store will do (and more) because you are dealing with the people who are making the cabinetry etc.. for you – not just a sales-person.

When selecting materials and colours, stay as neutral as you can. Warm, neutral colours are inoffensive and generally liked by most people. Materials range from 2-pac to laminate to vinyl wrapped to timber. Your decision on which finish to select will be based on where the property is located, how much you are spending on your kitchen and who the target market are. For instance, a high value home that is being sold immediately might be treated to 2-pac doors. Whereas a mid value home for students would have nothing less than laminate doors and a high pressure laminate bench-top (like Laminex or Formica).

Go basic on the doors and drawer fronts to keep costs down and then spend a little extra on nice door handles and an eye-catching splash-back. The appliances you choose will also reflect your property in general – mid value property = mid-range appliances. Low value property = cheaper priced (but still good quality) appliances.

Further reduce your costs by keeping plumbed items (eg: sink, dishwasher) in the same place (or close to). Kitchen layouts are generally based on a triangle. That is; if you drew a line from the fridge to the sink to the stove you would be drawing a triangle and in between would be bench space. Keep this basic layout in mind if reconfiguring your kitchen.


Five easy steps to boost the appeal of your home



painting tools

It is not an uncommon fact that a well styled and well maintained house is sold easier and quicker in comparison to the one which is dirty and not looked after. Supplementing the resale value of your property may sound like a difficult task, but in fact it is a very easy thing to do. We have highlighted some of the most effective tips that will help you in improving the value of your home.

1. Proper planning

It will get a lot more easier for you if you do things in a planned and organised manner. Make a list of all those things you want to change or upgrade. Go through the list and evaluate how much are the renovating and repairing services going to cost you and plan accordingly.

When you have made an arrangement, conduct a thorough research and converse with the companies that provide renovation services in Auckland to perceive what kind of return those enhancements may bring. A few changes will enhance your home pretty effectively.

2. Paint the walls again

Painting the walls of your property using neutral colours such as beige, tan, grey etc can instantaneously enhance the overall look of your home and thus its resale value. Newly painted walls will add vibrance and exuberance to your room and make it smell fresher.

Keep in mind about outside paint, especially if your current paint is chipped, peeling or worn out. An excessive number of colours could make the home to seem uneven as opposed to coordinated by a typical sense of taste. Pick not more than three shades for the exterior of your house.

3. Keep it clean

Think from the perspective of a buyer, if your home is available for purchasing, a brilliant and sparkly home can draw in purchasers like a magnet.

A perfect spic and span property can offer a lot of benefits at once. To begin with, you don’t have to worry about maintenance issues, it becomes easier to identify potential issues before they transform into costly expenses. Also, you don’t allow dirt and garbage to develop if you keep the cleanliness of your property up to date.

Think past your standard vacuuming schedule. Contract a company that can offer profound cleaning services. You may need to contract a different company to steam-clean the carpets, as not every single home cleaner offers this service.

4. Modernize your kitchen

On the off chance that your cupboards are in great condition however obsolete, you can enhance their appearance by applying a new coat of fresh white paint and replacing the pivots and handles. You could also procure contractual workers to replace the cabinets, while leaving the cupboards themselves intact.

Use Stainless Steel. The frosty feel of steel is a hot ticket for purchasers. Replace your equipment as it becomes outdated and pick a similar metallic look in your light switches.

Replace your countertop with granite, for it will supplement the overall look of the kitchen greatly.

5. Update your washrooms

Of all the rooms in your home, the washroom is the most used one. There is a lot of wear and tear and damage involved, so you need to keep it well maintained and make attractive updates if required.

Keep it clean. Dirt and grime can end up accumulating on washroom surfaces rapidly. Spruce it up with new grout.

Exchange your standard showerhead with a more noteworthy looking choice. Include a builder grade granite or marble ledge to your shower vanity at a moderately minimal effort point, as the material expenses won’t be too high.

In the event that your washroom is in good working order, these updates aren’t important. In any case, if your washroom is outdated with obsolete ledge with dings, chips and stains, replacing this could enable you to draw in a purchaser.

Last but not the least, it is advisable to take a proactive approach towards renovating your house by hiring a reputed company that provides professional builders who will do the job for you in a more efficient manner. There are a number of renovating companies in Auckland like Your Builder Ltd who provide such services at very reasonable prices.

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Maximising your outdoor living for year round use

Properties which are orientated to maximise sunlight are at the top of priority list for home buyers, according to So investing in an attractive, liveable outdoor space, with good flow between indoors and outdoors, is money well spent. Not only will it make your home feel more expansive, but it will also pay dividends should you decide to sell.




Properties which are orientated to maximise sunlight are at the top of priority list for home buyers, according to So investing in an attractive, liveable outdoor space, with good flow between indoors and outdoors, is money well spent. Not only will it make your home feel more expansive, but it will also pay dividends should you decide to sell.

What do I need to consider when creating indoor/outdoor flow?

Depending on the current layout of your property and how you intend to use your outdoor space, considerations will vary. However the consistent factor with all outdoor living areas in NZ is climate. While the summer months lend themselves to socialising outdoors, our inconsistent weather and varying temperatures throughout the middle of the year means your outdoor living space needs to work to combat these elements and minimise their effect.

Incorporate shade & shelter

It’s hard for a Kiwi to catch a break when we are trying to enjoy ourselves outdoors. We are either being roasted by our harsh sunshine, rained on by a passing shower, or blown away by random wind gusts. No matter what the weather – your outdoor space needs shelter. Fortunately you have a lot of options – including awnings, umbrellas, gazebos, pergolas and sails – depending on your budget.

Outdoor Heating Solutions

Outdoor heating allows you to get the greatest value out of your investment in an outdoor living space as it lets you utilise the area all year round. While there are many options the most cost-effective, energy efficient solution is roof mounted, electric heaters.  Auckland based outdoor heater manufacturer, Kelray Heaters produce a range of outdoor infrared heaters which are specifically designed for NZ’s salt-laden air.

Unlike traditional gas powered heat lamps which simply heat surrounding air, infrared heaters act similarly to the Sun’s rays, with heat waves being absorbed only by solid objects.  This makes them the most efficient patio heating solution.

Lighting your outdoor space

Outdoor lighting needs to be practical as well as decorative. By illuminating certain features of your yard such as paths, plants, ornaments and seating, you create an aesthetically pleasing night time environment.  The two main options for landscape lighting are 12V and solar powered each of which can be LED or halogen.  The solution you select will be based on the intended use of your outdoor area as well as any limitations.

When it comes to creating an attractive, liveable outdoor space in NZ the items highlighted above – shelter, heating and lighting, are really the bare minimum. When it comes to other considerations such as outdoor furniture and appliances, this really depends on what you intend to use this space for. Be sure to closely define what you want to get out of your newly created space, before undertaking any significant project.

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The Most Cost-Effective Renovations for Improving Property Values

No matter what they want to tell you, it’s not just ‘location, location, location’ anymore. People looking for new homes are actually looking at the home itself these days, not just where it’s located. The term ‘curb appeal’ took off in the 80s, and we all know about it, and yet particularly among new owners, using the concept is a challenge.



Location, Curb Appeal, Value for Dollar, Location. That’s more like it.
No matter what they want to tell you, it’s not just ‘location, location, location’ anymore. People looking for new homes are actually looking at the home itself these days, not just where it’s located. The term ‘curb appeal’ took off in the 80s, and we all know about it, and yet particularly among new owners, using the concept is a challenge. We’re going to make that a little easier — only we’re not stopping there, because prospects walk through a house, too. We need to add a little value inside the home as well with these cost-effective renovations.

Curb Appeal

Clean Up
We’re hoping that this is a no brainer for most of you, but just in case there’s someone out there who intends to rent out a property that’s exterior has junk laying around and the interior is cluttered with crap…don’t unless your goal is to be a slumlord. We’re not talking about construction materials, we mean whatever previous tenants left behind. If we can’t fit the debris in the back of a truck or the garbage men won’t take it, we’ll rent a dumpster. Now we have shown properties to tenants that we’re eager beavers to see them when they weren’t ready & on the market, and there are exceptions to every “rule”, but our goal is not to market a property until it’s cleaned up.

You don’t have to have an actual landscape to do some landscaping. Cut & trim the grass, add a few pavers or garden logs to define (empty) ‘planting beds’, and maybe some planters under the kitchen windows will do the job. The point, however, is that if you don’t take care of these basics, it looks like you don’t care about the house — and if you don’t, why would they?

This is the real ‘first impression’ — literal curb appeal is good, but the prospect is going to start looking critically at the home as they walk up. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and frame, some new address numbers, and (if relevant) some solid, good-looking stairs go a long way.


Now You’re Cooking
The kitchen is the heart and soul of the American home; most modern kitchens are designed to be used while hosting, with guests seated within sight and earshot. That means that some clean & matching appliances (no white fridge and stainless steel oven), scrubbed kitchen cabinets and counters, and no burnt out lightbulbs are the minimum. Be sure the paint on walls & ceiling, especially around the stovetop (where grease splatters), looks good. For a few hundred bucks you may want to put down a new floor – if you use peel & stick tiles don’t use the cheapest ugly stuff and be sure to use specific floor contact cement so they stay down and your new tenant isn’t calling and complaining after a month that the floor tiles are coming up! Make sure the kitchen is bright and inviting with light fixtures that aren’t just the cheapest you can find. Find a Habitat Restore or other resale shop for inexpensive, nice-looking used ones. Also be sure to address the area under the sink – if it looks crappy and dirty what’s a potential tenant going to think? For $20 we install a rubber mat that looks good, is easy to keep clean and protects the particle board base.

…and Giggles
The next area that draws an excessive amount of consumer concern is the bathroom. Like the kitchen, a few small changes can really turn a bathroom from a dingy place where you wouldn’t want to touch anything to a place you wouldn’t mind doing a crossword puzzle. A new toilet seat, fresh tub surround caulk and the cabinet mat we mentioned for the kitchen are easy to do. Going further, an updated vanity, light fixture and mirror shouldn’t cost more than a couple of Benjamins, but the value they add is huge.

Let There Be Light
The last great (cheap) home upgrade that will get your rental filled quick is brightening up the living areas. If you don’t have a massive window, add lights with daylight bulbs. Tip: don’t show a property with all the blinds/shades closed (unless you need to hide an eyesore next door). If the carpet is dingy, replace it with something light-toned (but not so light that it will make dirt stand out). A coat of paint slightly less ‘off’ and slightly more ‘white’ can help quite a bit, too. Some contrast is also good, so don’t paint the ceiling & trim the same color as the walls! Bright rooms feel like big rooms, and you can completely change the feeling of the living space for less than a hundred bucks if you play your cards right.

With these cost-effective renovations in place, you can make almost any home feel like a place you’d want to live — and if you want someone to live there, you should strongly consider doing just that.

This article has been contributed by RoyalRoseProperties – and found in a discussion on

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