​The top 5 renovation projects for your home

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Many homeowners are calling up renovation professionals here in South Africa in order to accommodate their changing needs and/or up the value of their homes. But while home improvements can definitely increase the asking price of a property (not to mention make it more practical and stylish), there are some projects that add more value than others.

But first: how do you know when it’s time for a renovation?

1. Is it time for a renovation or to move/sell?

Consider a renovation when: 

• You love the location of your home and the neighbourhood 

• You don’t mind living in a construction site or moving out of your home for a while 

• You want to have complete creative control 

• You have a reliable and professional building contractor to help you. 


But sometimes selling and moving is better, especially in these cases: 

• When you want to change your location 

• If the disruptions of a renovation seem too much to handle 

• If your home’s renovation may cause the properties in your area to become overpriced.

2. The best renovations to consider (part 1)

Kitchen In-progress image homify Modern kitchen

Kitchen In-progress image


1. Kitchens: As modern kitchens are becoming the main social spaces of homes, even a few basic improvements can really pay off. We recommend opting for energy efficient appliances, stainless steel, new countertops, a new sink, a coat of paint and new flooring. 

You can also sand, stain, paint or completely replace cabinetry, if required. Always consider a classic design and neutral colour scheme, as these appeal to the majority of people. 

homify hint: Decent renovations in a kitchen can recoup between 70% and 80% of the remodelling cost upon selling the house.

2. Bathrooms: Another prime space that prospective homebuyers are always looking at. Consider new fixtures like a bath tub, turning a single sink into a double design, recessed lighting, new flooring, wall tiles and/or a fresh coat of paint.  

homify hint: Chances are great that you’ll make back between 65% and 75% of your costs of renovating a full bathroom and approximately 65% of the expenses of adding a full bathroom.  

3. Creating space: General improvements that increase the functional space of a home (such as widening your dining space or combining your kitchen and living areas) are both practical and visually pleasing. It’s also cheaper and less of a hassle than simply adding a new room to your house.

3. The best renovations to consider (part 2)

4. Security, windows and “green” touches: With the general costs of living skyrocketing, any renovations that save in utility bills are a great idea. Efficient windows and doors, a new roof, and solar panels can be costly to install, but roughly 65% to 76% of these expenses can be recovered at resale. And don’t overlook the value of decent security features in South African homes. 

Read moreEffective home security tips for all South Africans in 2018                    

5. Basic improvements: Before you splurge on fancy additions, focus on improving the basics: plastering, plumbing, tiling, electrical, painting, paving, waterproofing, ceiling structures, etc. It is these basic improvements that will provide the greatest return on a home's value.

4. Think twice about these renovations

While there are some home improvements that are great to have, in the end they don’t always add to a home’s resale value. These include:

• Swimming pools: Great for pool parties, but they don’t get used every single day. In fact, some homebuyers actually spend loads to fill in a pool after purchasing a house. Expensive upkeep and the fear of liability mean that, for some, the responsibility of a swimming pool will detract from a property rather than contribute to its value.

• Manicured gardens: Outdoor spaces that require lots of time and money to look pretty don’t usually add to the selling price. A lot of homeowners seek a hassle-free and low-maintenance home. And while picture-perfect gardens certainly add to the kerb appeal of a home, they rarely improve the price tag. The same goes for expensive fences and stone walls that just look pretty and don’t add to a home’s security factor.

Read more9 ideas for small, cheap and low maintenance gardens

5. A renovation or an extension?

Sometimes a full-on renovation isn't necessary, and all it takes for your home to flaunt a new look and feel is via a simple extension, such as a family room, guest bedroom, extra dining space attached to the kitchen, etc.

But where to start? The design stage is the first step. Every home extension requires a custom plan, which can be completed with a professional draughtsperson, building designer, or an architect. This is your chance to not only make your home more liveable, but also add to its value. Therefore, using the right professional is crucial. 

Consider asking friends or neighbours for recommendations when searching for preferred professionals. This will help you to get familiar with the type of workmanship you can expect and make an informed decision. And remember to always ask for quotations before settling on anyone.

6. Find professionals for the job

Building your dream home or achieving your ultimate dream renovation is not always achievable; however, with the right professionals on the job who understand your needs and budget restraints, anything is possible. To find the right professionals for your assistance, visit the professionals page on homify.

Speaking of new looks for your home, take a peek at Wise spending: Our top kitchen renovation ideas.

Which renovation projects would you love to implement in your home?

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