Home' API Magazine : April 2014 Contents They say you should never judge a book by its cover.
Unfortunately, my experience is that most of us do.
You don’t need to be a professional renovator to
understand the critical importance of making a good first
impression. Whether it’s a job interview, a date or a property
that’s open for inspection, those initial impressions have a nasty
habit of permanently prejudicing our opinion. A front façade
has to instantly communicate the right message: this is a smart
property, meticulously maintained, and it blends well with the
street and suburb.
You don’t need to get any more creative than that. In fact, the
more adventurous you get, the more you risk polarising opinion
between those who love or hate the look. I always advise taking
the conservative path when you’re trying to appeal to the
majority. Take your cue from other properties in the suburb; work
out what’s popular and the particular style of façade and colour
schemes that appeal to buyers.
¿ NEW BEGINNINGS
This two-bedroom Federation house in Sydney’s inner western
suburb of Marrickville was a textbook example of poor street
appeal, right down to the classy garbage bins in the front yard. A
slab of concrete and turf passed for a front garden, and the metal
fence looked like something from a building site.
The style of house is very typical of the suburb, which has been
a property hotspot for many years, so the plan was to retain and
showcase the existing period features (stripping them away
would only devalue the property) and add additional ones that
would accentuate the popular Federation style. The budget for
the front façade makeover was $5000, including labour, so we
needed to be strategic in our choice of materials.
No Federation house is complete without a neat picket fence,
so that was first on our shopping list, making sure it was the
right height for the council guidelines. Then, for around $500, we
purchased some period trims to “dress up” the façade:
> fretwork for the underside of the verandah canopy; and
> a new finial for the lower ridge section of the roof.
A really good high-pressure clean of the front of the house
made all the brickwork look new again. A fresh paint of the
areas of rendered brick and timberwork in a modern, but classic,
palette accentuated the period details, immediately giving the
whole front a gentrified Federation-style that buyers love. Even
the old concrete front porch got a fresh lick of paving paint.
The window frame was painted off-white to brighten the dark
area under the verandah and contrast with the red brickwork.
We gave the small front garden a slightly modern flavour. It
was cleared of rubbish and unruly foliage, and we broke up and
removed the concrete, leaving the lovely old frangipani tree as
the focal point. The garbage bins found a new home down the
side of the house, concealed in a timber bay.
After that, we simply laid down some turf, planted new
garden beds and added some oversized concrete stepping
pads, fringed by pebbles, as the garden path. Neat, tidy and low
maintenance... all you need.
¿ THE BOTTOM LINE
Prior to the facelift, the property was valued at $780,000;
afterwards it was revalued at $820,000 – a jump of $40,000.
This revamp was done in 2012, prior to Sydney’s latest property
boom, so given Marrickville’s soaring values it’s likely the
property is worth far more now.
For a $5000 outlay (and $35,000 profit) and quick trip to the
hardware store for most of the materials, it’s a lesson in what can
be achieved with a straightforward makeover that capitalises on
the natural assets of the property. API
Director of Renovating For Profit, a workshop training provider
that teaches everyday Australians how to successfully renovate
for a profit www.renovatingforprofit.com.au
API APRIL 2014
APRIL 2014 API
Putting up a façade
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PIA NEW BM_FP 17/10/11 2:12 PM Page 1
Property’s pre-makeover value
Property’s post-makeover value
Less cost of makeover
RENOVATION SECRETS // CHERIE BARBER
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