IF THERE is one thing the majority of us have at the moment, it’s time. And since we can’t go anywhere many are putting it to good use by getting things done around home – things we have been putting off for a long time because we’re usually too busy. Surely you’ve all seen the queues at Bunnings lately… home improvement has never been more popular!
So what are the top things you should be doing to your home while you’re in isolation that could improve it for your use and even add value, without spending a fortune? We asked three experts – Craig Hogg of The Edge Property Buyers, Good Deeds Property Buyers principal Veronica Morgan and buyers agent and CEO of Propertybuyer Rich Harvey – to give us their top tips.
- Clean your home’s exterior
The first thing you can consider doing is cleaning the outside of your home to improve the aesthetics, according to Hogg. Admit it, this is something that often goes by the wayside due to our usually-busy lives, doesn’t it? Now is a good time to clean all the front windows, screens, doors and gutters, and give dirty surfaces a high-pressure wash. While you’re there you can get some precious Vitamin D while you’re under lock-down, adds Hogg. It will make a huge difference to the appeal of your home, and if you have any plans to sell anytime soon it will add value as first impressions count.
- Clean the inside of your home
Follow up the external clean with a good declutter and spring clean internally, including under the house and the garage, to open up some extra space, says Hogg.
“Cleaning doesn’t cost a cent and will immediately improve the presentation of your property and more than likely improve your mental well-being as well.”
- Tidy up the garden
Landscaping and garden maintenance always takes time, so why not use your time in isolation to get some exercise and tidy up the garden, top soil the lawns or plant out a brand new garden bed or veggie patch, says Harvey.
“First impressions count to buyers if you are considering selling,” he adds.
- Plant a herb garden or veggie patch
“I just moved house in February, and hadn’t yet planted a herb garden, so that has been one of the first things I’ve done in isolation,” says Morgan.
It may not add value to your home per se, she says, but it will add to the comfort and amenity, particularly if you are forced to work and play indoors for extended periods of time.
“I think getting out in my garden, even if it’s just a few pots, does help my mental health, as does feeling like I’m actually in control of something – that is. I can grow something that we can then eat – even if it’s a small thing.”
There’s always somewhere in the house that needs a refresh through painting, according to Harvey.
“Why not use the break to get some painting done and turn it around in two or three days and then get the house back to normal?” he suggests.
Painting is an affordable way to improve the appearance of your property, if you have the funds available, adds Hogg.
“Stick to neutral colours and try to lighten the look and feel of the property,” he says.
“Tile paints are popular at the moment, and combined with new cabinet handles, will help transform tired old bathrooms and kitchens into something special for only a few hundred dollars.”
- Polish the floorboards
This is messy, but fresh looking floors are a great way to create a tidy and stunning look, says Harvey.
Flooring can have one of the biggest impacts in a home, and will be a satisfying task to complete.
You can do-it-yourself too, in just a day or so. Jump online or head into Bunnings (it’s still open) to get some instructions and the equipment you need, including a sander, polish and a brush, and set to work!
- Get additional data points installed
We could be working and schooling from home for some time, so this will likely come in handy in the coming months, as well as in the long term.
“I completely underestimated the need before schooling and work moved into the home,” says Morgan.
Getting additional data points installed will, again, add to the amenity and comfort of your home, says Morgan, particularly if you’re stuck there for many more months, rather than strictly adding value.