So while COVID-19 is challenging us from all angles, many people are finding solace in Bunnings! Yes Bunnings has been doing a roaring trade and of course it makes sense. While many of us are now spending most of our time at home, finding some home projects are great ways to stay sane. Perhaps it is a good time for you to look at some home improvements. Here are a few home improvement ideas you may like to mull over.
Small home improvements during COVID lockdown
Well vegetable gardening seems to have taken a massive boost in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic came to Australia. You’ll be lucky to find seedlings or seeds anywhere. But if you haven’t already jumped on this bandwagon, we would highly recommend it. Not only are you growing your own food, which let’s face it, pretty much always tastes better than what you get in the supermarket, but you are also getting the added benefit of being outside and relaxing.
Some great places to start for inspiration and information are:
- Bunnings: How to start a vegetable garden
- The original No Dig Garden Bed Design
- No dig garden from a Permaculture Practitioner
There is so much information about vegetable gardening. Once you get the bug (no pun intended) you’ll have a great new hobby to explore.
Our tip: Find out when the seedlings come in at Bunnings each week, and go seedling shopping that morning.
How many things around the house have drained your consciousness energy – you know, that thing that you say to yourself, “I’m going to fix that one day”. Well now is the day. Make a list and start getting them done. If you can’t fix it yourself, creating a list will get you one step closer to fixing them, and you can start looking for someone that can do it.
Tradies are still working, so if you have the money, you could get them in to help. But hopefully you’ll be able to tick off a few of those maintenance jobs off yourself, and give yourself a positive boost from feeling productive.
Of course, if it isn’t something you are confident with, leave it to someone who is. Don’t be a Mr Bean!
Do some redecorating or room rejigging
How about changing up the layout of your living room or bedroom? Nothing lifts the feeling of a home, with the least amount of money, like a room redo. If you have money you can spend on some redecorating, then perhaps a bit of online shopping is also in order. But even the rearrangement alone is likely to add a bit of new energy to your home.
Medium size home improvements during COVID lockdown
Landscaping can be a large project, or a medium size project depending on what you want and can manage. Are there any corners of your garden that you’ve been wanting to utilise better or some grass that needs replenishing? If money is an issue perhaps there are some cheaper options you can look at by sourcing supplies via Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree. Or going the longer route by buying a few bags of soil and planting your own grass seed. Explore some ideas that suit your budget and abilities right now.
Don’t forget the tradies as there is bound to be plenty out there looking for jobs.
Painting can actually be a pretty fun project for some families. Especially, if everyone has a say on the colour and designs etc.
Renovation planning during COVID lockdown
Getting a renovation while you are locked down at home during COVID isn’t really a great idea as it will most likely tip you over the edge into insanity! However, planning a renovation for after the COVID lockdown is a great idea! You may even be able to get the whole family involved.
Many of our customers take advantage of refinancing their loans to release cash, from the equity in their property, for a renovation. Now is a great time to refinance your mortgage because rates are extremely low. But even if you are not in a position to refinance right now, you can still have a lot of fun planning the renovation.
It can take quite a bit of time to plan a renovation. That time taken often saves you money in the long run. Here are some of the steps you’ll need to take:
- Brainstorm renovation ideas – have some fun coming up with possible renovation ideas. Don’t poo poo any of them at this stage, just keep the ideas rolling and make a note of each one.
- Prioritise your ideas – Look at each of your ideas and give them a mark out of 5 according to how important that will be for you and your family. Then, also give them a mark out of 5 for how they will improve the value of your property. You may need to get some input from your local real estate agent here, or a professional valuer, to find out which ideas would be best for improving the value of your property. The last thing you want to do is overcapitalise on your property. Once you have an idea of what ideas would be best suited for your family, while also good for improving the value of your property, you can start to get some quotes.
- Get three quotes – Tradies are still working at this stage of the COVID emergency and one of the big tasks when planning your renovation, is getting at least three quotes before choosing someone. When choosing the best Tradie for you:
- Make sure they have all the relevant qualifications and certifications
- Check out prior jobs they have completed – ask for some recent references and look at google reviews
- Follow your gut – if you get a bad feeling, best to honour that
- Talk to your broker – your broker can help you to refinance your mortgage and get the cash out for your renovation. At the moment interest rates are extremely low, so you will more than likely end up with a monthly repayment amount that is still less than what you are paying now.
Even if the value of your property has not gone up recently, your broker will more than likely be able to weave some magic if you have a building contract. Contact us at Living Home Loans at anytime throughout your planning process to find out what your lending options are for your specific situation.
Here are some ideas and links that may get the brainstorming juices flowing:
New bathroom or kitchen
Renovating your bathroom and/or kitchen tends to add value to your property and can improve living conditions drastically for you and your family. Don’t just think Ikea, although this can be a great idea if you are a handy person. Getting a custom kitchen and/or bathroom by a professional cabinet maker can deliver an incredibly upmarket result and can range from as little as $10,000 if you coordinate all the tradespeople yourself. Ask friends for recommendations!
We recommend Artistry in Cabinets on the Gold Coast.
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Our job in Cattai Nsw. Artistry in cabinets quality is not only sought after on the gold coast but elsewhere in the country. With our sister company Superior Solid Surface we are a perfect one stop shop for joinery and Corian surfaces. Thanks to our clients Andrew and Stacie for the opportunity to make their house a home.
Could your home do with a swimming pool? This is not the most beneficial value increasing project. However, for those who are living in the house, it can be invaluable to lifestyle. Also, even though pools are not commonly thought of to increase property values, they do make properties more saleable. When a buyer is tossing up between two properties that are the same, and one has a pool…. well you know what they’re likely to choose.
First step is to do a bit of research about what you need to consider before building a pool and come up with your wish list and ideas for how you want it to look and feel.
Next step is to get THREE quotes from a professional pool builder. Once you’ve decided on your builder, then contact us about funding it! We can look at personal loans or a refinance with cash out.
This might be a great project to get done while you are at home during COVID-19 lockdown, or perhaps you can just be ready to kick it off when everyone goes back to work and school out in the big wide world.
One of our clients managed to consolidate all of her debts and get cash out for an outdoor area, pool and a car! Talk to us about how we can help you cultivate your dreams.
Deck or outdoor awning
Outdoor living space is a premium asset these days, especially now many of us are spending a lot more time at home than we are used to. Not only is an outdoor space a treasured area for the occupants, it can also add value to your property.
Now maybe it is not the best time right now to carry out this renovation, if most of your household is at home. However, it still might be a great time to start the planning.
Get some ideas online – Pinterest is great fun for renovation planning, you can make a board and pin all your favourite looks – and talk to a few builders for tips and prices.
Talk to us about how we might be able to help your dream outdoor area come to fruition.
Dual living area
This is often one of the best type of renovations that you can spend your money on because it can be a great investment when done correctly. Common ideas are to build another living area underneath a house, turn a garage into another living area or build a granny flat. The great part about building an additional living area, is that you can rent it out and increase your regular income! This is quickly becoming a very popular type of renovation.
Again, spend some time during the COVID-19 lockdown researching, brainstorming ideas and getting quotes. Then talk to us about how we can help you to cultivate that dream!
Got any renovation inspo for our readers? Feel free to add to our comments below.