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2 simple ways to renovate for sustainability

By Andrew Bell

When you buy real estate in Surfers Paradise, there's a number of ways to add value. Whether as an owner-occupier, investor or even a flipper who is going to sell at a profit in a year or two, there is plenty of time and room for growth in your property. Renovating a house or apartment is one effective avenue to do this. It offers you the opportunity to make improvements and additions to a property that can have a big positive impact on your bottom line, allowing you to charge more rent, sell for more money or simply have a better lifestyle.

And in this day and age, it's important to take into account sustainable practices. A BCI Economics and FuturArc report from 2014 showed that green building is becoming ever more popular – more than 50 per cent of architects in Australia and New Zealand say their sales growth is due to the use of green building. So clearly, sustainability is popular as well as good for the environment. But how can you adopt green techniques when you renovate your Surfers Paradise property?

Boost the energy efficiency

One renovation that could make your rental property very popular with buyers or tenants is an energy-efficient setup. This is an area where Queensland has excelled of late, with Engineering Australia recently noting that a brand new solar array has been established at the University of Queensland's Gatton campus – harnessing 2,700 hours of sunlight per year.

While you wouldn't be expected to set this up in your own backyard, there are other, more smaller-scale improvements that you can implement at home. The City of Gold Coast council has multiple suggestions for improving energy efficiency, including investing in a solar heating unit for your water. A gas or heat pump setup is also recommended. This can be a great one-time investment to not just cut down on bills and environmental damage in the long term, but also to attract people to your property.

An additional monitoring system may not be as attractive, but it is something that means you can clearly see the tangible benefits of your energy efficiency investment. 

Sink the draughts

As your property gets older, the chances of wear and tear increase, meaning you're more likely to have draughts that need addressing. Fixing this will keep your property warmer in the winter as well as bring down those energy bills – otherwise the energy from your heater is drifting straight outside! 

Sustainability Victoria has many tips for addressing this that are just as applicable to your Surfers Paradise property. While it's undeniably warmer up here, creating a sustainable piece of property should still be a priority. What you can do includes the following:

  • Look. Check for light peeping through cracks or gaps around doors, windows, chimneys and vents – that's a draught! 
  • Listen. Wind whistling around similar areas in the home? It might be time to fix it up!
  • Touch. If you have identified an area where there's a draught, feel around for the exact point where there is air leaking in or out.

Draughts can be found anywhere around the home, even in floorboards and walls. The next step is sealing these gaps – it'll take time, but these renovations will make your home much more sustainable and appealing to people. It's a surefire way to improve Surfers Paradise real estate for the next sale or to attract those ideal tenants. 

As the temperatures start to cool down in the middle months, this could be a particular focus for you. Check out your property and see if there are any sustainable renovations you could make in the near future! 

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