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Kitchen or bathroom: How to pick which renovation is best for your home

By Andrew Bell

Should I renovate my kitchen? Or should I renovate my bathroom? This is an age-old question for many Australian homeowners. If you’re asking this based on your personal preferences, and you plan to be in your home for the foreseeable future, then you have the freedom to prioritise your wants:

Are you thinking, “I want a fully-renovated kitchen with brand-new appliances?” Or “I want to add a bathroom to the master suite?” Or some combination of both?

However, if you are asking any of these questions to add more value to your property, then there is more to think about and consider in your decision. For example, you may want that shiny new kitchen – but adding a bathroom might generate more return on your property investment. Or perhaps you want that master bathroom – but the kitchen is outdated and renovating could increase your resale value. So how do you decide which renovation is right for your home?

Kitchen or bathroom: do you have to decide?
When the end goal for a renovation is to add more value to your home, there are ways to update both a kitchen and a bathroom – and most importantly, there are ways to complete these renovations at a relatively low cost:

  • Identify what can stay and what can go. Often there are certain materials, appliances, etc. that can be reused post-renovation, also known as ‘simple swapping‘, according to Home Beautiful. For a kitchen, this might include the cabinets and all they need is a fresh coat of paint. For a bathroom, new tiles can quickly update an existing shower without breaking a budget.
  • Time to paint. Once you know what is staying and what is going, you can start searching for new paint colours that will give your kitchen or bathroom space, and the items that are staying, an updated and inviting look at a low cost.
  • Stay neutral. When renovating for profit, it’s important to remember that you aren’t just designing for your wants – you’re also designing for a potential buyer in the future. Avoid quirky fixtures and loud colours in order to create a more neutral space that multiple home owners could see themselves living in.

Whichever you decide, make sure to plan ahead
If you’ve decided to move forward with a for-profit renovation, start the planning and budget process now. The more you’ve thought through what you can afford – while also factoring in your possible resale value once the renovations are complete – the more prepared and strategic you will be throughout the entire process.

As Cherie Barber, the Aussie home renovation queen, once said: “When you’re renovating for personal use, there are no formulas. But when you’re doing it for profit, everything is formulas every detail is important.”

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