5 Reasons Why You Should Consider High-Value Home Renovations

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider High-Value Home Renovations

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider High-Value Home Renovations

Have you ever considered undertaking a renovation on your home? Too many people immediately choose to move house when they feel like a change – when they could instead utilise their valuable time and money on a comprehensive, high-value home renovation and love their current home even more.

Home renovation is one of the best ways to increase your home’s value for your next appraisal, but any renovation should be considered carefully to ensure that it will help to add value to your home. If you need convincing that a home renovation should be on the cards for you, take a look at the following reasons why it might be a good idea to take it into consideration:

Photo Credit: Annie Gray via Unsplash under License

  1. You can make the house a safer place for yourself and future occupants

Renovations aren’t all about stylish new kitchens or futuristic new bathrooms. Some renovations improve the safety of a house for its occupants – and these types of renovation have a high-value, as safety is often the first thing prospective buyers examine in a house. Even if your bathroom looks worthy to be on a luxury home magazine cover, prospective buyers (especially those with children) will ignore it if other places in your home have potentially dangerous elements, such as narrow, slippery stairs.

  1. You can renovate without breaking the bank

A common misconception is that all home renovations will cost you a fortune, and some easy improvements are often overlooked. For example, a renovation as straightforward as simply replacing your window fixtures with quality roller shades or wooden blinds can increase your home’s value. You’re doing your future self a favour by performing these renovations, so when you have a windfall or a bit of cash left over at the end of the month, it’s worth considering a simple renovation.

Photo Credit: NeONBRAND via Unsplash under License

  1. Aesthetic improvements will help win over buyers

 After you’ve ensured that your home is both safe and functional, you can focus on the more exciting part of home renovation – making your home look and feel beautiful, and therefore more appealing to future buyers. You could invest in some unique, eye-catching art pieces in parts of the home where people relax and socialise, such as the lounge and dining room. Clean, tidy furniture with pleasant colours and decorations like lamps and cushions will also help keep your house looking at its best.

When it comes time to sell, you need to woo potential buyers by showing them that your home is the one they should be bidding for over the countless others they’ve seen. Remember to call on the expertise of professional property consultants to make sure that you are getting the best possible price for all your hard work.

  1. Renovations can improve the function or efficiency of a home

Many renovations help to make a home easier to live in. If you had to decide between two houses and one had an en-suite bathroom, which house would you choose? Perhaps your house could do with an area for kids or a bigger basement, or perhaps you could benefit from installing money-saving heating systems – such modern, functional renovations will give your home an edge over others on the market.

Photo Credit: Coen Staal via Unsplash under License

  1. You get to enjoy the renovations until it’s time to sell

Your renovations will add value to your home and make your house more enjoyable to live in. You deserve to live comfortably, so why not undertake renovations that will add value to your home as well as improve your quality of life? When planning a renovation, try to balance your own desires with renovations that will impress future buyers. High-value renovations are an investment that will contribute to your present comfort and to your future finances if you ever choose to sell.

Plenty of home renovations will add value to your home, but it’s worth doing a fair amount of research (consider especially expert tips on renovation) before you make the commitment. Knowing how much value your home renovations will really add will help you in planning and budgeting, and stop you from making the mistake of pouring thousands into a project that won’t give you any returns.

By Johanna Cider

Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based writer who loves discussing home and lifestyle topics. Home design and organisation are her deepest passions, and she spends most of her free time working on DIY projects and watching her favourite home improvement shows. Find more of Johanna’ work here.

Bathroom Renovation Tricks That Pay Off

Bathroom Renovation Tricks That Pay Off

Bathroom Renovation Tricks That Pay Off

A bathroom renovation doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, even if does seem that way at first. What’s more, you don’t have to completely turn your bathroom upside down in order to revamp its look; you can add some charm to it with only a few easy and affordable tricks. Thinking outside the box will help you cut down your remodeling costs to a minimum, so make sure you use your imagination and creativity, and with a few following tips, you’ll have the cute modern bathroom you wanted for so long.

Tile the shower with faux wood

The choice of tiles can make or break the entire bathroom design. What’s more, if you want to have that spa feel in your home, adding faux wood is just the perfect way to achieve the calming effect in your bathroom. If you use flashes of consistent material in different rooms, you’ll get that unifying effect as well. So, feel free to add elements of wood into each room, including your bathroom, for a unified atmosphere. Faux wood tiles in your shower will make your bathroom look like a true spa haven.

Overlay the Sink

One of the best ways to add more glow to your old dingy sink is to cover the laminate with a concrete overlay. Furthermore, you can also install concrete finishes if you are going for an industrial feel. With pigments and additives, you can create fabulous speckled and marble finishes, and give your sink more of an edge. To add an even bigger rustic feel to your bath, think about getting a flea market console and converting it into a primitive vanity. With a vessel-style sink, you’ll get a fabulous raw vanity.

Upgrade Fixtures

A new toilet, a new shower or a bathtub, alongside an elegant sink, can make a huge difference to your old bathroom. Therefore, check out modern bathtubs and look for the one that would fit perfectly into your new bathroom. If you apply veneers, tiles or panels, you’ll add more luxury to your bathtub, creating a sophisticated interior. Furthermore, consider adding a new set of skin faucets, drawer pulls, light fixtures, and towel racks. When it comes to towel racks, be creative and forget about splurging on new ones, but instead use old plumbing. Just paint it the colour that complements your bathroom’s design and you won’t have to break the bank to give your bathroom a perfect upgrade.

Add a fresh coat of paint

When you’re looking for the cheapest way to refresh your bathroom, adding a fresh coat of paint can be just the right move. Whether you decide to boost your current colour, or you’d like to experiment with new bold shades and patterns, transforming your bath with a fresh set of hues will light up the room immediately. However, if you plan to do it on your own, you should know that it’ll cost you a lot of time and nerves, since bathrooms have plenty of areas that require careful approach. Get ready for slow painting around the switch plates, the toilet, the sink, the mirror, the tub or shower, around the window, the floor and the wall corners.

Make a statement

To add extra glam to your bathroom, think about investing in modern new features. Chic towel bars, glass and chrome accent shelves or a dramatic mirror are a great way to make a statement to your decor. If your walls are white, paint the upper half some rich bold colour to create a perfect contrast. Look outside of the box and use wall coverings that look like white painted beadboard to create wainscoting.

Remodeling a bathroom can be a piece of cake. With just a little bit of imagination, some money and time you can turn your old dingy bathroom into a pleasant spa-like haven your entire family will love.

 By Diana  Smith


Contemporary Design Solutions for a Productive Home Office

Contemporary Design Solutions for a Productive Home Office

Contemporary Design Solutions for a Productive Home Office


Working from home definitely has some significant upsides – achieving the work-life balance is much easier, you save a lot of time on not having to commute – which means more time for some extra zzz’s, and aside from all of that, you get to design your very own home office.

Now, while designing your own office definitely sounds fun, you need to make sure that you don’t end up creating a space that feels too overwhelming in any sense. Rather, you should aim at putting together the environment that will boost your productivity and get your creative juices flowing. For some additional inspiration, check out these contemporary design solutions.

Make it pretty but functional

While your first instinct might be browsing Pinterest for some home office ideas, keep in mind that there you can find plenty of cute designs that are just that – cute. Aside from being pretty and looking well put together, your home office needs to be functional as well. So, first of all, forget all about cute shabby chic chairs and vintage desks and go for the ergonomic furniture instead. Second, make sure you don’t go too overboard with the wall colour so that you don’t create a space that only looks nice in pictures. Finally, make sure that your desk has plenty of working space and is not filled with random and unnecessary trinkets.

A functional home officeImplement ergonomic furniture

As already mentioned, ergonomic furniture is the only way you should be going in your home office. While it is true that there are other solutions out there that might look “cuter”, the fact is that they, most likely, won’t be able to provide you with the proper support throughout a 40-hour work week. Next, make sure that your computer screen is positioned at your eye level, or a bit lower, so that you don’t put too much strain on your neck. Finally, see to it that your forearms are parallel to the floor once you position them on the keyboard – that’s at the same time the ideal height of your work desk.

Make sure you have plenty of storageAdd plenty of storage solutions

Next, no office can function properly without opulent storage solutions. No matter what type of business you are doing in your home office, make sure you have enough place to store all the necessary equipment, stationery and any files you might be required to keep in the physical form. Additionally, you can even check out adaptable storage solutions that allow you to store and display all sorts of files in a clear and concise manner. Not only that, but they make everything stored inside easily accessible, which will mean a great deal every time you need to pull something out fast.

Make it bright

Natural light, as well as artificial light, both play a huge role in any office design. Therefore, make sure you have plenty of light in the room you’ve chosen to be your home office. Additionally, put your work desk as close to the window as possible to maximize the use of natural light and make sure you implement various artificial lighting solution throughout your office so that you can have plenty of light even when the sun goes down.

Add some greeneryAdd some greenery

Finally, make your home office as cosy as possible by filling it up with various greenery. Houseplants have an extremely positive effect on our overall well-being and can make any room instantly look more serene and peaceful. Layer different plants through the office to create a cosy and inviting vibe and make spending time in your home office that much more enjoyable.

As you can see, managing to put together a beautiful home office is not that difficult. While your main concerns should definitely be practicality and functionality, you can also make the space look beautiful and feel cosy for maximum comfort and productivity.

By Lillian Connors

How to Paint a Ceiling Like a Pro

How to Paint a Ceiling Like a Pro

How to Paint a Ceiling Like a Pro

A new coat of paint can work wonders for the visual appeal of an interior space. This is one of the easiest and most affordable home upgrades, but there are still a couple of important things to keep an eye on. Unlike wall painting, the task involves elevation and contortion. What is more, the whole process can be rather time-consuming due to details that surround the painting, such as prepping the surface and emptying the room beforehand. So, to come out on top, it is best to take lessons from seasoned pros able to make short work of any ceiling.

Prep work

To set the stage for painting, remove all furniture from the room. This will facilitate the free flow of traffic while you go about painting. If you cannot move some stuff, use drop cloths to protect them from paint splatters and mishaps. In case you are painting only the ceiling, you also have to cover areas where the walls meet the ceiling with painter’s tape. Do the same with mouldings that adorn ceiling edges. As for those who are painting the whole room, they should always start with the ceiling.

In any event, the prep stage is essential for project success. To kick it off, apply a coat of primer. It will provide a stain barrier and potentially enable you to use only one coat of paint to finish the project. Also, a stain-blocking primer is effective in covering flaws such as roof leaks, tobacco smoke marks and other stains. One of the most commonly used products is a spray can of pigmented shellac. At this point, you may also inspect the ceiling for bumps and crud that tend to emerge over time. Try sanding with a drywall sanding paper to deal with them.

Get it rollingGet it rolling

Next, it is time to tool up for painting. Here is what you need in order to smoothly tackle your tired ceiling surface: paint, drop cloth, primer, roller, painter’s tape, extension pole, roller tray, sponge and a stepladder. Do not skimp on the main materials for the job. Seek special ceiling paint that is easy to apply and dries quickly in order to witness pro results. Bear in mind that if you need to perform some of the aforementioned tasks such as sanding, additional equipment is required.

Once that is sorted out, the actual painting work can commence. Get on the stepladder and paint the cut-line along the edges of the ceiling with a trim brush. You want to get a smooth and consistent layer of paint on the ceiling, which is to say you have to mind the technique. While the line is still wet, you can proceed to paint the ceiling with a roller. That way, the lines will be less visible. The same goes for the paint you apply to different sections of the ceiling.

Finishing TouchesFinishing touches

As for using the roller properly, you need to roll it over the tray until the nap is fully covered. Avoid submerging the roller. Instead, glide it gently back and forth to prevent any drips. After that, you can attach the extension pole. Use zigzag movement to create square shapes on the ceiling. Even out the paint with straight, controlled strokes. Again, pay close attention to the lines that the edge of the roller leaves. Feather them to make them less visible.

When the paint dries, you have either arrived at the finish line or need to repeat the whole process again. This depends on the paint you chose and the size and type of the ceiling surface. Upon applying the last stroke, clean your tools – warm water and soap do the trick just fine. Finally, you can sit back, relax, and marvel at the fruits of your labour. Your home should be infused with more character and appeal now.

With Flying ColoursWith flying colours

Ceilings have a profound impact on the home’s ambiance, lighting, and outlook. Painting them is not rocket science, but not a task you should jump into without any legwork. First, get familiar with prep and painting techniques professionals use. Employ the right tools of the trade and leave enough time in your schedule to work without pressure. It is crucial to nail the tasks in the prep stage for the rest to feel like a breeze. Gently roll your way around the ceiling and finish your project to your utmost satisfaction.

By Lillian Connors

5 Things Every First Home Buyer Should Know

5 Things Every First Home Buyer Should Know

5 Things Every First Home Buyer Should Know

If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, here are five crucial things you need to know.

1. Help is at hand!

As a first home buyer in New Zealand you may be eligible for various types of support.

  • If you are a citizen or permanent resident, have never owned property before and earn less than $85,000 (or $130,000 combined income if you are buying with other people), you could qualify for a Welcome Home Loan. This is a special mortgage underwritten by Housing New Zealand.
    With a Welcome Home Loan you’ll only need to save a deposit of 10% instead of the standard 20%, which can make it much easier to get into your own home. However, this will mean you’ll pay more in interest over the long term, since you’ll be borrowing more – and you’ll also have to pay a 1% Lender’s Mortgage Insurance premium, to protect the lender in case you can’t make your mortgage payments.
  • If you have been a member of KiwiSaver for at least three years you may be able to draw money from your super fund to use as deposit on your home.
  • If you have been contributing consistently to Kiwisaver for at least three years you could qualify for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant of up to $5,000 towards your home deposit (or up to $10,000 if you are buying a new-build home).

2. You need to be disciplined about saving

Even if you do qualify for a Welcome Home Loan and only need a 10% deposit, saving can be the most challenging thing about buying your first home.

While you are saving, house prices may continue to rise, so it can feel like you never get any closer to your target.
It’s crucial that you pay off any debts (credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans etc) before you start, as the interest you’ll pay on borrowings will always be more than you can earn on your hard-earned savings. Once that’s done, the best way to save for your deposit is to set up separate account and an automatic transfer, so that any cash you don’t need for bills and day-to-day expenses will go straight to your savings.
Carey Brunel, CEO of HomeLoan.co.nz says, “Consider buying small – research by Victoria University of Wellington has shown that 45% of the space in most houses is barely used. You may find you can afford a nicer house in a nicer area (and save yourself a packet in ongoing costs like energy bills) if you are willing to embrace the benefits of minimalist living.”

3. Your family can help

If you have family or friends who are willing to help you get into your first home, they can help in several ways.

  • Lend you the money you need – be sure to put a formal loan agreement in place, to prevent disputes and protect your relationship. When it comes to applying for a mortgage, your lender will take your family loan into account and will need to see that you can afford to make payments on both.
  • Act as guarantor and co-sign your mortgage. This means that if you can’t make your repayments, they will have to. Be aware that if they use their own home as security for your loan, they could risk losing it.
  • Use the equity in their property to guarantee part of your loan – the amount you need for your deposit – through a product like Westpac’s Family Springboard. You will be solely responsible for the rest of your mortgage.

4. There are a lot of costs to factor in

When you start to calculate your purchase budget, you’ll discover there’s a lot more to consider than just the price of the house.
Your lender will decide how much you can afford to borrow, based on your income and living expenses – but to find out how much you can afford to spend, you’ll have to deduct all the purchase costs from that borrowing limit. Costs include:

● Building reports
● Land information memorandum (LIM)
● Legal fees
● Mortgage set up and administration costs
● Insurance
● Utility connection fees
● Moving expenses

5. Research is crucial

When you are finally ready to start house hunting it’s vital that you research carefully, to make sure you buy the right property in the right area. The one thing you can’t change about your new home is its location, so be sure to choose suburbs that offer whatever is important to you – whether that is shops and restaurants, a lively nightlife, parks and schools, tranquil streets, public transport or lots of parking.
Before you make any offers, look at several properties in your target area to get a feel for fair value.

By Mary Paterson

If you need any advice or help, then don’t hesitate to ask TEAM DAVIS: CONTACT US HERE

Renovations that will add Value to Your Property

Must-Have Updates for an Energy-Efficient and Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Do you want to join the ‘green’ movement and become more energy-savvy and eco-friendly? One of the best places to start is the kitchen. Even though it usually takes up only a small portion of the total square footage of your home, your kitchen wastes a lot of energy and resources! However, having an energy-efficient kitchen that conserves electricity and water is right within your arm’s reach with these easy and practical updates. Read more

Backyard ideas for every home

Backyard ideas for every home

Many homeowners understand the importance of a well-kept backyard landscape. As a matter of fact, one should plan out and design a backyard in a way that it is livable and suits the homeowners’ lifestyle. Someone who is more inclined towards nature and peace might consider a backyard as a retreat from a busy schedule. On the other hand, party goers might want to turn this area of their home into a place where the fun never stops. If you are feeling stuck and uninspired, here are a couple of amazing backyard ideas for every home. Read more

Contemporary Kitchen Remodel

Contemporary Kitchen Remodel: A Harmonious Marriage of Style and Function

The kitchen is so much more than just a room where you go to prepare and eat your meals. It’s also the place where the entire family gets together at least once every day and, aside from sharing a deliciously prepared meal, share their stories and events of the day that is soon to be behind them. Precisely because of that, every kitchen is a special place and, as such, deserves a special treatment when it comes to style. So, if you’re planning on remodelling your kitchen, here are some interesting ways you can bring together both style and function and tie them in the holy matrimony. Read more

Effectively Staging Your Home’s Exterior

Effectively Staging Your Home’s Exterior Might Be Easier than You Think

If you’re planning to sell your home, the path to success is making all the necessary preparations so that it stands out from the rest of the neighbourhood and gives off the impression of a property well-maintained, both on the outside and inside. First impressions count a great deal in the real estate industry and they can be a crucial factor in sealing the deal. If you neglect your home exterior and fail to make it appealing and inviting, potential buyers will drive by and never return.

If you’re aiming to get top dollar, curb appeal is your ace in the hole, so make sure you spruce up your home exterior to help sell the interior as well. A beautiful front yard, welcoming porch, neat back yard, and maintained landscaping are key factors that will lead your buyers into thinking they could be the ones enjoying in all that splendour.

Here are several useful tips guaranteed to help you achieve your goal. Read more

Things You Don’t Want to Forget When Moving into a New Home

Things You Don’t Want to Forget When Moving into a New Home

Moving house is an overwhelming task and many things can get lost or be forgotten in the process, from actual objects to the smallest bits of paperwork or important documentation. And you only find out about it when you’re already at your new location and it’s too late.

Here’s a list of things you don’t want to forget in the midst of your move.

Correct packing material

Correct packing materialThis might sound insignificant, but using incorrect packing material could cause you a lot of damage and a big headache. Fragile boxes can easily collapse under weight and bin bags full of clothes can tear by accident and you’ll find yourself in the midst of your scattered possessions! The same thing goes for any type of container that you haven’t sealed properly.

Make sure you have enough boxes and containers. You can rely on the professional estimate of a removal surveyor from a moving company, or if you insist on doing it by yourself, it’s best you overestimate. Don’t be cheap at this point and purchase good quality packing material from a removal company so you can be sure they’ll withstand the move.

Choice of things to pack

Once you get into the full swing of packing you might get carried away and pack things you don’t need any more, while forgetting the essentials needed on the day of the move. Its best you make a list of things you need to have with you on the move day: a change of clothes, toilet paper, phone chargers, towels, toiletries, your personal documents and some food. Also, make sure you separate the things you’ll need to access immediately at your new home when you start unpacking. This is particularly important if you’re moving abroad and you might not get your things for several weeks.

Labelling boxes

Labelling boxesIt’s easy to forget little things in a rush, such as labelling boxes. It doesn’t sound like a big mistake, but the consequences can be quite horrific. The relocation itself is stressful, but when you finally arrive at your new home, the last thing you want is to realize it’s impossible to find anything in the sea of unlabelled boxes. Mark the boxes with the name of the room they are to go to and their content. Make sure you specify the ones containing fragile things and the ones that have priority over others.

Moving your utilities

Moving your utilitiesOn the moving day, you will probably remember to turn off the gas, electricity, water and all the switches, but what might slip your mind is arranging the move of your house utilities to your new location. Fortunately, this is no longer a lengthy and stressful task. You can now rely on professional people taking care of moving house utilities for you. With only one phone call, all is completed in a matter of minutes. That is surely one large item off your check list and one worry less.

Avoiding Friday as your move day

One of the most notorious days for moving is Friday. Although it might be very tempting to pick this day, as it would mean you’d have the whole weekend to unpack in peace, try to resist it. Fridays have always been the busiest days in removal company’s schedules, so you’ll probably end up struggling to find an available mover and probably paying a higher price. Certain pros, as this removalist from Sydney, for instance, will work with you on devising the best plan and timescale to make sure your move goes smoothly, efficiently and safely.

Letting everyone know about the move

Once you’ve packed everything, survived the move and settled in your new home, think about who knows you’re gone. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget to inform family and friends about relocation. Therefore, as soon as you’ve confirmed the date of your move, let everyone know: family, friends, the bank, insurers, your office and the Post Office so they can redirect your mail.

It’s obvious that relocation of your home and family is not something to be taken lightly, so start planning in time, about 4 to 6 weeks prior to your move. The key to a successful, smooth and stress-free relocation is good preparation and organisation.

By Lillian Connors