6 common mistakes people make when renovating for profit

Renovating to add value? Reno queen Cherie Barber shares the top mistakes to avoid.
Loading the player...

Whether you’re getting ready to sell or just looking to make a couple of updates around your home make sure you’re getting your bang for your buck.

So we called in property flipping queen and founder of Renovating for Profit Cherie Barber, to explain how you can maximise your home’s value without blowing your budget.

Because as Cherie explains when it comes to renovating “the greatest risk is to take no risk at all.”

1. Not having a plan

Jumping in headfirst without the proper due diligence is one of the biggest (and also most costly) mistakes Cherie sees home buyers make.

“Not getting the necessary inspections done before buying, underestimating the cost of the work that needs doing, and not mapping out the project completely at the outset” is something she sees all too often.

“These all contribute to cost blow-outs and increase the risk of over-capitalising on your project,” Cherie explains.

Make sure you’ve got a well-defined plan and a budget in place before you dive head-first into a reno, says Cherie.

(Credit: Photo: Rebecca Lu / Styling: Rachel Peters)

2. Focussing on the wrong areas

If you’re renovating on a budget, Cherie recommends focusing on three key areas; your bathroom, kitchen and front facade.

“Unfortunately, these are the most expensive to renovate as they are material and labour intensive, but they’ll give you the greatest uplift in property value, provided you get the design right.”

Aim to spend your budget on highly visible improvements, such as a stylish and updated kitchen and bathroom, internal painting and updating your flooring and window furnishings. Cherie knows these are some of the simplest ways to boost your property value.

3. Putting too much effort into the backyard

When it comes to your garden and outdoors, it’s easy to get carried away with your backyard and outdoor entertaining area.

“Focus on strong street appeal (primarily your façade), which will add value to a property.”

For an extra value boost, make sure your façade has one common theme that fits one type of architectural identity. “This will leave a lasting impression and help on auction day if selling,” Cherie adds.

Basic reno updates such as a high-pressure wash can remove years of built-up dirt and grime across all external areas of your property and make your home look instantly fresher.

If you’re left with ugly paths or an aged façade, a fresh lick of paint will do wonders.

Outdoor entertaining spaces are great to have, but putting money into the parts of the home that are visible from the street is often a better investment, says Cherie.

(Credit: Photo: Nat Spadavecchia / Styling: Fiona Gould)

4. Being too bold or too bland with colour

With 27 years of renovating experience under her belt, a trend that Cherie is noticing more and more is that “there’s a distinct move to natural organic textures.”

Traditionally we’ve been told to stick with neutrals, but Cherie doesn’t totally agree.

“We’re embracing colour more, this season we’re seeing colours such as pretty pastels, earthy shades, and more natural stone and timber tones.”

“You have to strategically know how to get colour right; it’s a real art and science in itself! Always get a sample pot and paint generous swatches that you can view in daylight and night before you commit to ordering all your paint.”

6. Not having a consistent design theme

Arguably one of the trickiest decisions is choosing a single design theme for the home.

When you’re choosing surfaces and colours, Cherie recommends choosing ones that “have a strong connection to nature.”

Think greens, stones, whites, even corals along with natural timbers and linen fabrics. These tend to be enduring themes amongst many homeowners and help us relax.

Don’t be afraid to inject colour and personality into the home, says Cherie. If you’re not confident with colour, she recommends sticking to a palette inspired by nature. In this bathroom, a pink ‘Piper’ glass pendant from Jardan adds interest.

(Credit: Photo: Jody D’Arcy / Styling: Alex Carter)

6. Forgetting to update your insurance policy

When you put down the tools, this doesn’t mean that your renovation is complete. It’s essential to protect all your hard work by reviewing and updating your insurance policy.

“If your home and/or contents have been updated throughout the renovation, this may affect the overall value. It’s important to understand what this means for your coverage.”

Related stories