Bernadette Janson shares the top 10 street appeal ideas to increase the value of your renovation projects.
Most of the renovations are what we call a ‘Cosmetic Plus’ renovation with a renovation budget of about 10% of the property value. Importantly, renovators need to consider their street appeal ideas first because that’s what’s going to get people in the door.
Listen to Episode 128: Top 10 Street Appeal Ideas To Increase The Value Of Your Renovation Project
Podcast: Download (Duration 27:09 — 24.8MB)
Top 10 Street Appeal Ideas To Increase The Value Of Your Renovation Project
- [00:03:29] Remove exterior ugliness from the property
- [00:04:24] Deal with the big objections of the property appeal first
- [00:07:06] Pimp your garage door to increase the street appeal of your home
- [00:07:56] Paint the roof to level up the property appeal
- [00:08:45] Focus on the entrance of your home
- [00:10:42] Enhance the appeal of your windows
- [00:12:04] Paint gives the biggest bang for your buck when renovating
- [00:13:49] Landscaping your property adds street appeal
- [00:15:04] The magic of good lighting for your renovation property
- [00:16:26] Adding value and street appeal using front fencing
Top 10 Street Appeal Ideas To Increase The Value Of Your Renovation Project
“Feelings run pretty deep with family homes. There are strong emotional connections because this is where you create and grow your family and, it’s also a statement about who you are in the world.”
1. Remove External Ugliness From The Property
It doesn’t matter what you do on the inside, if you can’t get your people in to have a look at the interior, you will severely reduce your pool of buyers. Like everything, the property is in a supply and demand market. The more demand you can create by getting people into your property and loving it, the better.
Often with a reno property, there will be things that are just so ugly you absolutely need to do something about it. Unfortunately, a lot of this can be created by renovators and one common source of ugliness is air conditioning placed inconsiderately in very obvious places.
One of our students is renovating an investment property, which she is going to sell, and the air conditioning has already been installed on the property. The install trunking was like a dogleg right up the front facade of the most prominent wall on the house. Her solution was just to paint all the house black. So her colour scheme was black with some white contrast, which would really make it pop. She also could have just as easily changed one elbow on the trunking to make it go around the corner so that you didn’t actually see it.
Sor often air conditioning installers just go for the quickest easiest way, and that’s why when we’re installing air conditioners, we have to be control freaks to avoid the ugly featiures.
2. Deal With The Big Objections Of The Property First
Often the most highly visible real estate of a property is the driveway. So when you are first looking at a property and considering street appeal ideas, the driveway could be a lot of square meterage. If it’s cracked or ugly that can be an issue. You really want this first impression street appeal to look pristine. I’ve had driveways that are cracked so what I’ve done is had them patched and then sprayed with concrete afterwards to get a flawless finish. Sometimes our students have to pull the driveway up and redo it. That’s an expensive exercise, but sometimes that’s your only option. Just painting a driveway can also be a good solution.
Stand out the front of the house, look at what you’ve got, and think:
- What will my buyer be saying about this?
- What is going to annoy them?
- What are they going to worry about?
3. Pimp Your Garage Door To Increase The Street Appeal Of Your Home
The School of Renovating community member Kathleen Friedrich, who’s an epic renovator, has sometimes vinyl wrapped her garage doors as one of her up-front street appeal ideas.
The other thing to think about is putting a remote-operated motor on the garage door. Motorising it can cost as little as a few hundred dollars. This is a big value-add, particularly for family homes where you’ve got little kids. You don’t really want to be getting out of the car to go and open the door, so that’s a big plus – it’s almost a non-negotiable.
4. Paint The Roof To Level-Up The Property Appeal
Sometimes, you can get away with doing nothing to a roof. And roofing gutters often just need power cleaning. Sometimes the roof is asbestos, but I don’t necessarily remove asbestos unless it’s breaking up or there’s some reason to remove it. Ther is a great paint produced by a South Australian company called Aztec and it has a good level of thickness about it so it can bridge gaps. It also has thermal properties so it can reduce the internal temperature of a home by several degrees. It’s very effective.
5. Focus On The Entrance Of Your Home
If you have a very bland home, you might consider attaching a portico to the entrance. Get something designed to draw people into the home.
Look carefully at the entrance lighting as part of your street appeal ideas. Work with the external and internal floor plan:
- Is it clear where you enter the home?
- Is it well lit?
- Is there a pathway to it?
- How do you get to it?
I also like to have a couple of really big pots of say, annual plants, or a succulent, on either side of the front door. You can really stake the claim for good street appeal.
A coloured front door with an appealing ‘welcome mat’ can be the most important part of a renovation for street appeal. It is a very cost-effective improvement and it creates a pop of colour.
6. Enhance The Visual Appeal Of Your Windows
Windows are often a challenge because they’re expensive to replace. Unless I am working on a period home in a high-value area, I probably wouldn’t replace the windows because they’re an expense that you won’t get back.
You might look at putting an architrave around the window if you’ve got darker aluminium windows. Or put a white architrave around to bring some light into the room. And you might put an awning over the window, or plantation shutters as your window dressing.
7. Paint Gives The Biggest Bang For Your Buck When Renovating
Make sure you get the colour right. Recently greys have been very popular in the market. Usually, with the paint colour, you also need to coordinate with the roof colour because changing the roof is an expense. If you’re not in a position to be able to paint, then you need to work with something that works with the roof. A colour that I really love for downpipes especially is Dulux Monument.
Try to avoid using dark colours on the roof. Picking out features using some white in your trim really makes the paintwork pop.
Rendering is also a great way to transform the look of the home but only if you are selling the property because if it’s painted, it becomes a maintenance issue. We usually budget around about 1% of the value of the property if we’re going to render.
8. Landscaping Your Property Adds Street Appeal
In the type of project where you buy, renovate and sell, unless you are focusing on a high price, I suggest keeping landscaping costs to a minimum because it’s hard to recover. Landscaping companies will tell you stunning or expensive landscaping will sell your home. And it may sell your home but you won’t recover the cost of it, so you need to be very careful when you’re managing this.
I am fully in favour of using turf mulch and mass planting. Turf for the lawn. There is nothing nicer than a lovely green lawn and mulching the beds. Mulch covers a multitude of sins! Mass planting is also something that may work for the area.
Buy your plants from a wholesale nursery. Also propagating is another great way. We use Gumtree a lot to find supplies. Agapanthus is something that’s lush, though I know some people hate agapanthus, but they can be a great way of filling areas that look a bit flat.
9. The Magic Of Lighting For Renovating Your Property
When you’re renovating the lighting indoors, you need to make sure you employ more than one type of lighting. The same goes for the outdoors. Choose practical lighting to help you see where you need to go, and also use lighting to create impact.
In terms of practicalities, certainly lighting the entranceway and lighting the footpath from the garage to the house is important. Lighting the house number is useful so people can see where it is. And remember to go for some drama with your lighting as well. Consider features like uplighting trees, wall washing, maybe a few downlights in your eaves or lights that wash the wall or uplighting on a veranda.
“When the property is on the market, you can use lighting to help sell your property 24/7”
10. Add More Value And Appeal By Using Front Fencing
Match the colours and details. Match things like your letterbox, house number, and any metals with your door hardware, and your gate and fencing hardware. Make sure that they are all in the same vein. Keep a consistent style with the house.
If there is fencing already there, I would rarely take fencing down. If it has deteriorated to the point where it isn’t economical to repair it, I would replace it because it is something important to homeowners. They want to know that it’s safe and secure, particularly if they have pets and children.