The value of renovation projects across the country has increased by 7% to $748 million, the highest level recorded since April 2016, as homeowners take advantage of recent favourable market conditions and realise renovations dreamed up during lengthy COVID-19 lockdowns. If this is you, then I have some inspiration of how to renovate for profit. I have turned to Deborah Hutton's recent beach house renovation to show you some before and after images, together with her inspiration and the concept for the new look of her home. Leading architect Joe Snell and designer Natalee Bowen also have some tips to share to help you make the right decisions.
How to update a beach house exterior
The house that Deborah Hutton bought, is a solid and appealing property in a beachside location which could simply be repainted and decorated. Perhaps a new kitchen and updated bathrooms too. This of course will always add some value but to realise your investment and make a profit you need to take the renovation to the next level. Remember that the costs of purchasing a property are high and also renovations are not cheap so you need to consider making the house so appealing that you will add an additional premium. Purchasers will simply have to have it!
Below is a before image of the front facade:
Deb's inspiration for the look that she wanted:
The concept drawing for the renovation:
The finished house front facade:
This is a fairly radical change to the exterior but it brings the house up to date in terms of trends and makes the house highly appealing to buyers. With the introduction of James Hardie's Hardiegroove panels and Linea weatherboards, combined with some gorgeous natural stone, the house is now a classic Hamptons style coastal home.
See the difference in the before and after photos of the rear of the house:
How to update a beach house interior
I also have some before and after photos of the interior of the house. Again, the house wasn't falling down and would have looked good with some fresh paint and floor coverings but this renovation has transformed the look and really brought it up to date. This is what you have to bear in mind when you renovate for profit. It often isn't enough to simply give the house a makeover, you have to transform it for the wow factor.
Cathedral style ceilings are always a winner with home buyers as the elevated ceilings offer a feeling of space. A central feature fireplace is also very appealing and what I love about this room is that there isn't a TV. A media room has been included in the layout (image further below) so that the feature open plan living area doesn't need a TV as its focal point.
HardieGroove ceiling linings with exposed rafters is a nice detail for this coastal style home.
By keeping the tones neutral with a simple splashback and white cabinetry, you're not alienating prospective buyers.
As with the kitchen, keep the colour tones neutral and rely on different textures and finishes to create interest.
By combining Axon cladding in the bathroom with tiles and stone, you can make an impact without the expense of laying tiles. Don't forget the finishing touches and consider layers of lighting for each room.
Horizontal cladding works well in a bedroom to create interest. Always consider the small design elements like hidden pelmets for curtain rails. These touches set the renovation apart.
Create a colour flow through the house. A media room calls out for a dark and moody tone and by introducing navy blue here, which has already been used in styling throughout the house, the look is cohesive.
Related: How to work with a dark colour palette
Always consider the finishes for every space. This wine cellar has been beautifully designed and is practical while being extremely stylish too. A wine lovers dream and that extra selling point for the home.
Deborah Hutton's gorgeous Hamptons style renovation used James Hardies' lining products both for the exterior and interior of the home. Their recently published Home Renovation Guide has lots of useful tips on how to renovate for profit. Below, award winning designer Natalee Bowen and architect Joe Snell share their top home renovation tips from the guide.
Dream and rationalise
There are so many possibilities when it comes to upgrading a home. Before starting, it is important to be completely clear on the reason for renovating whether it is for a resale and you are renovating for profit, changing family needs or the creation of a forever home. With the purpose sorted, focus on space, design budget and the block.
Natalee Bowen shares her top tips to starting the renovation process.
Create a vision board
“Gather examples of homes and elements you love, which could include open plan living, alfresco area and façade.”
Related: Sign up for my free e-book on How to put a mood board together in my Free Resource Library.
What are the things that will add value?
“This could be adding a new level, increasing street appeal by cladding over tired brick, or converting wasted space into another bedroom.”
Design for living
“Lifestyle equals value. Create a holiday-at-home feel by opening up the layout and creating an indoor-outdoor feel. A better flow increases the enjoyment of a home.”
“Deciding on a realistic budget is an essential part of any renovation planning. It is worth spending more time planning and budgeting to achieve an affordable and desired result.”
Lay down the groundwork
Take time to assemble a team you can trust, perfect your plans, pick reliable products and calculate well-informed budgets. Interrogate every opportunity because the decisions you make at the start will shape your build and lifestyle for years to come. Here, Joe Snell shares key renovation foundations to implement.
Use a professional
“Renovating is often our biggest investment. You wouldn’t skimp on a doctor or lawyer, so don’t on your home.”
“Make sure to meet builders’ past clients and see the work done. If a builder can’t recommend anyone, then alarm bells should be going off.”
Confirm and understand your budget
“Think carefully about what you really need. Nail down your budget and contract with your builder before you start.”
Design for the future
“Ensure you have design for your changing needs over the next five to ten years.”
Connect with the outside
“We live in one of the most liveable climates in the world, make sure your renovation is making the most of the outdoors.”
Renovations should prioritise the rooms your family spends the most time in. The kitchen is known as the heart of the home, where family and friends connect the most. It needs to look good, be functional and durable. Here, Joe shares some tips to consider for the kitchen:
- Storage and bench space is a must – whether that’s putting in a butler’s pantry if you have the luxury of space, or an island bench that can also open up a room.”
- “The trusted formula for achieving the functionality is the ‘kitchen triangle’ that connects the sink, cooking space and fridge areas.”
- “If you have a separate kitchen, try opening it up to the dining and living areas to increase the sense of space.”
- “Consider high impact materials such as HardieGroove lining. It’s a durable wall material that resists moisture and gives a vertical joint timber look to a kitchen splashback.”
A bathroom is a sanctuary, so ensure you have enough space and invest in high quality products in this high use area. Joe’s tips for making the most of the bathroom include:
- “When renovating for a busy family, aim for a family bathroom and an ensuite.”
- “Keeping space usable is crucial – think long vanities and double basins. The ultimate layout has a bath and shower.”
- “Don’t forget about internal wet area walls such as those behind shower recesses, tiles, vanities and floors which are high risk areas for damage in the future. Use fibre cement products such as James Hardie Villaboard wall lining which has high resistance to water, impact and doesn’t rely on coating.”
To achieve a contemporary design, modern materials need to be used for efficiency, strength and durability. Premium fibre cement cladding such as Linea Weatherboards or Stria Cladding create similar shadow lines to timber boards, offer design flexibility and are resistant to flaking, warping or swelling and damage from moisture. The combination of fibre cement cladding, the right insulation and spacing can make a big difference in creating a functional and great looking renovation.
I hope you have been inspired to renovate for profit, whether you are planning to sell your home straight away or enjoy it. Always keep the profit element in your mind so that you build to budget but also with a view to selling when necessary and ensuring that you give your home the wow factor to have buyers fighting over it!
James Hardie's Home Renovation Guide has heaps of inspiration and tips to guide you through the process.
I also have a Free Resources Library with checklists and e-books to help with your next new build, renovation or weekend decorating project.