Never leave a job half done
THOSE that know my reputation as a residential property expert – self-titled, of course – should know that doesn’t extend to being a DIY guru.
Regarding all things do-ityourself – renovations, decorations and design ideas – I know my way around pretty well.
I know what’s needed, in what form the task should be taken and what the buying public is embracing right now. I even have a fair idea of cost.
More importantly, however, I fully understand my personal limitations, and when anything practical is required it is best I stand way back and call in the experts.
I would never dream of undertaking a project, big or small, without knowing that it could be completed in full.
In fact, I would prefer a task was never started than be unsure of the budget, the ability or the time available to complete.
Having stated all that, now perhaps I’ll address the real world, where we often conceive and activate projects designed to improve our homes while genuinely expecting that the project will be finished on time and on budget. My experience, and I’m sure yours, too, will most likely contradict this school of thought.
Even the best laid plans can still end up delayed, very often over budget, but if you’re planning to sell any time soon the worst mistake you can make is not to finish that project.
If you’re planning a project, ensure you know that failure to complete will not only create considerable frustration and upset other members of your household, but your investment will most likely not equate to anywhere near the same in added value if selling the home becomes a priority. And sometimes that can happen out of the blue for a variety of reasons, good and bad.
For example, consider a renovation of your tired ’80s bathroom. Say goodbye to the blue or peach tones, the faded gold-framed patterned glass shower screen, the rarely used corner bath you never could be bothered to wait the half a day it took to fill.
Rip it all out, smash the tiles off, call the plumber in to close off all the services and make numerous trips to the tip.
Then the making good starts and the water proofing, meanwhile the car is sitting on the drive melting in the sun as the garage is now full of new fittings, taps, tiles, etc.
The tiler starts his work, your budget is blown out, holidays happen, the hot water system finally dies, the airconditioning in the lounge room suddenly blows out its final puff of cooling air, and before you know it the bathroom fund has about $4.73 remaining. All you can conclude is to be thankful you have a second bathroom.
Now, this is an extreme example and in many cases we rarely start one project, it’s more likely several commence at the same time, however in this example consider the following – while a new bathroom in your home could add a certain fairly hard to quantify amount to your home’s value, how about the halfimproved bathroom?
This room might have already cost $5000 to $10,000 or more, how much extra does that generate?
In this example, arguably hardly anything. In fact, in its unfinished state it might not only fail to increase the value, that unusable incomplete nature could mean all that investment is totally wasted.
The buying public loathe half-finished homes, extensions incomplete, partly installed kitchens, started and not finished bathrooms, halfdecorated rooms, imperfect ceilings and walls (outside too), facades not perfect, exteriors not painted.
Even when a home is priced to entice a sale, it’s the home needing total renovation or the completed, beautifully presented property that always wins in a sales battle.
Why? Buyers are concerned that the project might be more costly to complete than is actually the case, they might not have the vision or the desire to see past this decor disaster, and a genuine concern of the quality of workmanship to date.
My example related to one room. If you’re mid renovation of a whole property, the investment in works to date compared to the potential value-add can start to have a gap as wide as an ocean.
You bought your renovator for $500,000, you’ve invested $100,000 so far, potential sale value of the half finished project: maybe $525,000?
My advice is never start what you can’t finish and, in my case, you get the professionals in.