Australians LOOOVE to renovate; whether it’s because reno TV shows have shown us what’s possible, or, because renovations prove a cheaper option for expanding our living space compared to buying a larger house, we are addicted! In fact in the March quarter alone, Australians spent $2,334 million on alterations and additions to residential buildings. So which rooms are we spending our reno dollars on, and why?
Let’s take a look below.
1. Kitchens, Kitchens, Kitchens
The kitchen has proven a perennial favourite for renovation with Australian homeowners. A full 26% of renovating homeowners either renovated or were planning to renovate their kitchen in 2018 and 2019 according to a survey by Houzz.* Plus they invested significant dollars into the kitchen when they did so, spending a median of $20,000 in 2018.
Why are we so keen on renovating our kitchens?
There’s obviously the boost to property resale value that a quality kitchen reno can provide. But there’s also other factors at play. The kitchen is the heart of most Australian homes and, since embracing open plan living, they’ve become a natural social hub, potentially the most visited room in the house. Kitchens are also a key area where functionality and clever design are essential, meaning you get the biggest ‘bang for your buck’ renovating this room over others. That’s because while we continue to use for example bedrooms in a relatively similar way to the 1960s, the way we’ve used kitchens has changed enormously.
Now we cook differently, using different appliances and a multitude of once-exotic ingredients. Australian renovators are seeking kitchen design features which complement new food preparation techniques and attitudes, including features like more benchtop space, cabinetry which incorporates espresso machines and bigger fridges, eco-friendly appliances/lighting and large sleek kitchen islands.
It’s important to recognise too that our design tastes have changed a tad since the classic 1960s style kitchen. We’ve well and truly said farewell to lime green splashbacks and patterned lino! Most homeowners who inherit such a kitchen naturally want to modernise.
2. Living Rooms
Living rooms were pipped at the post by kitchens in the renovation stakes, according to the Houzz survey referred to above. However, almost a quarter (23%) of renovating homeowners either renovated or were planning to renovate their living room in 2018 and 2019; that’s a lot of living room renovations happening across Australia!
A lot of our reasons for renovating living rooms are connected to our desire to create a better design and feel. Undeniably too, the living room presents an easier renovation option than the kitchen because there are less design features to factor in as well as little need to consider repositioning plumbing or electrics. This makes it an attractive room to renovate, although it still involve elements like knocking down walls to create open plan spaces, reflooring, and installing features to allow more light penetration, like glass sliding doors.
It’s a three-way tie for the third most popular room to renovate according to the Houzz survey; with 17% of renovators choosing to renovate bedrooms, 17% their bathrooms and, you guessed it, 17% their laundries across 2018 and 2019.
When it comes to bathrooms, often homeowners choose to add an extra bathroom (or two) particularly if the home has only one existing bathroom. This is because it’s a smart way to add resale appeal to your home, as buyers today expect multiple bathrooms. This rule does not so much apply to laundries, although the need to modernise the design and improve functionality obviously offer clear incentives for laundry renovations. Homeowners often add extra bedrooms to absorb growing families or to create space for other activities.
Whatever your renovation goals, make your plans come to life with Efficiency Building Group.
* Based on a Houzz survey of 7,824 Australian homeowners about their home renovations in 2018 and plans for 2019.