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The easiest ways to add value to your home in 2022 will be simple jobs, requiring only one trade, and mostly based around what materials are available.

They’ll make homes feel comfortable, refreshed and clean — a rejuvenation from the hangover of lockdowns and plenty of time spent at home.

So the question is, with trade pressure at an all time high against a backdrop of material supply issues, what are the sure-fire ways to add value while limiting the risk of cost and schedule overruns?

We cover the trade you’ll need, budget, materials and schedule to help you easily add value to your home this year.

Vinyl flooring

Jeremy and Alana walk you though flooring types (pun intended) in Chapter 14 of Project Home.

1. New hard flooring

When it comes to value, you can’t go past luxury vinyl planks (LVP) or luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) for wet and kitchen areas, and laminate for dry living areas. As the manufacturing process for these products continues to improve, you get an extremely resilient, zero maintenance result.

  • Trade: Floorer, or Builder
  • Budget: $ — $$
    Watch out for low quality laminates, which can be prone to water damage and marking. Cheaper in the short-term, more expensive long-term when you need to replace.
  • Materials: Go into the shop (rather than order online), as the photographs will differ ever so slightly from the real colour. Take a sample home and assess how it works with the space including bench tops, cabinets, walls and other flooring.
  • Schedule: Ask whether the stock is held in New Zealand. Stock could be held within New Zealand, coming from Australia (taking a few weeks), or could be sourced from as far away as Europe (requiring a 3-month lead time).
Interior painting

All paints are not equal — find out why.

2. A fresh lick of paint

A fresh coat of paint is a sure-fire way to boost your property’s value. Whether you’re doing it bedroom by bedroom, or a whole house reno before move-in day, it’s a great way to achieve a consistent look and clean feel; especially for those with older housing stock that likely has slightly different coloured walls in each room.

  • Trade: Painter, or Painter/Plasterer (if you’ve got any dents to fix up)
  • Budget: $ — $$
  • Materials: Off the back of thousands of painting jobs we’ve seen through Builderscrack one thing is clear: don’t attempt to cut costs by using a low quality paint, and don’t cut costs by compromising prep work. The right preparation along with choosing a high quality paint like Resene, appropriate for the application, will ensure a beautiful and durable result for years.
  • Schedule: The good news is that we don’t have a shortage of paint in New Zealand with several manufacturing plants operating to meet demand. Check with your local to see what stock they’ve got, and reconfirm when you take samples home.

Before and after: A tired kitchen in need of a modern refresh. See the full Project Home reveal for more inspiration. 

3. A kitchen refresh

While kitchens are often thought of as fairly expensive to renovate, we see some creative jobs come through that add tonnes of value for little investment. One of the easiest improvements is a simple cabinetry refresh, involving repairing or replacing all drawer fronts, cupboard doors and handles.

  • Trade: Handyman, Builder or Cabinet Maker (depending on degree of renovation)
  • Budget: $$ — $$$
  • Materials: Coupling a cabinet repair with a repaint is a really cost effective way to breathe some life into a tired kitchen space. If your cabinets lack good bones, it could be time for a full upgrade. If you’re considering using an off-the-shelf kitchen from a big chain store — a word of caution: it is often only marginally more expensive to have a kitchen maker manufacture and install a custom solution, often completed to a far higher standard.
  • Schedule: If you’re going down the repair route, depending on whether you’ve got laminate, melamine or wooden cabinet exteriors, you should be in luck finding cleaners, primers, paints, clear coats and stains in stock. As for a full cabinet or kitchen renovation, it’s best to ask your tradesperson or manufacturer about current lead times for stock.

Homeowners Emily and Will were able to achieve their dream backyard in this makeover.

4. A landscaping makeover

Value around backyard landscaping can mean different things to different types of owners — based on whether you’re an owner-occupier, or leasing the house as a rental.

For maximum appeal, it’s best to go for landscaping that is modern, simple, clean and manageable. You can always jazz it up with less permanent things such as furniture, lights and potted plants.

With simple and clean landscaping, value is derived from both the visual appeal, and from minimal ongoing maintenance requirements.

  • Trade: Gardener, Landscaper or Builder
  • Budget: $$ — $$$
  • Materials: It’s incredible how much impact a landscaping tidy up can have with no materials needed. Speak with your chosen tradesperson about what can be cut back or taken out, and what might add some definition such as garden edging, pavers or planter boxes.
  • Schedule: Some high quality materials don’t necessarily come from Mitre10 or Bunnings. Instead, your tradesperson may source them from alternative trade and landscaping suppliers that specialise in certain products, so it’s always a good idea to ask in advance about their lead time for delivery.

Before you book a tradie in 2022, read this

This year presents a slightly different experience for getting work done on your home.

Find out how you can get a great outcome for your project (and make it an enjoyable experience for everyone involved).

Read: 7 Things Tradies Want You To Know Going Into 2022

To wrap up

Here’s 3 ways to minimise risk right now with materials and schedule.

  • Ask suppliers specific questions about their materials: Ask whether the stock is held in New Zealand, Australia or further afar overseas, and how often they ship international orders.

  • Reduce the time between sampling and buying: Even if the stock is held in New Zealand, stock levels can decrease quickly, for example, if a large building company puts in an order.

  • Plan for material variance in your budget: A clear set of objectives for your renovation and a carefully planned budget will help guide your decision making on whether you can afford the alternative material options if a stock issue comes up.

So while things may take a little bit more preparation or time, improvements to flooring, paintwork, kitchen cabinets and landscaping still remain some of the easiest ways to add value to your home this year.

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