Most of us have a dream home in mind – perhaps you want a pool, a theatre room, a garage studio, a vast workshop, man cave or she shed, or a resort-like, spa-style bathroom to wind down in at the end of the day?
Whatever your ideal home environment, chances are you’re not alone. In fact, close to $2 billion was spent on home renovations in June last year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Having a home that looks and feels right to us is clearly vital to Australians, but have you ever wondered where exactly our renovating dollar is spent?
According to a recent Houzz and Home Australia survey, the answer might surprise you.
The top four most popular renovations for Australians are:
- Patios, terraces or decks. Given our great climate, it's probably no surprise that 71 per cent of home renovators worked on their outdoor entertaining spaces first. Relatively affordable for a high return on lifestyle benefits, patios and decks can deliver an extension to your living space without having to do significant works. Garden structures were also popular with fences, pergolas and sheds commonly added or upgraded. Renovators are also installing more irrigation systems – a sure sign we're starting to worry about how climate change will affect our outdoor lifestyles.
- The living room. Next on the list of popularity is the living room, with 23 per cent of renovators choosing to focus on upgrades here first. It makes sense – we spend a large amount of our family time in our living spaces – watching television, playing games, entertaining friends – so we want it to be as comfortable as possible. Many Australians are also choosing to add extra living room space with modern extensions that open up to the garden for the ultimate in indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
- The kitchen. The most expensive update comes in at number three on the list of most common home renovations with 21 per cent of Australians opting to overhaul the kitchen. The heart of any home, having all the bells and whistles in the kitchen – chef-quality stoves, European whitegoods, marble countertops and splashbacks, soft-closing cupboards and drawers or a luxurious separate butlers pantry (one of the most requested features in the last few years) – can set you back upwards of $20,000. However, there’s evidence to suggest a minor kitchen overhaul is a better option if you’re planning to sell your home in the near future – you’ll spend less but recoup around 81 per cent of your investment.
- The bathroom. Even though on average we probably spend less time in the bathroom than anywhere else, 15 per cent of renovators placed updating the smallest room in the house in their top four. In addition to adding master bedroom ensuites, the current trends in bathroom renovations are all about exciting, hotel-like features – big baths, plenty of storage, walk-in double showers, marble tiles and underfloor heating. Perhaps, at the end of the day (and in the morning, too!), we all want a little superstar treatment. Regardless, a practical and stylish bathroom renovation can add value and amenity to your home.