Reality TV shows like The Block seem to be striking a chord with owners in strata, with the most popular content on our website being information about renovating. People are being inspired by what is possible when you have an eye for design and a little motivation, and more and more owners want to know how they can go about it in their strata community!
Renovation and refurbishment is a great way to add value to your property and stay current. With an increasing number of apartment buildings being constructed, improving your property is fast becoming a necessity to remain distinguishable and competitive.
Many lot owners have recognised the value to be gained by renovating their lot, and approach the task with gusto.
It’s important to note, however, that just spending money on your lot is not guaranteed to improve the value by the same amount you spend. You should approach renovations strategically, with a plan and a budget, and stick to them. The areas to address to ensure your maximum value return are:
But take a second before you throw on your overalls and pick up the nearest paintbrush!
Renovation in strata is often subject to by-laws and procedures with which you may not be familiar. Contact your resident manager or SSKB body corporate manager to obtain a copy of the by-laws and get a thorough explanation of what is required of you.
Even if your renovation is contained to your lot, it is inevitable that it will impact common property and other owners in some way. Tradespeople will be parking onsite, as well as using lifts and other common property. They may need to access electricity, water or other services, and will also need to dispose of additional rubbish. Liaising with your neighbours and the resident manager will help minimise impacts on other residents, and ensure good relationships are maintained throughout the community.
If you are an investment owner, the resident manager is an invaluable source of information when it comes to renovating. Use their knowledge of local conditions as well as the type of people that rent or buy in your area to adopt a focused and informed renovation plan to improve the value of your lot.
While lot owners seem generally enthusiastic about improving the value of their lot, convincing the body corporate or owners corporation to spend money on the common property can be a different story. Spending on common property areas may be limited to pressing repairs or maintenance. However, as the value of your lot is inextricably linked to the value of the building, common property should not be neglected.
Everyone in the strata community wants their building to be competitive in the rental or buying market. While lot owners can add value within their own lot, they may be let down by overgrown gardens, faded hallway carpet or a tired lobby.
The way to stay ahead of properties of a similar age is to acknowledge that trends change, and to refurbish in line with those trends.
You might investigate:
Also, it makes good sense for the body corporate or owners corporation to retain the services of an architect or interior designer.
Refurbishing your common property also gives you the opportunity to invest in longevity. For example, changing an easily dateable colour scheme to something neutral, or updating cheap furniture at its breaking point to quality, durable furniture, will result in future cost savings.
Refurbishment of common property is not easy as it requires consensus – this can be difficult to obtain when you have a group of people with different tastes and different financial resources. However, this is not a reason to avoid it! We are sure your communities will rise to the challenge if they keep in mind the big picture – that is, adding value to the building as a whole.