25 July 2023

Why homeowners are choosing to refresh rather than renovate during tougher times

| Katrina Condie
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Replacing dated items such as shower screens, taps and mirrors can bring a bathroom back to life. Photo: Monaro Screens.

The rising cost of living has forced many Canberra homeowners to tighten their purse strings, so many are opting for a home refresh, rather than a costly renovation.

If you want to give your property a modern makeover ahead of sale, or just for your own comfort, there are a few small things that can make a big difference – without breaking the bank.

Ben Byatt from Monaro Screens says updating items such as shower screens, tapware, wardrobe doors and kitchen splashbacks with modern alternatives can give a tired home a fresh new look.

“You could spend anything from $30,000 upwards on a renovation, but with the high cost of living, a lot of people just don’t have that coin at the moment,” he says.

“Instead, there are simple and cost-effective ways to give your home a spruce up and, if you’re selling, these small things can definitely add value to your property.”

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He says a new shower screen can be installed from as little as $1000, two or three wardrobe doors replaced for about $800, and a couple of hundred dollars will get some nice new taps.

“You can spend as little or as much as you like, but even a minimal makeover can add value, comfort and style,” Ben says.

“I think the easiest and cheapest two upgrades are shower screens and robes.

“Replacing old hinged robe doors with custom-made sliding mirrored or melamine options are a simple fix that give you more space to place furniture in the room and can make the space feel more open and modern – especially in some of Canberra’s older homes.

Ben says spending a little also can have a big impact in a tired bathroom.

“Replacing old full-framed or wire type glass shower screens with new, clear glass or semi-frameless screens will really modernise the bathroom and it will flow a lot nicer.

“Upgrading aged white plastic taps with chrome tapware, while not an easy job, it’s better than a whole reno. Even a new vanity can make a huge difference if budget allows.”

When it comes to the kitchen, you can spend thousands creating a dream space for the family to enjoy. But if money’s tight, Ben says replacing old tile splashbacks with glass is a simple, effective solution.

“Glass is much better than tiles cleaning wise, and you can add a nice pop of colour to the kitchen with so many options to choose from. Many people are adding a neutral colour or smoky mirror splashback which reflects the natural light and different colours, making the space feel a lot bigger.

“We custom measure and cut the highest quality toughened low iron glass to fit for any sized kitchen, laundry, bench, kick-board or bathroom. Wall fittings such as power and light switches can be seamlessly fitted into each design.”

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The bathroom and kitchen tips can also freshen up a laundry and add a touch of comfort with minimal outlay.

With house prices still at an all-time high in Canberra, many home buyers are snapping up more affordable older homes that require a spruce up.

“After buying an older home, people often want to add personal touches and freshen it up, but they might not have the budget to do it straight away,” Ben says.

“By replacing a few key elements at a time, they can gradually work towards creating their dream home without having to outlay thousands in one go or extending their mortgage.”

Whether first home buyers, sellers or just owners looking for a change, Ben says his team can visit the property and suggest affordable, simple solutions to suit any style and budget.

“We can jump out there asap, do a free measure and quote and we’re looking at about 20 working days to get all the jobs done. You don’t have to wait for other tradies to come in.”

Ben says the local, family-owned and operated business tries to buy local products wherever possible and targets Australian made and designed products.

Visit Monaro Screens showroom in Wollongong Street Fyshwick for makeover advice and to see, touch and feel the range of options available.


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