When purchasing a fix-me-upper home or buying a speculative property that you wish to do a quick “flip” with, make sure you pick a property with “good bones”. By this we mean to choose a property that is structurally sound and has most of what you’re looking for in a home so that you could live comfortably in it without doing much at all. Make sure that you are happy with the layout and the size of the rooms as well as the “flow”… one space to another.
If you have the budget to add on a room or a second story (making sure not to overcapitalise), check the architectural plans and council regulations to make sure that you are allowed to do so. Also check to see that the structural foundations can support a second story if this is part of your future plans. If you are on a limited budget try to avoid extending the “outside” walls which will require alterations to the roof. Besides needing to spend money on plans to do this, extensions can become expensive quickly. So if you want to keep costs down look for a property where you don’t have to make too many structural changes and only have to spend your money on “cosmetic” changes.
Our client bought a 20-year-old, single storey house in a popular residential estate in Fourways. The property was well positioned on the stand, nicely proportioned with good sized bedrooms (ceilings were a bit on the low side) and generally had a good layout and feel. The garden and pool were badly neglected and in need of a complete revamp.
Our client wasn’t sure if she was going to live in the house herself or rent it out so our objective was to make the finished product suit both our clients needs and taste but also appeal to the large rental market.
First, we reshaped the stairs in the passage and leading down into the “Sunken” Lounge making them wider and less precarious. We also reduced the floor size of the “Sunken” Lounge adding floor space to the dining area. Next, we replaced all the existing wooden windows and external doors with European styled, double glazed, Aluminium windows and doors, including an extra large slider door going out onto the Main Patio and a second in the Main Bedroom where we built a new 40m2 patio leading out into the garden.
All the existing “hollow-core” internal doors were replaced with “solid” wooden doors and new handle and locksets were fitted. New vanity units were manufactured for both Bathrooms and built-in-cupboards fitted in the Bedrooms.
PAINTING AND TILING (WALLS AND FLOORS):
As always, choosing the right wall and flooring colour is a crucial factor to consider. Warm tones can energise a space while cool tones generally create relaxing atmospheres. Light and bright colours create the feeling of “more space” especially in smaller areas.
We opted for a gentle “off-white” for the walls and a neutral yet modern 600mm X 600mm ceramic floor tile. Tiling the entire inside floor with the same tile creates a clean, practical floor to live on and by choosing a good tiling “line” one achieves a “continuous” flow which makes a home feel more spacious.
By using neutral “safe” internal colours we are positive that most people will like the colour theme. However, if someone who likes bright, bold colours moves in and feel they have to make a statement… they can introduce these colours as furniture and accessories like cheerful towels in the bathroom, funky barstools in the kitchen or even outrageous couches in the living room.
The exterior walls were painted using a natural “earthy” colour which was aligned with the HOA (Home Owners Association) colour theme.
We replaced all the wall plugs and light switches with modern fittings and because of the low ceilings, sourced and fitted dimmable LED downlights. The downlights detract from the low ceilings which we also painted the same colour as the walls to make them appear higher (bet you haven’t heard of anyone doing that before?)
PLUMBING AND GAS:
The Kitchen wasn’t too dated so it was decided to leave renovating it for another day. All we did in the Kitchen was install a new Gas Oven and Electric Hob. The Bathrooms were both small and dated so we opted to knock out the “brick wall” showers and replace the bath and shower in the Family Bathroom with a double sized Custom Glass Shower and in the Main Bedroom Ensuite Bathroom we installed a lovely bath tub for bathing enthusiasts. Both Bathrooms were retiled and new double vanity units, sanitaryware, HansGrohe mixers and heated towel rails installed.
Besides the fresh paint job and new floors in the other rooms, we had aircons installed in the Main Bedroom and TV Lounge.
LANDSCAPING, PAVING AND POOL:
For our clients “lock-up and go” lifestyle we decided that we would pave most of the garden with stone pavers (except for a small corner of grass/garden for the dogs) and bring greenery in through adding loads of pot plants and trellises on the walls. At the same time, we also re Marbelited the pool and built a practical water fountain that is not only good to look at but also safe and fun for kids to jump off.
We are proud to say that because we have an understanding of people, a love for property, a flare for design and the skills to see the project well managed…. this was another job well done!!