We all know the saying "home is where the heart is". But a lot less has been said about the value of the holiday house. In this busy hectic world, we are geting less time to ourselves, and less time to relax. This means making the most of your break from work is all the more important.
If you are lucky enough to own a holiday house, then making sure it is an ideal 'home away from home' is a necessity. Being in an environment that you're comfortable in is half the task in helping you relax.
Furthermore, if you own a holiday house and want to use it as a rental income, then having it of a high standard will help your chances of finding occupants, and increase the likelihood that they will return in future years.
Whether you are looking for home renovations in Sydney or Melbourne, or somewhere else in Australia, here are some renovation tips to help you spruce up your holiday house.
Insulating your holiday house
This is a tip that will help you save big on electrity. Most people don't realise that insulation requires some maintenance to keep its effectiveness of keeping us cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather. Insulation is a very effective energy saving strategy which can be used together with indoor plants to help maintain proper oxygen and moister levels. Having sustainable architecture will ensure that all facets of your holiday house design is maximised for full efficiency. You can also look to tint your windows with a protective film that reduces the amount of sunlight that comes into the home. We recommend All About Window Tinting who have years of experience, a wide range of films to choose from, and place customer satisfaction as their number one priority. Hydronic heating can also improve the efficiency of your holiday house and reduce bills, which is important when outgoings play a role in your rental profits.
Give the place a new coat of paint
If your budget is limited but you want to add some value and appeal quickly to the property, a paint job is something you must do! Whether you do it yourself or get a professional, it will make the place look newer, and you can choose good colours that compliment the setting. If you want to get it done professionally, the painters we recommend are Burtons.
Reduce maintenance requirements
Having a holiday house that doesn't need too much upkeep is also very important. Regular maintenance means increased costs and lower profits. Lawn moving can be an arduous task that needs to be done regularly. So consider the possibility of installing artificial grass in the backyard. Not only does it look great and last for ages, it means that is one less chore you need to do all the time!
Throwing out plastic is very bad for the environment, but on the flip side, re-using plastic around your holiday house is both healthy and can jazz up the place! Plastic can be used in the creation of rugs, mats and other home decorations and as well as being cost effective your your renovations, also contributes to the local waste management.
Install High Quality Kitchen Cabinets
A holiday house should look attractive and one of the most highly used rooms in such a house is the kitchen. Therefore the appearance of the kitchen is of utmost importance. Selecting high quality kitchen cabinets will look pleasing to the eye and provide much needed strength and durability, especially if the tenants are a family with kids. The cabinets should have good quality hinges, drawer runners and fittings to ensure they last.
Use attractive and effective window coverings
A holiday house should feel homely and relaxing and having appropriate curtains or blinds can go a long way to helping this! Every holiday house has its own unique feel and the window covering should convey this. There are so many different types of coverings including roman blinds, awnings, plantation shutters, venetian blinds, to name a few.
Click here for information on all the types of curtains and blinds
Put In A Skylight
Skylights are a great way to bring natural light and fresh air into a room. You can have them opened and ventilated or choose to install one that is fixed and always closed. Using solar heat control glazing instead of plastic glazing conserves more energy.
Installing solar panels on the roof will also keep electricity costs low.
Revamp the garden
People on holidays will usually spend considerable time outside, especially during the warmer months. Having an outdoor space that feels relaxing, spacious and attractive will go a long way in getting tenants. Hiring a landscape designer to maximise your gardens potential is a wise investment, and so is adding outdoor furniture that is modern and comfortable. Stylish tables, chairs and sofas outside will go a long way.
Use high quality products
The better your appliances in the holiday house, the more you can rent it out for. High quality kitchen appliances are a great idea. Things such as fridge, cooktop and microwave should be chosen with care, to provide tenants with a high end feel. Optional products like an automatic coffee machine is also a smart investment, as lots of people drink coffee!
Clean Your Carpets
This may sound simple, but having clean carpets is very important for a holiday house. People go on holiday to relax and escape from reality so the place they are staying in should be clean and attractive. Employing a carpet cleaning business will ensure your carpets are in top shape, and reduce any chance of bacteria and odours building up in the carpet fibres. This should be done once a year for your holiday house to ensure the carpets stay in the best possible condition.
Research Your Contractors
When having renovations done to your holiday house that require the work of professional contractors, it is important to choose them not on price and experience alone. All contractors have references and you are well within your realm to contact these people and ask questions about the service they received. If the previous customers were happy with the work done on their house, they will be only too happy to tell you about it. Furthermore if a building expert did a shoddy job, the past client will be passionate about letting you know that too!
For example, for custom home builders you may want to speak to your friends in the local area for a recommendation. Get positive feedback on their designs and results, and be confident choosing a company that will look after you. Hiring a handyman can be a great idea to do a number of small jobs. This saves you hiring multiple contractors for mutliple tasks and also saves on call out fees. We have used a handmyan a few times and find them very reliable. Michael and his team are affordably priced and does a range of handyman jobs including painting, plumbing, furniture repair and assembly and lots more. This is a great option for home renovation jobs.
Install A Wrought Iron Fence
Your holiday house is not complete without good fencing. Since you will not be spending large amounts of time there, are secure gate is important to maintain high levels of security. Wrought iron gates are an excellent idea because not only are the galvanised and rust proof (meaning they will last longer) but also attractive. Professional Gates can create an array of designs to fit any holiday house. This will ensure your place has a high aesthetic value, and will make it look better to you and your holiday neighbours, and increase the resale and rental values of the property. You may also want to look at wrought iron balustrades if you have a two story house as they are great for staircases.
Wrought iron fences will not suit every house so you may want to select a different type of fencing for your holiday home. Paling, picket and merbau fences are all great looking, and sometimes a conservative type of fence can be the best type, especially if you're renting the property out. A reputable fencing contractor will be able to tell you what's the most suitable for you, based on the look of your house, weather conditions, lifestyle and type of soil/ground matter.
Focus On Where The Water Is
One of the best ways to maximise the valuation of your holiday house is to spend your money "where the water is". This means putting a lot of effort into the kitchen and bathrooms. Ensuring the plumbing works correctly and efficiently is very important as ongoing repairs can prove costly and reduce margins. Plumbers we recommend:
http://www.oceangroveplumbing.com.au (in the Bellarine Peninsula)
http://www.reddogplumbing.com.au (in Melbourne)
Getting a good carpenter to install fine crown molding can really make the house look nicer too, increasing its resale value. If you need a waterproofer, the AIW has a list of all the best waterproofing contractors around the country.
If you have a beach front holiday house, needless to say you are surrounded by water. But a number of holiday houses near the beach still have a swimming pool. This can be wasteful. You may want to use the space in your garden for other things, giving the holiday makers more room to relax around the place. Hiring a pool removal service can fill in your existing swimming pool and convert it into a beautiful garden, lawn or paved area. What's more, Reverse Pools can install an underground water storage tank to allow the independent watering of your garden.
If you do have a pool at your holiday house and want to keep it, no-one can blame you. Over summer it is a lot of fun, and sometime you don't want to go down to the beach and just want to laze around the house for a swim. Plus it's a good way to avoid sand all over your body, and up inside some parts! For all swimming pool owners of places they are only at for parts of the year, pool maintenance becomes very important. Don't simply leave it to deteriorate - ensure you have quality working pool pumps and regularly add chemicals to look after the pool in those periods when you're not around.
Best Wineries Around The Country
Australians love a good drop of wine. And we are lucky enough to have some of the best winemakers in the world down under. With well-renowned grape growing regions such as the Barossa Valley in SA, Margaret River in WA and the Yarra Valley in Victoria, it's no surprise that year after year we see some amazing releases come out.
Victoria: De Bortoli, Yarra Valley
This is a family-run winery which focuses on good food, good wine and good times with family and friends. Steve Webber, the 2007 Wine Magazine's 'winemaker of the year' works at De Bortoli, and produces his famous chardonnay, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and caberner sauvignon. The winery features an Italian resaurant and a playground keeps the younger ones happy all day long.
New South Wales: Lerida Estate, Canberra
This winery has a very rustic feel with cement brick foundations with corrugated tin, and a fireside cafe to relax in. The courtyard terrace has magnificent views of the Lake George valley and their speciality is the shiraz viognier. Delicious foods are also on offer including homemade soups, scones, cakes and quiches.
Queensland: Sirromet, Mt Cotton
Located on the outskirts of Brisbane, this winery has amazing views over the islands in the bay. They regularly feature live jazz and the bluestone restaurant on site is well known for its seafood.
South Australia: Coriole, McLaren Vale
Set around an 1860s farmhouse, this oldstyle winery is based on an Italian region and its sangiovese is among the country's best. The views are breathless, and the olives and cheeses are ideal for a picnic platter under the mulberrry trees.
Western Australia: Vasse Felix, Margaret River
Well known for their classy food, Vasse Felix also combines this with amazing wines including their chardonnay, carbernet merlot and shiraz. The winery also features a performing arts facility and gallery to give you a bit more culture…if you need it!