In today’s show the Reno Kings – Paul Eslick and Geoff Doidge – give us their all time top 10 road-tested tips to get the most out of a renovation. Listen to Part 1 now!
Kevin: When it comes to renos and you want to know some top tips, you only go to one place, don’t you? You go to the Reno Kings. We have Paul and Geoff on the line.
Good day, guys. How are you?
Paul: Great, Kevin. How are you, mate?
Kevin: Fantastic, thank you. I’m really looking forward to your top ten tips. I asked you to put them together. Hey, Paul, do you want to lead off? What’s the first one?
Paul: Not a problem, Kevin. Look, one of the first and best and easiest ways to add value is to add a front fence. It’s the best reno you can do. The fence is the frame around the Mona Lisa, guys. Anyone can build one, or you can get someone in to come and do it for you, or even do a course at a local hardware shop.
For existing tenants, it gives them security and helps hide in their children and hide in those pets. A lot of landlords don’t like to have pets. I’ll tell you what, Geoff and I, we love to have pets. I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t have a pet who is a tenant, and that can raise the rent.
You can put another tip here, guys. Go on and put a kennel in there. You can raise the rents and also depreciate it at the same time.
Another reason for putting in a fence is the valuer. The valuers these days are doing a lot of RA, which are restricted assessments. They’re driving past at about 60 kilometers an hour. They like to look at street appeal. One of the best things to do is put a fence up there. It will look fantastic.
Another reason you put up a fence around the front there is your banker. They like to see where they’re money is parked at a polished residence. Putting a fence around the front of your place, it just gives it street appeal. It makes it look fantastic, Kevin.
Kevin: Talking about street appeal, what about that front veranda?
Paul: Kevin, that’s exactly right, that front veranda. A lot of enclosed verandas look terrible and they have no street appeal. That’s come since the Second World War, when they had to enclose it to create more inner space after the War. They had a baby boom, so what they’ve done is they’ve enclosed it and left it like that.
I’ll tell you what you do. You go in there and you open it up. It goes back to the original, and it looks so much more street appealing. You get the breezes. You get to know the neighbors. It’s a no-brainer.
Most of the existing balustrades, handrails, just check that they’re in good condition. They’re already sitting there. All they’ve done is framed on the outside and enclosed it in the there. Open that up, and you’ve opened up yourself to a great, big amount of capital gain.
Kevin: The tenants love it, as well, don’t they, Paul?
Paul: Of course. You know why? Because they can sit out there. They can look. It gets the breezes. The idea of having a veranda wherever you go is to give you shade, to give you some outdoor breezes. You don’t have to have the air conditioning on. You’re outside, enjoying life.
One of the best things that we always do when we have a veranda, or even a deck, is go there and put in a barbeque. That can also increase the rent and, at the same time, make sure the people dine out more than inside and make that kitchen last longer.
Kevin: Geoff, what about you? Have you got a tip for us?
Geoff: Yeah, I have one. It’s a very simple on. I agree Paul with the street appeal. The other one is that you know how long it takes to paint a house. I bought this house. It was very heavily shaded by trees and so forth. What happens, when you get that, is you get mold build-up. All the [3:13 inaudible] were black. There was mold over the walls. I hired a guy. He was ridiculously cheap. In an hour, he went around with his chlorine wash and cleaned that place up.
Just to tell you how good this was, I did other renos as well, and I got a valuer in to value the place. He said, “Fantastic paint job you’ve done here.” I hadn’t painted. I didn’t say anything. I just nodded. I got a really good value for that place. It’s so easy.
I’m not an accountant, but if you paint the house in the first 12 months, you might not be able to claim that on maintenance. Check that with the accountant. But this way, it was almost as good as a full paint job.
Kevin: Paul, Geoff’s talking now about painting. Paint is really a great way to improve a place, isn’t it?
Paul: Kevin, it’s one of your best bang for your bucks. I don’t know of anyone who can’t paint. I can tell you, one of the best tips here, if you’re going to get out there and paint, get your head around an airless sprayer.
I painted a three-bedroom house internally, all the rooms, in 63 minutes. I’ll tell you what, it looked absolutely fantastic. You can hire those for about $100 a day. Get lessons with water before get out there. Do that with the hirer. It’s a dangerous tool, so make sure you follow the instructions. What we do is you always use water-based paints.
No matter what, painting is your best bang for your buck. Whether you use an airless spray, you roll it, or you use the old-fashioned paintbrush, you can get in there and get out quickly. If it’s a rental property, it’s a business. Don’t go in there with your thoughts of what you’d like to see in that property.
Go in there and paint the whole thing the one color. If you want to pick out some feature walls, do so. We don’t any more. We’re in and out quickly. It’s a business. I’ll tell you what, I’ve never had a tenant come around one of my rental properties and say, “It’s all the same color. I can’t rent this.”
Painting, Kevin, is your best bang for your buck.
Kevin: I’ll tell you what, I think the first place where I ever saw the two of you was on A Current Affair, when you ripped through a house and you painted it in no time at all.
Paul: I can tell you that Geoff stood still for a second, and I painted him by accident. Look, you have to move when I’m in there with that paint. Kevin, people just don’t understand the value of a paint. I’ve got a thing here with paint. When I go and pick it up, I look for the heaviest can, because I think the heaviest is the best quality.