It’s the little things that can make the biggest difference, and this is absolutely true of renovating.

Small, cosmetic updates or improvements can often be just as effective in adding value, and potentially more cost effective as they avoid the risk of over capitalising or the need to hire trades’ people.

Making a strategic choice to update a few elements in the property can add value in capital growth or secure a rental increase, and there are a number of options owners can look at that they can undertake themselves.

Of course, you do have to know what you’re doing. Researching, speaking to experts, and practicing or testing before you take on the job are a necessity if you’ve never undertaken a renovation before.



Painting is one of, if not the, best way to renew a property without having to engage a tradesperson. It can be a time consuming process, but well worth it. A pristine white will always do wonders.

For the novice, there are a few things to remember when throwing the brush down. Prepping the space, filling in any cracks, sanding, sealing, and cutting can be labour intensive and take some time, but will yield the best result. Remember to seal any new plaster, or if you’re painting an existing wall that is in a darker colour. The existing paint can bleed through the new coat if it is not properly sealed, and the only alternative is to paint on more coats, which can be more expensive in both time and money.



If you’ve grown tired of the brown bathroom tiles from the 1980’s there are a couple of options available to breathe new life into the room.

Digging up the old tiles and laying new will take some time and money, but can be done over a few weekends.

For a quicker and cheaper option, a lick of paint can come in handy. Applying a special tile paint can often be the easiest and quickest way to rejuvenate a dated bathroom. As long as the tiles are in good condition, the whole process could be done in a weekend.


Changing kitchen cabinetry can make a huge difference for a relatively modest investment. It goes without saying how important it is to get a kitchen right, both in terms of function and for resale value. However, updating a kitchen doesn’t necessarily have to involve shelling out thousands for a complete replacement. Updating the cabinetry can be a very effective way of adding value to the space.

If the kitchen is well laid out and the structure of the cabinetry is in good condition, replacing existing draws, cupboard doors, and bench tops can make a big difference for considerably less. Again, a coat of special cabinetry paint can go a long way to transforming the space; with a few modifications a kitchen can be completely transformed.

Importantly, these updates can be made without needing to engage a tradesperson, which will save thousands of dollars.

Before undertaking renovations, speak to a property expert about how to optimise your investment.