Green improvements for property returns

Whether it's your family home or an investment property, sustainable renovations are a smart move.

The environmental benefits of an efficient home have always been clear but the financial rewards have also now emerged, thanks to an increasingly green conscious market.

Buyers and renters alike are looking for properties with sustainable features to help reduce living expenses, such as electricity and water.

Renovations can often make you focus on the here and now but when it comes to improving resale value, boosting comfort and reducing bills, thinking long term is worth it. Here are five ways you can improve your home's green factor when renovating.

1. Not too hot and not too cold

Home insulation has a big impact on keeping a property efficiently temperate. At a minimum, insulate your ceiling and try to source green options such as glass fibre batts which are made from 80% recycled material.

2. Maximise natural light

If your property was built before the days of open plan living, review your opportunities to open up rooms by removing walls. The natural light can make a huge difference aesthetically but also cut down energy bills.

If you're renovating a house, also look at installing skylights to let the sunshine in. Outside, cut back trees or shrubs that are covering windows to stop them blocking the light.

3. Create windows of opportunity

The right window glass can make a massive difference when it comes to keeping a home at a comfortable temperature. Ask for expert advice as the right materials will be unique to your property and location. As a general guide, it's a good idea to double glaze the rooms used most and install quality blinds, shades or curtains everywhere else.

4. Make every drop count

You can improve water efficiency in your home by installing the highest WELS star rated toilets, showers and taps available. Also install flow restrictors on taps that don't need as much pressure.

If you have a backyard you can install a rainwater tank but make sure you check with your local council first as some sizes require approval. When landscaping, add value by selecting local native plants. They'll reduce your water consumption because they've adapted to the climate's rainfall.

5. Bump up your star ratings

This one's simple. When replacing appliances select the ones with the highest energy rating.

If you're thinking of starting some environmentally friendly renovations it's important to know exactly how much money you'll need to cover the costs. Contact me to talk through your finance options.