2-bedroom unit in sutherland

i have just bought my first property, a 2-bedroom unit in sutherland, sydney. Its a red brick house built early 1980's and is 83sq metres plus carspace. I dont move into this place for 7 weeks yet, currently in settlement but i am just trying to get some ideas.
It has new carpet, new stove, balcony, 2 spacious bedrooms. Has old ceiling tiles in the bathroom, old light fittings, needs a new paint job, no built ins.
Basically i just want to spruce it up and try to add some value to the property and modernise it, to eventually down the track use it as an investment property.
Im an electrician by trade and quite handy, im willing to give most things a go, just wondering which jobs i should do myself and what i should leave for the professionals. also how much i might be looking at and what kindof return it might add to the property.
The jobs that i want to do are as follows:

Paint walls and ceiling - we want to paint both white but maybe the walls an off colour white, any ideas?The walls are cement rendered painted white at the moment and the ceiling is like a flaky material that has been sprayed onto the concrete i think maybe for fire rating? so i would need to spray it.

Paint kitchen doors and replace handles - The kitchen doors are chipboard covered with some kind of plastic, so i think we need to undercoat and use laminate paint? any suggestions of colours? As for the handles im just going to buy some silver handles from bunnings and replace them.

Kitchen floor - I was thinking of buying some tile-patterened vinyl from bunnings and using that for the floor?

Bathroom ceiling - I want to replace the tiles with a set sealing with some fancy lights and fan.

Balcony - I want to tile the balcony floor , at the moment it is just concrete.

Built in wardrobe/s - Neither of the bedrooms currently have a built-in but both are big enough to install. 1 built-in is nescessary as my gf and i are moving in, however the second bedroom will be used as a study. Is it worth installing a second one in the spare bedroom for investment property purposes down the track? Also i am not confident enough to build one from scratch but i had a look at bunnings yesterday and they have a few packages or make your own that look quite nice. How much should i be looking at for a built-in and how much value in return would it add?

Light fittings - As im an electrician i would be able to get wholesale price from an electrical wholesaler, just wondering where would be the best place to buy cheap fittings from, ive had a look at bunnings but they really dont have much selection.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Gordon
 
i have just bought my first property, a 2-bedroom unit in sutherland, sydney.
Congratulations :)

Paint walls and ceiling - we want to paint both white but maybe the walls an off colour white, any ideas?
2 ideas:
1. Hire a Dulux colour consultant for 2 hours, it will be the best $220 you've ever spent ;)
2. Use same colour on walls and ceilings - Antique White, or China White, USA White.... - if you don't use the colour consultant, try some of those trial pots of paint to see how it looks inside at various times of the day as the light changes.

The walls are cement rendered painted white at the moment and the ceiling is like a flaky material that has been sprayed onto the concrete i think maybe for fire rating? so i would need to spray it.
It is vermiculite. Spray it - it will soak up heaps. Or, gyprock over it.

Paint kitchen doors and replace handles - The kitchen doors are chipboard covered with some kind of plastic, so i think we need to undercoat and use laminate paint?
Sounds like vinyl vacuum stuff. Yes, possibly laminate paint. Either that or just change the entire doors only.

any suggestions of colours?
Gloss white. Black granite benchtops.

As for the handles im just going to buy some silver handles from bunnings and replace them.
Sure.

Kitchen floor - I was thinking of buying some tile-patterened vinyl from bunnings and using that for the floor?
OK or timberlook vinyl.

Is it worth installing a second one in the spare bedroom for investment property purposes down the track?
BIR in brm#1 is good idea. Most unit dwellers, like yourselves, use brm#2 as a study - so not necessary in there.

How much should i be looking at for a built-in and how much value in return would it add?
For a wardrobe company to do - $800-1200 depending on the size. For end val of your unit check out sales of other renovated units in your area.

Light fittings - As im an electrician i would be able to get wholesale price from an electrical wholesaler, just wondering where would be the best place to buy cheap fittings from,
http://www.cosmolightingbaulkhamhills.com/
While you're there, look to replace the power points & light switches with ones Cosmo have that have either gold or silver cover plates.
 
Paint walls and ceiling - we want to paint both white but maybe the walls an off colour white, any ideas?The walls are cement rendered painted white at the moment and the ceiling is like a flaky material that has been sprayed onto the concrete i think maybe for fire rating? so i would need to spray it.
usually the flaky stuff is some kind of textured finish that takes away the need to flush plaster the ceiling. painting with a roller should be fine - spraying is a mission to do preparation for, then you need masks, then there's overspray, plus you need equipment...stay away if possible.

Paint kitchen doors and replace handles - The kitchen doors are chipboard covered with some kind of plastic, so i think we need to undercoat and use laminate paint? any suggestions of colours? As for the handles im just going to buy some silver handles from bunnings and replace them.
depending on the size of the kitchen, it might be in your interest to simply change the doors outright. last time I bought doors I had them made to size and they cost $70ea brand new in colored lamiwood. If you want to go with white, a sheet of white lamiwood will set you back about $70 1200mm x 2400mm if youd like to get someone to cut it to size and edge it yourself. depends on how handy you are. I had 5m worth of cabinets purchased and cut up (im talking carcasses etc the lot minus doors) for $660 including labour - and thats in Darwin, Land of Rip Off Merchants. Then theres the buy doors from Ikea and cut them to size option. So really, depends on how handy you are, and how much work youd like to do.

the thing with kitchens is that paint ends up looking crap one way or the other, and if you start upgrading doors then you get the itch to upgrade benchtops then you have to make sure that you match your laminex colors etc and you can blow out or end up with an odd looking job.

Kitchen floor - I was thinking of buying some tile-patterened vinyl from bunnings and using that for the floor?
tiles are becoming incredibly cheap these days, with vitrified porcelain of a decent grade often selling for as little as $20 per metre. I prefer going that way, but its personal preference - but tiles last a lot longer than vbinyl and even an idiot can put them in

Bathroom ceiling - I want to replace the tiles with a set sealing with some fancy lights and fan.
easy. top hat, gyprock, flush it yourself (i learned how to flush on youtube), and put in some sort of strip light fitting with swivel heads or whatever (downlights are lovely but you need more space in your suspended ceiling)

Balcony - I want to tile the balcony floor , at the moment it is just concrete.
easy, just make sure you seal it and use the right gluee for the right tile - they are NOT all the same


Built in wardrobe/s - Neither of the bedrooms currently have a built-in but both are big enough to install. 1 built-in is nescessary as my gf and i are moving in, however the second bedroom will be used as a study. Is it worth installing a second one in the spare bedroom for investment property purposes down the track? Also i am not confident enough to build one from scratch but i had a look at bunnings yesterday and they have a few packages or make your own that look quite nice. How much should i be looking at for a built-in and how much value in return would it add?
flat pack from Ikea, standard sizes are 2000mm wide by 2470mm high by 660mm deep with sliding doors, ranging from $1000 per unit for the basic white laminex ones and $1700 per unit for the foil backed glass feature ones. They come as flat packs and are easy to put together if you arent completely retarded.

as for value/return, the way I see it, when youre talking about spending a whopping $1000 per room you cant go too wrong

Light fittings - As im an electrician i would be able to get wholesale price from an electrical wholesaler, just wondering where would be the best place to buy cheap fittings from, ive had a look at bunnings but they really dont have much selection.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Gordon
ebay or specific light shops/electrical wholesalers. bunnings has a crappy little range

lastly, in terms of colors, I like to do this thing called "look at stuff other people have done, and then copy it". I'm not about to reinvent the wheel when I can find someones schedule of finishes and simply use that.

good luck, and show us some photos :)
 
Nice find. Easy renovator, no prep, almost zero demolition (ripping off vinyl doesnt count as demolition). looking at that, stay away from tile unless you want to do it yourself in which case there isn't that much win unless you want to change living room surface, which you said is new. If you put in tile, you'll get a step down to the carpet and theres no need - it isn't that kind of unit. vinyl all the way imo.

Your balcony is easy - tile straight onto concrete, but a little sealing using waterproofing compound wouldn't go astray for the $60 and half an hour you'll spend. Not neccessary though.

As I thought as per the concrete waver next to your kitchen light, your ceiling compound was applied to save covering up ugly formwork and save the builder money - it should be fit to paint, unless someone invented fairy dust that comes off in the 80s that I am not aware of. To be safe, go for a 3 in 1 compound - called 3 in 1 by dulux (i think) or PSU (primer sealer undercoat) by wattyl/solver paints. Slightly more expensive but is fit to leave up in non humid environments after one thick coat (dodgy, but i've done it. PSU is glorified mega glue. lasted 7 years last time and I refreshed just because)

Your kitchen cabinet carcasses look okay, looks like the usual sag of door hinges, with basic handles. To be honest for a rental, you could realign the doors by fiddling with hinges (they're usually adjustable) cos you arent going to get a huge return on fixing any of it. If you are committed to changing them over, then be aware that those sizes aren't changed opver by Ikea, and you're looking at paint (don't.) or new doors from a cabinet maker (work off $70 a door, and be ruthless - those things are easy to make - screw them down like a mofo)

Overall your reno is cosmetic only - get rid of those terrible top head curtains with either blinds (depends on price - I prefer wood, but then, I get them cheap and install myself) or reasonable curtains.

Something to look at are your kickpads under the cupboards made of rubber - theyre coming off. you can replace with very thin, very cheap kickboards that you can glue on after ripping the old ones off made of, say, metallic silver or black (whatever) that are easy to install with negligable cost.

Last thing - if you want to change over your lights, its easy and cheap. buy some stainless strip lights, they fit at the same points with the same switches, and spruce it up wildly.

This is just my taste btw, just sayin.

Nice find. Those kinds of apartments are almost indistructable. Easiest reno out imo.

cheerios
 
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