More on subject of renovating

From: Adam Randall

I am setting myself a 20000 dollar budget to do up one of my existing properties, currently valued at about 150,000 other houses in the area selling for over 300,000.
House currently pulls 160 per week rent, was built in 1968, and has not had a lick of paint since, it has no defects apart from cosmetic (maybe guttering) Other houses get well over 260 per week.
My questions are :
What materials have the right mixture of
Some materials I have thought of for their good looks and relative cheap cost.
Glass Bricks
Ceramic floors
Frameless shower
Halogen down lights
French doors

Other materials I have discounted as being to expensive.
any marble
Limestone tiles
granite cooktops
wooden floors
parquetry (way too expensive).

Has anyone had any experience with any of these products with regard to renovation or even in your own house.
Can you reccomend DIY kitchens (flat packs) I have reasonable DIY skills however have had a few shockers in my time.
Also is a lockup garage a worthwhile investment. Any ideas on what to do with the garden.
Regards Adam
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Reply: 1
From: Adam Randall

Hi Michael
Thanks for the advice. The suburb the house is in is Athelstone (about 20mins to town). The reason the rents and values vary so much is that there is a lot of new (read expensive) housing in the area. The only type of renovation that will get me those values is with the aid of a bulldozer.
If I could increase from 160 to 200 -210 per week I would class this as a great success.Also if I could enhance the value of the house by 150% of the money I put into, for example if I spend 20,000 to attain a 30,000 capital gain I would also be happy. (i have owned the house for 6 years, and will never sell)
You have scared me a bit with the kitchen, I do not want to pay someone 5-10 thousand dollars as that would be a large whack out of my budget, is there a cheap way to update a kitchen (I cannot leave it as it is). Maybe I could keep the existing cupboards and just get updated doors, handles, bench top, and draw faces.
The main reason I was thinking of ceramic tiles for the flooring is at $18 square metre its comparable to carpet, however will last a lot longer.
I think sometimes my biggest problem is thinking about what I would like in a house instead of what is practical.
One other question : Apart from a good coat of paint, and light fittings what do you consider the single most important item to spend money on in a rental property.
Also what time frame would you allow, from start to finish ( assuming I take holidays and am prepared to work 12 hour days). My thought would be 6 to 12 weeks, however considering at christmas time I allocated 2 days to install a glass brick wall, and it took me nearly 2 weeks to complete properly, I dont have much faith in my ability to estimate something this complex.
Regards Adam
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Reply: 2
From: Keith J


I've just completed a reno in Bris. The kitchen cost -
- $1350 for 4 cabinets, sink & mixer & laminate work top & delivery
- installing cost 1 hour of cabinet makers time
- I painted it myself
- tiler for splashbacks cost less than $200 inc tiles.
- left the floor as the new tennant is a floor sander & will give me a good deal in 6 months time for the whole house.
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Reply: 1.1
From: Keith J

Another simple & cheap thing that makes a big difference is new door handles & light switch covers.

And a smart looking front door & painted picket fence will improve first impressions if you're having problems getting a tennant.
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Reply: 2.1
From: Jude H

I'm right here with you Michael.

For cheap kitchen and bathroom (bathroom doesn't show up on website, was told by company when I rang them) try

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