Though I love my little house, I seem to be constantly looking for areas to change that firstly add to my enjoyment of the home and secondly, to add value. Creating equity is important to me for next steps in my financial journey.
One area that I thought would make an immediate improvement was the removal of a wall between the living and kitchen. An open-plan kitchen living area is more aligned to the preference of today and also creates the illusion of more space.
My first point of call was to call in a builder to discuss the wall removal. I was all excited about grabbing a sledgehammer and smashing down the wall but was fairly certain it would be load bearing. Sure enough, it was. That took the project out of my hands as I don’t have the construction knowledge to install of load bearing beam. I also didn’t want any issues with insurance or selling the property at a later date. I needed a professional.
Professionals cost money though. What I could negotiate on was the level of finish. If I was prepared to fill the gaps and paint, I would almost halve the cost of the job. I am not a total DIY incompetent, so I asked that the wall be removed and supporting framework installed. I would finish the job up to make it look pretty. The end quote was $4500.
Though I’m no expert, I assume it was a relatively minor job as it was complete in 2 days. based on how it looked after the first day, I can’t imagine it took more than a few hours the second day it knock it over.
As the photos demonstrate, removing the wall drastically increased the illusion of space. Actually, it’s not entirely an illusion as the kitchen cupboards and faux brick wall were several feet thick, so I have literally gained extra space.
- There are now gaps in the floating floor. I’m not a huge fan of the colour of the flooring though, so I may end up replacing the lot. I can live with it for now though.
- I have lost kitchen storage. I normally live with about 2 plates and a couple of cups, so I don’t need much room but as far as resale goes, I need to add more.
- The now see the dated kitchen all the time. It was ‘out of sight, out of mind’ before. Now I can’t not see it. It’s functional but ugly. A kitchen renovation is now on the list of things to do.
- The sense of space. I have a small house and space is premium. Instead of walking in the front door into a small room, now I walk into a nice open space.
- More layout options. I have more room to space out my furniture. For one, I can now place my TV against a wall so it’s not the first thing you see as you walk in the house.
- Much more light in the kitchen/dining area. My kitchen is South facing. In Australia, that is the aspect that receives the least light. Now I gain the light from the North facing window into the kitchen area.
- I have added value. If I haven’t at least added the value of the renovation, I would be amazed. I consider the change has vastly improved the saleability of the home.
- I like it! That was the primary purpose of the reno. I wanted to enjoy it more than before. it makes me smile.
Maybe I half expected that the wall removal would do the job and I would be satisfied to leave it at that. I would be fooling myself also, I can’t sit stagnate without change. As indicated above though, now I want to change the kitchen and review the flooring.
More saving and more projects to come.