Don’t spend money on making your house ‘half-ugly’

Do not spend money on making an ugly house look better if it is still “half-ugly”.

That’s the advice of home makeover guru Cherie Barber who says it is “a waste of time and money” unless the entire front facade of a house is transformed.

Barber, who worked with a $10,000 budget to transform a Toongabbie home, in Sydney’s west, on Friday night’s episode of The Living Room ended up adding an extra $50,000 in value to the property.

Cherie Barber transformed a Toongabbie home on Friday night's episode of The Living Room and ended up adding an extra $50,000 to the house's value.Cherie Barber transformed a Toongabbie home on Friday night’s episode of The Living Room and ended up adding an extra $50,000 to the house’s value. Photo: Channel Ten

Needless to say the owners, Jaclyn and Michael from Toongabbie, were overjoyed. So what’s the secret to cooking up a huge difference in valuation?

Barber told Domain she always treats a home like a cake – the house is the cake itself, the facade is the icing and the decorations are planting and landscaping.

“It’s not one thing that adds value, it’s the combination of multiple things that add value,” Barber said. “Getting it right, getting it to a quality standard means finishing the cake in its entirety”.

Needless to say the owners, Jaclyn and Michael from Toongabbie, were overjoyed with the final result.Needless to say the owners, Jaclyn and Michael from Toongabbie, were overjoyed with the final result. Photo: Channel Ten

She said many people do not realise the importance of planting in finishing off the look of a home.

“You’ve got the colours on the house … but there’s nothing like lush green grass and plants to bring it all together,” Barber said.

“The plants are the decoration, the ornament, like the strawberries you put on top of the icing,” Barber told Domain.

Before: Toongabbie home.Before: Toongabbie home. Photo: Channel Ten

Barber, who has made a living encouraging people to makeover their homes ahead of a sale, was surprisingly adamant the job needs to be done properly or not at all.

She said it’s because buyers will not see a difference if they still think the home is ugly in some way.

“Common sense is not so common,” Barber said. “None of these things are hard, all of these things I am doing on The Living Room, almost every Australian can do them, you’ve just got to learn how”.

After: Toongabbie home.After: Toongabbie home. Photo: Channel Ten

She said “it’s a crime” for homeowners to redo exteriors without considering the period features of their home, particularly when renovators try to use modern features with older homes.

“For example, a Federation home should not have a modern timber slatted fence, it should be a picket fence,” she said.

Barber has been a particular hit on social media sites where she is often inundated with hundreds of questions after The Living Room goes to air, often sitting for hours late into the evening to answer 500-plus queries from home owners.

She said it is a sign of just how keen Australians are to add real value to their properties without breaking the bank. Barber is also realistic about how many families may be feeling the squeeze financially.

“My renovations are resonating with people because the reality is people don’t have $50,000 to renovate a kitchen, people don’t have $50,000 to renovate a house, most people are living day to day and they’ve got to try and renovate on a budget,” she said. “This is resonating with the market which is the average Australian”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *