With Australians spending more than ever on renovations, it’s important to understand what kind of improvements will be of the most benefit in the long run when contemplating a renovation project.
The laundry may not be the first area that springs to mind when thinking about renovating, but with a few practical adjustments, an upgraded laundry can offer homeowners some considerable dividends.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should consider upgrading your laundry and some design takeaways worth applying to your own reno project.
Improve accessibility & functionality for now & the future
Australia’s demographic profile is undergoing some massive changes concerning our ageing population. Our lifespans are increasing and we want to remain independent as we age. This desire is fueling the types of renovations we’re making to our homes in every room, including the laundry.
After reading the Australian government’s guide to sustainable homes, we’ve become aware of a number of important home trends. One of the most significant is that of both adaptable and livable housing. An adaptable house, they tell us, is the key to meeting the challenges of major lifestyle changes without having to demolish the home or significantly modify its foundational structure. A laundry room can be made more adaptable by considering what your needs for this space might be like in the future.
Key takeaways– It’s beneficial to construct your laundry room with ergonomics, ease of use and your future needs foremost in mind:
- Install washers and dryers at heights that require minimal bending.
- Make shelving units easily accessible. If your upper shelves are mounted so high on the wall as to be unreachable, consider installing pull-out shelving for easier access to the items you want to store.
Boost energy efficiency
According to a report by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts there is a significant correlation between a home’s selling price and its energy efficiency rating. Laundry and bathroom efficiencies were both tracked as part of the study. Even for Australians who do not plan to sell their homes, high levels of water and energy efficiency are attractive, as they lead to lower overall household expenses.
Key takeaways– Seek out a water-efficient washing machine and an energy-efficient dryer for installation in your laundry room. If you’re currently using older, inefficient appliances, more efficient models are a wise long-term investment. Over time, you can offset many of the dollars you spend upfront because your water and power bills will be lower.
Make your home more appealing
The Australian housing market is shifting. According to Bloomberg property investment is slowing thanks to regulators increasing both interest rates and restrictions on borrowing. It hasn’t halted completely; foreign investors are pumping money into apartment buildings. This is a market many foreigners perceive as having fewer barriers to entry than the market for Australia’s single-family dwellings.
Recently, profitability has become quite challenging for Aussie landlords. Competition from international investors is making it increasingly difficult for Aussie investors to attract quality tenants to their properties. As property management fees fluctuate and landlords cope with higher payments on a number of fronts, some are choosing to pull out of the rental game and sell their rental properties.
Others are shifting their efforts to focus on short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb.com. For many Airbnb customers, it’s additional ‘at home’ facilities like kitchens and convenient laundry facilities that make peer-to-peer renting more attractive to travellers than staying in a hotel.
These trends are converging to create a $31.4+ billion dollar renovation market in Australia. While laundry room renovations form a small minority of the total market share, they are not insignificant. A standard laundry room renovation currently costs about $4,300 in Australia. According to Better Homes and Gardens, minor laundry room renovations can add big value to a home.
Key takeaways– The experts at Better Homes and Gardens recommend several convenient features that can not only increase the functionality of your laundry room but also boost the value of your home. They suggest adding ample counter space so you have room to fold clothes; installing moveable bins that can hold dirty laundry when needed, that can be tucked away when your tasks are complete and sufficient cabinet space for stowing laundry detergent.
We hope these insights are helpful to you if you’re thinking of upgrading your laundry room. For more laundry reno advice take a look at these six key features of a functional laundry and our laundry makeover guide.
If you have tips on laundry renos that add both style and value to a home, feel free to share them in the comments section below.