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Tackling renovation in a down market

You have been transferred and need to sell your current house – what to do?

Well, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, presenting your house at its best in any market it is still sound advice.

“But it is also true that in a market where prices are soft and buyers still scarce it is imperative to keep the market value in mind before you embark on extensive renovations in an effort to attract prospective buyers.”

In this market, he says, it is a mistake to invest too much money in renovations that you cannot recoup when the time comes to sell because they would price the property out of the market.

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he notes: “The best course of action is to take a hard and objective look at your home or call in the help of someone who will give you an honest opinion. If you have kept up with maintenance work, the property might only need a new coat of paint and a general cleanup.

“However, if more extensive renovation is to be done, such as replacing chipped wall tiles or worn-out floor coverings, you will need to draw up a list of projects and then a strict budget, remembering that your aim is to get your property shipshape as it stands, not to redesign or rebuild it.”

Making sure that your house is clean and that everything is in working order might be a more important selling point than a new bathroom or redesigned kitchen, Everitt says.

“For example, check that all light switches, door handles and kitchen and bathroom fixtures are in good working order. Fix dripping taps and make sure that the sprinkler system works. This sort of attention to detail will usually please buyers and at the very least will mean that they have no excuse to talk down the price.”




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Many people, including some professionals responsible for the specifications on construction work, do not understand the big difference between a wood varnish and an oil-based wood sealer, says Mike Grose, CEO of Technical Finishes, and, he adds, in the majority of instances the sealer is probably the better choice.

“The reason for this,” says Grose, “is that an oil sealer will penetrate deeply into the wood, thereby preserving it internally.  This is especially important if the wood is exposed over long periods to ultraviolet, heat or moisture.  Wooden garage doors and other doors, fascias and outdoor furniture tend to last longer and look better if they are oil sealed.”

Like all good vegetable oil sealers, says Grose, Technical Finishes’ Solidkote TLC for Wood not only penetrates deeper into the wood than a varnish or a paint (which are really surface treatments) but also cures inside the wood, changing from a monomer to a polymer, making the wood highly resistant to ultraviolet and 100% water repellent.

On average, says Grose, an SA pine component in a position exposed to strong sunlight will require re-treatment every 18 months while timber in areas that are predominantly shady can be left for four or more years.

Solidkote TLC for Wood is supplied in natural, teak and dark teak colours, which currently are the preferred colour choices in the Western Cape.

For further information contact Mike Grose on 021 535 4455 or email


Article by: Chas Everitt