8 ways to get your outdoor space ready for summer – whether you’re an owner or a renter

Posted: 25 August 2021 11:44 am
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We look at permanent improvements that can add value to your home as well as renter-friendly updates that can be moved when you do.

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With millions of Aussies trapped inside for the next few weeks (and that's being optimistic), there's literally been no better time to revamp our outdoor spaces.

Whether you own your home or rent it, there are upgrades you can make that suit your situation and leave you with a little oasis on your doorstep. Plus, it'll be all ready to go when summer rolls around and we can finally welcome guests back. Hooray!

Improvements that add value

If you own your home, you have the freedom to make both temporary changes as well as more permanent updates. If you are thinking about investing in some bigger renovations, it's worth thinking about upgrades that can potentially add value to your home, while also letting you enjoy your outdoor space more.

Fencing

No matter how nice your garden is, you're probably not going to spend as much time out there if you feel like someone's watching you whenever you start to unwind.

Privacy fencing can transform your outdoor space from a very public spot into a more private area which is almost like an extra room of your home.

Not only that, but fencing is an extra deterrent for thieves and vandals, so you're potentially making your home safer too.

Tall privacy fencing in a garden.

Outdoor kitchen

Are you even Australian if you don't love a barbeque? Well, you can take it one step further by building an outdoor kitchen which can be fully functional throughout most of the year.

In addition to a top-notch barbeque, you can add counter space for prepping food and a nearby sink for washing hands. Creating a genuinely functional space will ensure you get the most out of your outdoor space and don't just wheel the barbeque out on special occasions.;

An outdoor kitchen, including a barbeque and countertops

Shade structure

Much like an outdoor kitchen, adding a pergola or shade structure can give you the weather protection you need to enjoy your outdoor space every month of the year, rather than just on those rare not-too-hot-not-too-cold days.

Adding electrical outlets and a fire pit can also turn the space into an outdoor living area with potential for movie nights if you install a TV or projector.

Friends gather under a garden shade structure.

Pool

Having a pool in your backyard is one of the big Australian dreams and it might be closer in reach than you realise.

According to research from real estate site Domain, a budget pool installation typically costs between $20,000 and $25,000, while a mid-range installation typically costs somewhere in the $25,000 to $60,000 range.

Two young girls jump into a family pool as an older relative takes photographs.

Funding it

Permanent upgrades that add value to your home usually come with a pretty big price tag but the cost can be spread over a longer period of time and you might end up recouping that cost - and some - when you come to sell.

So how do you fund it? Well, credit cards and buy now pay later providers are generally better suited to shorter repayment schedules, but personal loans can be repaid over much longer timeframes.

For example, if you were eligible for a SocietyOne personal loan with an interest rate and comparison rate of 5.95%, you could borrow $25,000 over a period of 5 years.

In that instance, you'd have weekly repayments of just $111.50. By the time your loan was all paid off, you would have paid an additional $3,964 in interest.

In comparison, if you had a balance of $25,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 19.94% p.a. (which is currently the industry average, according to ABS), it would cost $305 a fortnight to pay the loan off over 5 years. In that case, you'd end up paying a whopping $14,690 in interest.


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Renter-friendly improvements

Even if you've rented for a while, it's best to avoid pricey additions that will be impossible to move when you do. Instead, dedicate the majority of your budget to portable items or only make modest purchases if you won't be able to keep them.

Artificial grass

You probably won't convince your landlord to lay down turf, but you can buy the next best thing. Artificial grass has come a long way since we were in school, when any fall would leave you with a severely skinned knee.

Now, it's much closer to the real thing. Not only that, but it's more environmentally friendly, requires no maintenance and, best of all, you can take it with you when you move.

A woman with a tattoo of her rose on her foot walks on artificial grass.

Potted plants

An array of potted plants can be just as effective as a landscaped garden and if you invest in large pots you can even plant fruit trees.

For example, apple, cherry, fig, lemon, orange, peach, pear and plum trees can all thrive in pots and you'll be able to take them to your new home when the time comes.

A young man tends to potted plants on his balcony.

Power washing

You'll be surprised by the difference power washing can make, particularly on old stones or tiles that you may have thought were past their best.

Although you won't benefit from the cleanliness when you move, power washers themselves are portable and pretty affordable too. However, if you don't want to drop a couple of hundred dollars on a power washer, you can always rent one for a fraction of the price.

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Garden furniture

If you're making do with decades-old outdoor furniture, you might be surprised by how much life new furniture can inject into your garden or yard.

Beautiful outdoor furniture quickly draws the eye away from any issues you don't have the power to fix and can create dedicated spaces for relaxing or socialising.

An outdoor table

Funding it

If you're eager to improve your outdoor living space but don't have the cash upfront, there are ways to spread the cost over a longer timeframe, including credit cards, buy now pay later providers and personal loans.

For example, SocietyOne offers personal loans with a comparison and interest rate as low as 5.95%, for borrowers with exceptional credit.

In that instance, if you borrowed $5,000 for your garden makeover, to pay back over 2 years, you'd only end up paying an extra $316 on top of the original loan amount. Plus, your weekly repayments would only be $51.

Increase the life of your loan to 3 years and your weekly repayments would be just $35, increase to 5 years and they'd be just $22.50. Of course, the cost of your loan would go up. In those cases, you'd pay an extra $472 and $793 respectively.

Plus, SocietyOne personal loans can be unsecured, which means you don't need to provide a deposit or collateral, such as a home. Renters rejoice!

Fund your home improvements with a personal loan from SocietyOne

$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
SocietyOne Unsecured Personal Loan

From 5.95% (fixed)
5.95%
$5,000
2 to 5 years
from $0 to $595
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.95% p.a. and 19.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
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