Practical tips to add value to your property
With a flurry of home-related TV shows currently gracing our screens, DIY and home renovation have become more popular than ever, and homeowners are now making changes left right and centre to boost the value of their property.
There are the obvious ways to increase property value, such as building a swimming pool in your garden or adding an extension to the back of your home, but sometimes it is easier to renovate the existing rooms in order to increase the value of a property.
Which Room Renovations Will Boost Your House Value the Most?
A kitchen renovation should be at the top of your list when it comes to added property value, as this is the room that people spend the most time in and is effectively the heart of your home. Buyers tend to like a kitchen that has modern conveniences and an up-to-date style.
The first thing you need to do is upgrade all your appliances to stainless steel and change your counter tops – this can make a huge difference aesthetically. Another great move when it comes to a kitchen renovation is to knock down any existing walls between the kitchen and dining room. This will create a modern kitchen-diner and make your whole home feel more spacious.
Refreshing the kitchen
Tatty and dated kitchen units are simply going to lower your sale or rental price. Buyers will have to consider the time and money implications of replacing them. However, a nice trick is that you don’t have to shell out on a whole new kitchen – simply by replacing or refinishing the cabinet doors you can create a sleek, shiny and modern look. If you’re handy, refinishing or replacing doors can be done over the course of a long weekend, but otherwise, or to save yourself the time, hiring a good carpenter will result in a perfect finish and of course will be substantially cheaper than fitting a whole new kitchen. As ever, little details will make a difference, and replacing plastic light switch and socket covers with chrome or brushed aluminum is a smart plan. A tired kitchen floor is quite off putting – any kind of new floor covering will add value, but stone or tile will often add the most.
A bathroom can very easily look old and dirty, so is one of the easiest rooms to make a difference with. Just by changing up the bath, sink and toilet, your bathroom will look like a completely different space.
There are other smaller changes you can make too though, such as installing a vanity, changing your showerhead to a rainforest shower and upgrading your lighting. Your bathroom needs to look clean and fresh at all times and have as much natural lighting as possible.
The first thing a buyer will see is your garden, so it is key to make the best first impression possible. Giving your garden a bit of a make over is a good investment, as it will add value to your home and help attract more buyers.
Another must-have for many buyers is a garage or parking space outside a house, so if you are thinking of converting your garage, then think again. Having extra space can make a big difference outside a house, so make sure you make yours look as appealing as possible.
Making the outside look nice
Giving the front of your house a new coat of paint, tidying the front garden, and cleaning the windows could add as much as £5000 to the value of your home. It’s all about making it look welcoming and enticing for prospective buyers and tenants booked in for a viewing.
Research found that by converting your loft, you could increase the value of your home by around 21%. You will need planning consent and a suitable space, but it is worth it for the amount of money you could get in return.
There are a few different things to think about when it comes to converting your loft. The first thing is where the stairs will go in regards to existing rooms – think about the impact they will have on the rest of the property. Another consideration is the height available in the loft itself – you will need at least 2.2m at the top of the stairs and is important to be able to stand up straight.
How to Add Environmental Value to Your Property
With a current lack of housing and more buyers than there are properties on the market, many homeowners are staying put for now and investing their time and money into improving their home, ready to put it on the market in a year or so.
Adding environmental value to your home will not only save you money when it comes to paying bills, but it is also a good investment into your property and will increase the net worth of the building.
According to research carried out by the Energy Saving Trust, carbon appeal is actually set to be a bigger consideration than curb appeal when it comes to buying a new home. Their study found that 53% of people surveyed would be willing to pay an extra £3,350 for a home that has environmentally friendly features.
Another interesting result from this survey was that 78% of those asked also said they had a poor rating on their EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) – something now required for any home being sold.
Here are a few different ways to boost your EPC rating and add environmental value to your property before selling:
Find Out Your EPC Score
Without knowing what your EPC score is, it’s hard to know which area of your house to focus on. A Domestic Energy Assessor will be able to look around your property and prepare an Energy Performance Certificate for you. This will be rated between A – G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least.
The average score for existing homes is a low D (or a score of 46), but there are some easy ways to boost this up to a C. If a buyer is looking for a property in your area and your house is rated as a C and others have an E rating, that could be the factor that helps them to make their final decision.
The main areas of your home that will affect your EPC are the roof, your walls and insulation, windows, heating, and lighting.
Walls and Insulation
There are two main types of walls – solid and cavity. The majority of houses built since 1925 have cavity walls – this involves two skins of brick with a gap between them.
This is more insulating than a solid wall, especially when the gap is filled with insulating material like rockwool or spun glass fibres. Solid walls needs to have extra internal or external insulation on them to really make a difference to your energy saving levels.
Upgrading your windows is actually one of the best ways to improve your energy efficiency rating and it will give your home both extra aesthetic and economic value. Single glazed windows are not energy efficient, as they let out a large amount of heat.
The best option is to go for timber sash windows, as not only are they good for the environment, but they are all amazingly economical. Sash windows work well in older properties too, as they are easy to install and will ensure the building still looks authentic.
Boiler and Plumbing
There are still a lot of homes with old and inefficient boilers, which can be very expensive to run and bad for the environment. These days, all boilers must have a certificate that proves they are both cost efficient and environmentally friendly.
Your plumbing is another place where you could be losing money and energy. Update any wiring and plumbing in your house to ensure everything is working properly and keeping your house as energy efficient as possible.
Our top ten tips
If you’re selling your home, making sure that your house is at its best is crucial, so how do you do it without bankrupting yourself? The cost for each of the below projects varies, but you can be sure that with a little effort, your home can be worth even more when you come round to signing it away to a new owner. This is by no means a comprehensive list of projects, but just some ideas to get you started. Some of these projects improve the looks of your house and are relatively simple, others require more skill and effort. Take some time to figure out which are going to have the greatest effect on your home’s market value and go from there.
First impressions count
What is the first thing people will see when they come to view your home? If you have a front garden, then making sure the lawn is mowed or the external brickwork is as presentable as it can be is important. It seems obvious and possibly shallow, but if the first impression of your home isn’t a great one, then it’s going to affect how they perceive the rest of your property.
Lighten up a bit
No matter how small a space is, the right lighting can make it seem so much brighter and more inviting. If you’re tired of subtle or hidden light fixtures, you can look into statement fittings that catch the eye. Equally, if you want the room to feel cosy and warm, muted wall mounted lights could be the way forwards -- it varies. Look at it this way, the levels of light you want to light up a hallway or kitchen is going to be different from what you want in a bedroom. So, there is no one answer for this, but always remember that lighting can make a big difference when improving your home.
Walk this way
The difference between an old fashioned perception and a modern one can come down to things as simple as how your floors are presented. If you have carpets, is the colour faded and the tread worn down? Or if it’s patterned, does it complement or clash with the rest of your decor? A professional carpet cleaner can make a big difference in sprucing up your carpets, or if you’re feeling more ambitious with your home improvement project then you could replace or even get rid of your carpeting entirely.
As house prices increase, spaces become smaller, and creative storage becomes all the more important. Adding storage above cupboards, or fitting shelves into nooks and crannies can help improve the value of your home. If you have more money in the budget for projects like this then you could consider adding fitted wardrobes or kitchen fixtures which are specifically made to fit your home.
If you can’t afford or don’t want to replace internal doors in your home, then think about the little things that you can do to improve their appearance, a statement doorknob or fresh coat of paint can help transform your home from looking well-worn to brand new. The same idea is true with kitchens, you may not be able to replace the entire fittings, but new doors are far less expensive and can bring your kitchen into a new decade.
Add an island
If you have a larger kitchen, then adding an attractive kitchen island workspace can help pull the room together whilst adding another level of functionality. There are hundreds of options online made to fit any space and with the options of incorporated sinks and electrics. But if you’re looking for a cheaper way to gain some preparation space and increase your kitchen’s value, then you can make your own island by simply placing two identical chests or sturdy bookcases back to back and topping with a butcher’s block.
Save your energy
As technology progresses and society becomes more environmentally conscious there comes an increased drive to decrease the amount of energy our homes use. The less energy it takes to run appliances the more value you add, after all, no one wants to be stuck with a huge energy bill at the end of each month. At the same time, think about how well your home is insulated and how much it costs to heat in colder months. Adding thick curtains or temporary secondary glazing can increase how well your home holds heat, and if you have a fireplace that is purely decorative, consider a chimney balloon which stops heat escaping.
Scrub up your bathroom
Everyone has a slightly different idea as to what the perfect bathroom is, but most agree that it should be a space where you can wake up and unwind. And of course, it should be as clean as you want to be. So little touches like whitening the grouting around the tiles and fittings can help brighten the place up. Also, you’d be amazed by the power of a new toilet seat or new taps, both are relatively cheap to install and can help add a touch of personality to a classic space.
Two can be better than one
If you have a bit more space and a bit more to spend on your bathroom, then adding a second sink can make a world of difference. Whether you’re part of a couple who are both trying to rush to the office in the morning, or part of a large family trying to brush your teeth before bed, this can make life a whole lot easier.
An MOT for your home
There are things you need a professional for, this is one of them. Before you sell your home it could be worth having an electrician or a plumber come round to make sure that your home is performing at top speed. That means making sure that there are no faulty outlets or loose wires, making sure that nothing leaks and checking that your boiler is at its best.
Finishing touches and quick fixes
If you are looking round your house thinking about how you need to do some renovations, then it is often a good idea to take a step backwards and actually work out what could be improved without too much work first.
Often it’s the smaller things and the finishing touches that make all the difference in a home. If you have a tight budget but want to give your house a bit of a make over, then you are better spending wisely on some lighter renovations than stretching your budget doing something major.
Fixtures and fittings can usually be changed for a good price and don’t require too much hard work. They do however really make a room look completely different.
A good place to start is with your doors. If first impressions are everything, then your doors will be the first thing guests see when they enter each room. Doors are actually not as expensive as you may think and can easily be hung yourself if you have a good online guide.
There are many different doors on the market, including wooden, glass, panelled, sliding etc., so you can choose which door suits the room it’s going to be in best. If you have an older home, then reclaimed doors would add a lot of character.
Once you have your doors sorted, you can start thinking about door handles. You would be surprised by how much of a difference they can make to a door and really an entire room.
If you change your door handles, it can be nice to change your light switches to match, so you have a theme running through the room. Brass fittings almost always look good and will help your room look sophisticated and coordinated.
It can be tempting to look at older furniture and picture how much better a room would be if you replaced it with fresh new furnishings, but actually making your furniture look new is easier than you would think.
With sofas and chairs, it is very easy to transform them using fabric – you can either get them upholstered, or for an ever cheaper transformation just buy a new throw and some cushions. Cabinets and wardrobes can be completely changed with a lick of paint, and tables simply need waxing or a new tablecloth thrown over them.
Once of the easiest ways to transform a room is by upgrading your taps. This works really well in both the kitchen and any bathrooms you have, as you can make some really noticeable changes without giving the rooms a complete overhaul.
Taps are a great place to start, as they are used every day and can really give your room an extra sparkle. Choose matching taps for the bath and skink in your bathroom, then coordinate them with any towel rails in the room.
Kitchen taps come in a variety of sizes and styles, so choose something that works with your current décor and gives your kitchen an extra kick of modern sophistication.
One of the easiest ways to really make a difference to your home is by freshening up your paintwork. Any room can be completely transformed just by changing the colour of the walls or even by adding some wallpaper.
You can get wallpaper in a huge range of patterns and textures these days, just have a look online at all the available options. Refreshing the colour of your walls doesn’t take too long, but can really make a huge difference to your whole house.