Add Value to Your Home

Add Value to Your Home

Our home is very much our greatest asset and for many of us it makes sense to capitalise on it, but what if the time to sell isn’t yet right for you, or you feel you could get more for your property with a few home improvements? Maybe you don’t plan to move at all but would simply like to make some home improvements and love your home again.

In this article, we hope to give you some expert tips on ways to improve your home, whether you are wanting to sell your home or simply spruce it up a bit.

Consider a Loft Conversion

A typical loft conversion costs around £500-600/m² compared to around twice this for an extension. In terms of adding value, it is likely to be a very good investment providing it adds more accommodation than it takes away (remember you need to make room for a full staircase and this will take up existing space).

Natural light can be brought in either via dormer windows or rooflights. A loft conversion does not normally require planning consent, as it uses existing volume however, creating dormer windows may need planning permission if they face a highway (typically the front of a property) and so it is always worth checking with the planners.

Add Value by Decorating

Decorating is perhaps the most obvious task when thinking about how to add value to your home. Whilst small, superficial defects will not directly affect the value of a property, they could put off potential buyers and therefore prevent it from selling at the
optimum price.

These typical defects will put many buyers off, but are easily resolved by any competent DIYer:

● Peeling paint

● Squeaking or sticking doors and windows

● Door latches that don’t work

● Mouldy sealants in kitchen and bathroom

● Dripping taps

● Loose tiles

● Sewer smells

● Broken or damaged windows

● Squeaky floors and stairs

● Cracks to ceilings and plasterwork

● Lifting flooring

Add New Windows

Double-glazing is now considered an essential by many buyers and adding it will increase the value of your property. Of course, if you are renovating a period property, you will need to be sensitive to the style of the house — or you could end up decreasing its value!

Where old windows need replacing, they should be replaced like-for-like although it will be necessary for them to be double glazed to meet the current building regulations, unless the building is listed or in a Conservation Area. For most listed buildings, plastic windows are not acceptable to English Heritage.

Add an Extra Bedroom

If in any doubt about how to add value to your home, adding in an extra bedroom is a great place to start.

The number of bedrooms in a property has a big impact on its value so adding bedrooms will usually add to the sale price, although be aware that there is a
ceiling value for every street and so at some point the additional cost ceases to bring any return.

Extra bedrooms can be created by dividing up existing space by removing and adding walls, by converting the loft or cellar, or by extending. Re-using existing space is most cost effective but only likely to be an option in old period houses with vast bedrooms.

Make sure you create a balance between bedrooms and the number of bathrooms a ratio of one to three is a minimum.

A Kitchen Makeover

An attractive, clean and sociable kitchen is essential both to buyers and valuation surveyors. Before replacing an entire kitchen, consider the fundamentals such as its shape and position and decide if you need to make any structural changes to the space, or if you want to
relocate it elsewhere.

Very often, kitchen renovations can be carried out for a modest investment. Small changes such as repainting or replacing unit doors or just the worktops can have a huge impact, as can new floor tiles or better lighting.

Replace kitchen cupboards

Good storage is a key component of any kitchen. If you want to update yours on a budget, look for flat-pack cabinets: they are affordable and can be put together by a competent DIYer.

What’s more, many of the major DIY retailers offer you the choice of planning your design online from home. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with an in-store designer who will help to draw up plans.

Update kitchen doors and drawer fronts

If your kitchen cabinet carcasses are in good condition, save money by keeping the frames and just replacing doors and drawer fronts. This way, you can get a brand-new look for a fraction of the cost of a new kitchen. Plus, there is less stress because the entire job rarely takes longer than one to two days.

Update door handles

An easy DIY win is to update old or outdated knobs and handles. This can breathe a surprisingly refreshing new lease of life into a room.

Make sure new knobs are equal or larger than the ones they’re replacing. This will make sure they cover the ‘footprints’ left by the old knobs.

You can usually unscrew old handles from the rear of the door or drawer. Measure the distance between the centre of the two holes on the handle so you can find a suitable replacement that matches the old handle holes. If you can’t, again, choose a handle with a larger ‘footprint’ than the handle you’re replacing.

Freshen up walls

A coat of paint is a low-cost way to refresh any room. If you are selling, stick to neutral shades to maximise the feeling of light and space, and to let potential buyers imagine making the property their own.

Updating kitchen or bathroom walls? Make sure you pick a paint that’s suitable for hot and steamy conditions or you could find that mould and mildew develop. Plenty of brands offer specialised paints for these conditions.

If you are on a budget, you can save money by doing the painting yourself – just check out the many online ‘how-to’ guides if you’re a first timer. And even if you’re an experienced painter, be sure to get tester pots of the colours you like before getting going. Colours can look completely different on your walls from how they appeared in the shop.

Colours also change according to light: what you see in the evening may be different from what you see in the morning. So, before you make a final choice, use your tester pots to see how different shades appear at different times of day.

Replace bathroom taps

Replacing basin brassware is an easy and instant way to rejuvenate a tired bathroom. Buy the best-quality taps you can afford; poor-quality products quickly discolour and you’ll have to replace them more quickly.

Hanging of mirrors

If your budget won’t stretch to installing skylights or patio doors, use mirrors to maximise natural light. A tried and trusted trick is to hang a mirror opposite a window to capture light and bounce it around the room. Placing a mirror adjacent to wall lights has a similar effect.

In small spaces, remember that the bigger the mirror, the more space it will seemingly create. A floor-to-ceiling mirror behind a piece of furniture, for example, will create the illusion of a whole other room opening behind it.

We hope you find these tips helpful. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding the sale of your property or home improvement needs.

Alex Harvey Estate Agents - Your Local Property Experts

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