Paul Wheatcroft, 0 months ago12 min read
Thankfully, there are many things you can do to add value to your home and boost its appeal. As well as making you money, your home will become a nicer place to live in the meantime. Certain projects are cheaper and easier, whereas others may require more effort but will help your house sell for a good price in your area.
Understanding how to maximise the value of your current home will make it easier to work your way up the property ladder towards your dream home. We’ve put together some home improvement tips to help get you started, so here are 10 ways to boost the value of your home.
You should never underestimate the importance of making your home structurally safe and secure. Keeping on top of skeletal issues, like subsidence (when the ground beneath the property sinks), and making them a priority will have a huge impact on the value of your home.
Some examples of structural defects include:
Broken or missing roof tiles - This can cause leaks, heat and moisture damage, and permanent damage to the roof.
Bowing walls - As well as being unsightly, they can allow bugs and moisture into the room. Without a repair solution, it can lead to further movement or collapsed walls.
Collapsed floor or slabs - Sagging or cracked floors and slabs can weaken the support holding the subfloor, which can cause the floor to give way.
Insect infestations - Pests can spread allergies, contaminate food, and cause asthma and other illnesses by spreading bacteria. And that’s not to mention the potential for painful bites or stings.
Rising damp - This can permanently damage plaster, flooring, and decorative finishes, making them smell and look unpleasant.
Rotting joists or roof timbers - These supports hold your floor and are susceptible to humidity and moisture. If rot occurs it can spread, weaken, and damage the floor.
Sagging or leaky roofs - These could cave in which would cause damage to the rest of the home, and possibly injure the residents.
Structural cracks in the walls - This could indicate a more serious problem such as severe foundation shifting or water damage.
Unstable chimney stack - If strong winds occur, an unstable chimney stack could damage the property or injure a passer-by if it falls off.
While cosmetic improvements and internal work are more noticeable, there is little point in making these changes without fixing any structural issues first. In some cases, these structural problems can be expensive. However, when it comes to adding value, getting these renovations completed is essential.
With the cost of energy prices going up, selling a home with a quality central heating system is a great way to add value. Some older homes will have no central heating or may have an old-fashioned system that will be in desperate need of an update. Others might have inefficient boilers or heating systems that could bring down the value of the home and the overall efficiency rating.
Things that should be done in conjunction with updating your heating system which will improve your property’s overall efficiency rating include:
Sealing any drafts - Sealing drafts will keep cold air out and heat in during the winter, meaning your heating or cooling systems won’t have to work as hard. Draft-proof your home by sealing doors and windows (but not airbricks as these allow air circulation in cavity walls, reducing moisture build-up).
Replacing windows - Single-glazed or damaged windows will let cold air into your house during the winter and hot air in the summer, which makes it hard to maintain a stable or comfortable internal temperature. Replace with them double glazed windows.
Adding insulation - Insulating your home makes it more comfortable and means you’ll have to spend less money on heating and cooling during the colder and warmer months. Add insulation to walls, the roof or loft, tanks, pipes, and radiators.
If your boiler has sufficient capacity, adding new radiators, heating towel rails, or underfloor heating to your existing system will boost your property value.
Adding rooms to your home can drastically increase the value of your property. If you have a garage or loft that you don’t use for storage, then converting these spaces into a functional room is highly recommended. You can turn these unused areas into an office, a gym, a games room, or a large master or guest bedroom with a dressing area and ensuite.
If you still need some space for storage, then you can section off a small area of your garage or loft. This way you get the best of both worlds, as you’re increasing your living space while still providing storage solutions for future buyers.
The kitchen is the hub of the home and is the heart of family time. Modern living spaces tend to focus on eating, relaxing, and cooking, so making your kitchen a spacious and inviting area will add more value to your property. You can do so by giving this room a makeover, increasing space for both storage and preparation and making it more sociable.
Kitchen renovations don’t have to be expensive. Making small changes can have a huge impact on the appearance and value of your kitchen. These include:
- Replacing or painting unit doors or the worktops
- Changing the floors
- Improving the lighting
- Upgrading handles and sinks
Adding a breakfast bar is an easy fix for increasing social space. If you don’t have room for an island or seating area, then extending your kitchen is a great investment to consider. You can do so by knocking through into an unused room or, with planning permission, building an extension.
Read our guide on UK property building regulations and HMO legislation to learn more about renovating your property.
Giving the exterior of your home a makeover is just as important as the interior. First impressions count, and if your home looks dull and rundown from the outside, then it could easily put buyers off from seeing more of your property.
Ways you can upgrade your exterior and boost your home’s kerb appeal include:
- Painting walls, doors, fences, and windows
- Replacing old front and garage doors and windows
- Repairing any chipped paintwork, faulty doors, and windows
- Repairing broken or cracked cladding, such as timber or render, and removing stone cladding
- Adding a porch and outdoor lighting
- Upgrading the driveway by adding stones or fresh tarmac
- Replace or add a house number, sign, and a post box
If your home needs a big makeover, then planning permission may be required. Extreme makeovers include:
- Cladding a house
- Changing the roof, windows, or chimney
- Adding a porch
- Converting a garage or roof
- Extending the property
If you’re unsure whether or not any exterior or interior home improvements need planning permission, then you can check if you need it on the Government website.
Another way to boost kerb appeal and add value to your home is to give your outdoor spaces a makeover. This is especially important for gardens at the front of the house. Redesigning your garden will make your home look more attractive and tidy.
Some things to consider when upgrading your garden include:
Add a sense of privacy and seclusion – Add privacy with high fences, foliage, like mature trees and bushes, and furniture, like gazebos and canopies. This can also provide shade which is great for spending time outdoors during the warmer months.
Create distinct and functional social areas – Having somewhere designed for relaxing, dining, and socialising is a must-have for homeowners with a garden. Consider a well-designed decking area to set up outdoor furniture and BBQs.
Increase your outdoor storage – This can be in the form of wooden sheds, an outhouse, or outdoor storage sheds and boxes. You could also create multipurpose outdoor storage in a summerhouse, which can also function as a workspace.
If you don’t have the funds or time to give your garden a full makeover, then you should carry out basic maintenance like:
- Cleaning and tidying up dead plants, litter, and weeds
- Feeding, repairing, and mowing your lawn; consider artificial grass or tiles for gardens that receive little sunshine
- Cutting back overgrown shrubs and trees
- Creating eye-catching shapes and designs with flower beds and borders
- Adding colour and nature with plants and flowers
- Power washing dirty outdoor tiles and decking
A clean and fresh bathroom is essential to attracting the attention of buyers. If your bathroom needs an upgrade, then you should consider doing this before putting your property on the market. Adding luxurious touches like a rainfall shower, a floating toilet, or double vanity sinks are key for that value-adding wow factor.
Things to consider with a bathroom makeover include:
Replace sanitaryware – Upgrade ceramic plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilet bowls, and lavatories if they’re stained, chipped, or outdated.
Paint unfashionable tiles – Replacing tiles can be difficult, so consider painting or tiling over unfashionable tiles.
Provide sufficient ventilation – Good bathroom ventilation reduces moisture and the growth of mould and mildew, so make sure you have a good extractor fan installed.
Add some mirrors - Mirrors are a stylish accessory for modern bathrooms. Big mirrors will make your bathroom look bigger and brighter.
Have at least one overhead shower – This is an important feature for most buyers as showers are quick, convenient, and cost-effective compared to bathing. Even if people love to bathe, having at least one overhead shower is beneficial.
Make sure the floor is well-presented – Go for tiled or vinyl flooring as it’s waterproof and easy to fit and maintain, replace any stained or chipped tiles, and regrout if necessary. Dark grout is recommended as it’s a neutral colour and is easier to keep clean.
Consider underfloor heating - If you’re planning to replace the flooring, adding underfloor heating could really boost the value of your home as it offers extra comfort.
The right plumbing system - Get a professional to check the system before you buy a unit. They’ll tell you if you have a mains pressure system, a gravity-fed system or a combi-boiler system. Once you know, you can buy the best units for your plumbing.
Once you’ve got some of the bigger jobs out of the way, doing some simple maintenance can really make a difference to the appearance and value of your home. This is one of the most obvious tasks and while it’s something that won’t directly reduce the value of your home, it could put people off from paying the optimum price that your home is worth.
Some off-putting defects include:
- Cracks in plasterwork and ceilings
- Damaged or broken windows
- Door latches that don’t work
- Dripping taps
- Lifting flooring
- Loose tiles
- Mould on the sealants in the bathroom and kitchen
- Peeling and chipped paint
- Blocked drains
- Squeaky or sticky windows, doors, and floors
Fortunately, these basic issues can be easily resolved and can do a world of good for the value of your property.
Don’t underestimate the power of modern windows and doors in your house. They bring light, style, and comfort to your living spaces while making your home more efficient. Modern upgrades can also boost your kerb appeal and draw people’s attention to your property when it’s on the market, which can be great for driving up the price.
As mentioned previously, old windows can cause hot and cold air to escape when you need it most. Upgrading them to, at least, double-glazed windows is highly recommended for saving money on your energy bills and increasing your property’s value. Choosing a modern design will also add an eye-catching finish to your home which will win the interest of buyers.
You should make sure that your replacement windows:
- Have equal sightlines and are well-balanced
- Don’t have top-hung air vents or top lights if you’re after a traditional look
- Are taller than they are wide to brighten up your indoor rooms and for a grand exterior appearance
- Are ideally made from timber (with or without a PVCu layer), vinyl, aluminium, or stained hardwood. Plastic is an option but isn’t considered to be very environmentally friendly.
Upgrading the doors throughout your home is also recommended. This includes both internal and external doors. One of the best ways to bring natural light into the house is by adding bi-fold doors. These can be expensive, but they offer so many benefits, such as creating a visual and physical link to the outdoors and increasing a sense of space.
If you have an older home, updating the wiring and plumbing is highly recommended. This is a disruptive job that requires chasing out plaster and lifting up floorboards, so you should complete it before carrying out any other renovations. It also boosts your property value as it’s something that many new homeowners may not want to carry out themselves.
The main reason people need to rewire a house is due to faulty or out-of-date wiring. Faulty wiring can be dangerous, drastically increasing the risks of fire and serious accidents in the home. If your property is over 30 years old and hasn’t been rewired, then you should get a qualified electrician to test and rewire your home.
You’ll be able to tell if your electrics need updating by checking the meter. If there is an old fuse box, rewiring is most likely required and the house will need a safe, modern consumer unit with a residual circuit device (RCD) for safety. If your house needs a rewire, you should use this opportunity to update lighting, add bathroom extractor fans, and add extra sockets.
It’s common for old pipework to get furred up which leads to poor hot and cold water flow, rattling and knocking sounds, and even burst pipes. A pressurised plumbing system eliminates the need for header tanks which are required for gravity-fed systems. This frees up space and ensures good pressure on the hot and cold supplies.
If you have the space for a cylinder, then you can store hot water for baths and other uses. If you don’t have room, then you should consider a combination boiler. These provide hot water on demand but be sure to choose one with a good flow rate. For a decent power shower, you need at least 10 litres a minute.
Both big and small home improvements work together to boost the value of your property. To make even more money when it comes to selling your home, check out our guide on how to sell your home and when is the best time to sell your home.
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