Best Home Improvements to Increase Value
Home improvements and renovations can increase your home’s value and aesthetic appeal. Whether you are renovating a dated property, have plans to sell your home in the future, or just want to improve its current look and value, you can benefit from making home improvements. Home improvements can make any property more comfortable, functional and increase its value.
Some renovations and regular maintenance can actually prevent damage to the property. For example, heating systems, ovens, plumbing systems, and smoke detectors should be checked every month to prevent accidents or disasters.
It is also important to maintain the garden as an overgrown, untidy garden can turn off any potential purchaser. You should also check the roof at least every six months. If there are leaks, you should fix them immediately as neglect here could cause a great deal of damage. You should also check for loose or faulty wiring and other potential electrical problems.
So what is the most popular home renovation project or home improvement in the UK?
According to a recent YouGov poll aimed at UK homeowners, the answer is (perhaps unsurprisingly) a new kitchen.
Here are the full results.
1. New kitchen (22%)
2. Garden makeover (20%)
3. New bathroom (16%)
4. Property extension (10%)
5. Loft conversion (7%)
6. Conservatory (5%)
7. Home office (1%)
8. Other/none (19%)
Renovation works can be something as small as repainting the interior and exterior walls of your property, or as complex as a new extension or loft conversion.
Here are some home improvement tips that you can consider.
As the above poll clearly shows, updating a tired kitchen is the most important thing you can do if you are looking to add value and make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a completely new kitchen then there are various ways to update the look of your existing kitchen. For example, you can simply and relatively cheaply change the look of cupboard/cabinet doors by staining or painting – or even buy new doors if your budget allows which can transform a kitchen.
You can also change the lighting to make the kitchen look bigger and brighter. Consider replacing your countertops, sinks, and flooring. You can also set up new appliances to make your kitchen more efficient and modern.
Install a hood or range fan above the stove. When you cook, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide can accumulate in the kitchen. A range fan can remove the water vapours and gases in the air while you cook.
Obviously redecorating the kitchen can also work wonders. You can also add more colour to the kitchen by bringing in rugs from another room. If you want to create a balanced look, use prints with one or two colour variations. Experiment with colours and textures and see which one suits your taste and the room itself.
Bathrooms should be clean at all times. It’s one of the best places to add a touch of luxury to your home. Paint the walls with a neutral light shade. A triple halogen spotlight unit can improve the lighting conditions inside the bathroom. If you have plans to sell your house in the future or are renovating a property to sell on, having at least one bathroom with a shower is a must. It can help you attract potential buyers. Badly stained, out-of-date, and chipped toilet bowls, lavatories, sinks or other sanitary fixtures should be replaced.
Tiles or vinyl is a good option for bathroom flooring. Removing floor tiles can be a time-consuming and difficult job so consider installing new tiles over the old ones. This will help you save time. If you don’t have the budget to replace wall tiling, you can perhaps paint your existing tiles with tile paint. Adding a mirror can make the bathroom look brighter and larger. You should also check the plumbing system and make sure that there are no leaking pipes.
Eliminating moisture in the bathroom is extremely important. Moist air can encourage mould and mildew growth. Mould spores are harmful to health and can cause allergies as well as respiratory problems. Installing an extractor fan (if you don’t already have one) can help expel moist air from the bathroom.
If you notice a musty odour and stains on the walls, you should consider getting a mould removal expert to inspect it for you. Black mould is particularly dangerous, so you should get rid of it as soon as possible.
A well-maintained garden can improve the curb appeal and value of your property. Clear pathways and trim overgrown bushes or trees. Your garden should feel like a place for relaxation and entertaining.
Consider planting mature trees and installing fences to enhance the feeling of seclusion in your garden. You can also create areas for specific functions such as storage, work area, seating, lawn, or BBQ. Having a deck will increase the amount of useable living space within your property.
Make sure you clean up dead plants and litter. Flowerbeds and borders can help you create interesting shapes in your garden. Don’t forget to feed the lawn and pull out weeds.
Front of House
The outside of your house should be as welcoming as its interior. The front door can say a lot about your house. If you can’t replace the existing door, you can update its look by giving it a fresh coat of paint or a new knocker or letterbox. You can also power wash the door to get it clean. A new name sign or doorknob/handle can help as well. It can be difficult to shake off a negative first impression created by an unattractive exterior.
You can also power wash the exterior walls of your house to get rid of mould, mildew, dust, and grime. Make the exterior of your house look smarter and more stylish by repainting windows, doors, and brickwork, repainting walls, and fixing broken or cracked cladding. You can obviously also replace the windows if need be. Renovate the garage door and consider building a porch.
Attic / Loft Conversion
Consider converting your attic into a living space. You should be able to do it providing the minimum headroom of the attic is 2.3m. A loft conversion adds value to your home as it provides more accommodation/living space. Rooflights (such as Velux windows) and dormer windows can let in plenty of natural light. Check with a loft conversion expert to see how to best convert your attic into a usable living space and what the cost would be.
Extensions can add value to your home. It seems obvious to state that, but poorly executed extensions can actually lower a property’s value. It can be a glass-box extension or a single-storey extension. Home extensions don’t come cheap, so you should plan everything properly before proceeding.
Potential buyers will want to add their own touch to the space, so always using neutral colours is the golden rule. Always prioritise practicality. If you have a small bathroom, consider enlarging it. This will help you attract more potential buyers.
When designed and built correctly and well, a conservatory can be the perfect space you’ve always wanted. It lets in plenty of sunlight and provides an extra room for your home. A conservatory can serve many purposes from a comfortable extra bedroom to a sunroom or home office. You can install cooling systems to make the conservatory more comfortable in summer or install under-floor heating or radiators to keep it warm in winter. If you want to block sunlight and add more privacy to the room, you can install blinds.
With regard to extensions and conservatories, always remember to check with your local planning office to see if you need planning permission. Depending on the size of the proposed extension/conservatory you may not even need planning permission – hence the need to check.
In most cases, it’s faster and less expensive to get planning permission or build a conservatory than a home extension.
If you’re looking for additional living space, you should consider converting your basement if you have one. Converted basements provide more space for storage, as an extra bedroom, games room, or home office, or gym. A basement conversion can make your property easier to sell and, of course, add value.
Waterproofing (tanking) the basement protects your house against rot and mould problems. The time that it takes to convert a basement depends on the size of the basement space and your goal. For instance, if the conversion involves extending the basement and lowering the flooring, the project can take several months to complete, and would obviously be more expensive. Again remember to check regarding planning permission.
If you have a garage and don’t actually use it for your car, converting it into living space can add valuable sq ft to your property. A garage conversion is cheaper than a full-scale addition/extension. Since a garage already has a roof, foundation, and walls, you can use the existing structure to convert it into a room.
A quality garage conversion can take as little as four to six weeks to complete. The project may include fully insulating the ceiling and walls, opening up the partition wall between the garage and the main house to make an open floor plan, adding doors and windows, providing cooling and heating for the garage, replacing the garage door with fully insulated stud walls and upgrading the electrical service to accommodate the larger load.
Replace Windows / Double Glazing
Installing double-glazing or replacing existing windows is not exactly cheap, but it can significantly improve the aesthetic appeal, saleability, and value of your property. Think about the kind of materials and windows you want to use and how much you are willing to pay to achieve your desired look.
For example, UPVC casement windows are cheaper than hardwood double-hung sash windows. It’s also a good idea to compare the prices offered by different companies. This way, you can pick the option that fits your needs and budget.
Knock Down Walls / Open Plan
Open plan living is becoming more popular than ever, and it increases space inside the house. For instance, the dining room and kitchen can be combined into one big room to provide enough space for the whole family and their guests and is therefore very sociable. Consider the practicalities of the plan because some members of the family might still prefer to keep rooms separate for their privacy.
Renovate Fireplaces / Wood Burner
You want the fireplace to complement your home. Renovating a fireplace improves the aesthetics of the room it’s in. It also increases your home’s resale value.
If you have a brick fireplace, you can wrap the brick in wood or either tile. This way, the brick will remain underneath the new material. You can also put plaster or drywall over the brick to create a blank canvas.
Fireplace renovations are a year-round project, and renovating fireplaces can involve a lot of work. You have to put down protective sheeting everywhere to prevent soot from damaging your furniture. Always think about practicality first. After all, you want a safe fireplace that provides your home with a warm, beautiful focal point.
Installing a wood-burning stove is also a very popular thing to do at the moment and can make a home wonderfully inviting.
Decorate / Paint
A new coat of paint can give your home a new lease of life. If you are planning to sell your home soon or are doing a renovation project to sell on, then stick to neutral colours, and don’t add too much of your own personality.
Try adding plants to seemingly boring or empty rooms. Plants can purify the air as well. Hanging plants and small potted plants can be placed near the window sill. You can also put plants with edible flowers and small potted herbs in the dining room and kitchen.
You should also fix any superficial defects that you see. These flaws can make your house look run down.
Look out for dirty walls, peeling paint, dripping taps, poorly fitted laminate flooring, broken light bulbs, squeaky floors, stairs and doors as well as a mouldy sealant in bathrooms or kitchens.
Mould and mildew should be addressed right away. Call a mould removal expert to get rid of it for you if you don’t feel you can tackle the task yourself.
Update Central Heating / Boiler
Consider updating the central heating system and boiler if they are old and/or not very efficient. Also, seal drafts around windows and doors – this can help you save on your utility bills as the central heating system doesn’t need to work harder and consume more power to do its job.
You can also add a heated towel rail or new radiators to the existing boiler (if it can accommodate such additions).
Getting a reliable new boiler can help you save money in the long run as it will be far more efficient than an old boiler. Also, you may be able to get a grant towards a new boiler or even a free replacement boiler so do your homework first! And check your loft insulation too!
Energy Saving Measures / Solar Panels
Sunlight is free, so consider taking advantage of it by installing solar panels on your roof. Solar panels produce clean energy and help reduce your utility bills as you don’t need to depend on the grid for electricity. You can also sell any excess power generated by the solar panels back to the grid.
Using solar panels reduces your carbon footprint as it doesn’t release harmful gases. A standard solar PV system could save about 1.2 to 1.7 tonnes of carbon every year. PV cells come in various sizes and shapes. Most PV systems are composed of panels that can be mounted on an existing roof. You can also go for solar tiles.
Add Bedroom and / or Bathroom
Room and bathroom additions increase the useable living space inside your home. They can also increase the value of your home.
If you have plans to sell your house or renovation project after completion, adding a new bedroom or bathroom can help you attract buyers. Don’t forget that existing space can be divided by removing and adding walls. This will help you create extra bedrooms for your kids or guests.
Re-using or re-configuring existing space is cheaper than new additions, but it’s only possible in homes with large bedrooms of course. The ideal bedroom to bathroom ratio is 3:2. If you have three bedrooms, you should have two bathrooms to maximize the value of your home.
Another improvement you can consider is to turn less frequented space into a home office or activity room – or convert it into a home gym so that you can exercise at home.
So as you can see there are many renovations/improvements you can make to increase the value of your home. The key is to figure out what can be done yourself to save money and what would require experienced tradesman.
We now hope you have a better understanding of the best home improvements along with an idea of where to start. Enjoy!
Let us know in the comments below what your favorite renovation/DIY home improvements are as we would love to know. Also, any questions please feel free to ask!
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