With cost-of-living concerns spiralling, it’s unsurprising that many UK homeowners may be adopting the mantra to ‘improve not move’.
Many of us are working from home more than ever meaning comfort in our living spaces has become a top priority.
British consumers spent £110.3 billion on home improvements in 2021. Home improvements can offer people a chance to improve their quality of life while adding value to their homes for when they decide to sell.
While a large chunk of this may be made up of flagship renovations like building extensions or upgrading the kitchen – these are costly procedures. So, what are the home improvements that really pay off?
Watermans, Edinburgh based property valuation experts, suggest some neat ways to add tangible value to your home on a budget.
1. For kerb appeal, improve your home’s façade
The old adage ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ certainly rings true here. Sellers should consider the exterior of the property to build a sense of expectation on arrival. Consider a fresh lick of paint on the door, alongside replacing any tired or tarnished house numbers with striking new ones. Tasteful doorknobs and letterboxes can lend further appeal while hanging baskets and outdoor plants can hint at a home well-maintained. Increasing your house’s ‘kerb appeal’ can really enhance its attractiveness and inflate your property valuation.
2. Decorate to create a “WOW factor”
Decorating a property can be one of the easiest improvements for homeowners. This needn’t be lush colour palettes but can be achieved by simply buying fresh paint and a roller to touch up any neglected areas in addition to replacing dated wallpaper. Opt for neutral colours to attract a wider net of buyers and ensure a good quality finish. This will really create that “WOW factor” on arrival.
Other inventive ways could include installing bigger windows, creating more open-plan spaces and embracing creative storage solutions such as multi-purpose furniture. Typically, bright and spacious areas will increase value. Knocking an internal wall down to create an open-plan living/kitchen area could increase the value of your house by up to 5%.
3. Deep clean: a spotless aesthetic goes a long way
Similarly, the overall cleanliness of your home is paramount to adding value. Because the property appears to have been meticulously cared for, a new buyer would not expect to have any hidden surprises that they need to allocate costs for when they become the new owners. An example could be a grotty, nasty bathroom with mouldy seals around the bath or shower tray. A new buyer may think there’s likely to be rotted flooring underneath because of past leaks that they’d have to fix. Meanwhile if the windows are mouldy around the sills or edges, it may just need to have a deep clean with proper ventilation whereas a new buyer may think they’d have the extra expense of having to get all of the windows replaced.
Make sure to clean dirty skirting boards thoroughly, remove any scuffs, and deep clean the carpets if required. Cleaning windows regularly will also contribute to this well-appointed, spotless aesthetic.
4. Declutter: add a sense of space
Part and parcel of selling a home is selling prospective buyers the dream of their new abode. To facilitate this, buyers should be able to imagine what their possessions will look like in place. Getting rid of excess clutter really adds to your sense of space and can make ordinary-sized rooms appear a lot more impressive at a glance. Simply leave out a few well-chosen belongings to allow buyers to imagine the possibilities.
5. Restore and replace attractive period features
Period features are an attractive option to the buyer and can add value to your home when accentuated correctly. This could include restoring cornicing to former glories, cleaning picture rails and skirting boards, and retaining period fireplaces. You may also wish to align the interior features of your home with its overall façade. This could include replacing existing radiators with cast iron equivalents if your home is Victorian or freshly painting your porch if you live in an Edwardian building. Whatever you decide upon, the unique aesthetics of period homes can increase their value while their longevity demonstrates them to be made of good quality, durable building materials.