Many house owners have been making improvements to their home during lockdown. Endless hours spent at home have given them the opportunity to decide what changes they could make to give them a more flexible and workable living area that meets their personal needs. Home improvements can add value to your home and boost first impressions and these will help you get a really good price when you sell. Some home improvements, such as installing a swimming pool, solar panels or a wine cellar will not boost the value of your property, but we bring you the top 10 home improvements that will add the most value to your home.
1. Add kerbside appeal!
First impressions really count – and not just to potential buyers! Why not give your home a fresh new look and appeal? A stylish new front door will totally change the character the front of your house. If you cannot afford to change the door, give it a fresh coat of paint and add an attractive new house number. A lick of paint on the window sills, garage door and gates, will ensure that it all looks fresh – the trending colours are dove grey, soft teal and all shades of blue.
Tidy up your front garden. Keep the lawn cut and hedges well trimmed. During the summer months plant colourful annuals in the flowerbeds for instant colour. A huge hanging basket by the front door add colour too and a solar powered lantern is useful at night. If you can hide the wheelie bins behind a rattan fence panel – even better! Adding kerbside appeal doesn’t cost much but is definitely one of the home improvements that will add the most value to your home
2. Make your living area open plan
Having a flexible living area is definitely a bonus with a growing family. Knocking the wall down between the lounge and kitchen sounds drastic, but will bring you added space. You will need to seek professional advice as this alteration is subject to building regulations and may need planning permission. Importantly, a builder or architect will be able to tell you whether the wall is load bearing as this will affect the cost of the project.
3. Give your kitchen a new look
Whether you have created an open plan living area or not, it is well worth making your kitchen look as good as possible – 98% of house buyers consider a nice kitchen their top priority. The expensive option is to have a new kitchen installed, but there are cheaper options. Modern kitchens are streamlined and clutter free with clear worktops except for a hot water jug and vase of flowers! Top priority is a major de-clutter!
Get rid of unwanted kitchen equipment and invest in hanging storage baskets that fit under cupboard shelves as these will boost storage. Give kitchen cupboards a coat of paint and change the handles to a more modern style – you will be delighted with the result. Trending colours to opt for are all shades of green or blue or soft teal with white or natural shades for cupboards.
4. Gain a bedroom!
Have you a loft or cellar that you can convert into a bedroom? Both can be converted in a variety of ways, costing a variety of prices. Some of the styles of conversion will require planning permission – especially if they will exceed an area of 50m². The yardstick for whether this project is financially viable is whether the cost of building the extension per square foot is less than the value of floor space per square foot in properties in the area.
If you can add a bedroom, is there room for an en suite too? An extra bedroom will definitely add value to your home as it gives the flexibility that so many people are now seeking, especially as many now need a home office.
5. Smarten up your bathroom
Giving your bathroom a smart new look doesn’t necessarily mean ripping it out – unless it is really old and dated! A clever update will make it look good, without costing a fortune. Modern bathrooms are clutter-free and streamlined. If you have tubes and bottles scattered everywhere, invest in an under sink cupboard to store everything, if you can buy one in natural wood – even better. If you have room to add a counter to surround your basin, opt for wood or marble as both are popular.
Make your bathroom look bright and clean by replacing all the grouting between the tiles and getting rid of limescale. Rather than replacing the tiles, invest in some tile paint to freshen them up in one of the tending shades such as pale dusky pink or blue. Give the walls a fresh coat of white paint too.
Showers are important to house buyers so if you don’t have one, install one to use over your bath. Add gleaming new taps and ditch the plastic shower curtain in favour of a smart shower screen. Good lighting is essential and spotlights look good. Add an exotic looking indoor plant and you will find that is will soon be your family’s favourite room!
6. Convert your garage
If you have off road parking or parking outside your house, it may well be worthwhile to convert your garage into another room. House buyers are keen to buy properties that offer flexibility – especially if they have a growing family, are working from home, studying or need a ‘man cave’. It is important to consider heating so that the new room can be used all year through.
7. Be smart!
With lights and heating in mind, installing a smart system that enables you to choose when and in which rooms both come on or to control them on your mobile will definitely prove to be a useful addition – especially as people are now keen to conserve energy. Rooms with individual climate controls will also appeal to buyers and are one of the best home improvements that will add value to your home.
8. Add insulation
With that in mind, do you have adequate insulation in your house both in the walls and roof? If the insulation was installed some years ago, it is best to get it checked by a professional to ensure that it is in good condition. Roof insulation should be a minimum of 270 mm thick. If you do not have adequate insulation, you could be losing as much as 40% of heat through the roof and up to 30% through the walls too.
Insulation is surprisingly cheap to install. In a recent article, Money Super Market stated that to install cavity wall insulation in an average- sized, detached property takes half a day and costs about £745. The saving on the annual fuel bill would be about £245. In reality, new insulation will pay for itself in three years! Roof insulation is equally reasonably priced and is easy enough that you can do it yourself as the insulating material can be easily bought in huge rolls. Importantly, with the correct insulation, your property will move up a band on the Energy Performance Certificate which will make it much more attractive to buyers. This is a great home improvement that will add value to your home – and save you money every year too.
9. Install double glazing
If you do not yet have double glazing, you will be delighted with how effective it is at keeping the noise out and heat in during the winter and out in the summer! Because energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important to house buyers, having double glazing will again give your property a higher band rating on the Energy Performance Certificate.
10. Improve your back garden
Private gardens have gained tremendously in importance since lockdown and are now viewed as essential places for relaxing and entertaining. An attractive garden definitely increases the value of your property and a vegetable patch is definitely a bonus! You can tackle the upgrade of your garden yourself, but you will be surprised and delighted how reasonably priced it is to get the help of a landscape gardener!
The most important feature for the modern garden is a patio or decked area for al fresco dining. These can be made really attractive with the addition of table and chairs, terracotta pots of colourful flowers and aromatic herbs plus solar lighting. The rest of the garden should require minimum maintenance with flowerbeds filled with established shrubs and colourful perennials.
Whilst all 10 of these home improvements will definitely add the most value to your home, several of them will save you money too. All of our suggested improvements will make your home more attractive and comfortable and definitely your favourite place to be.