If you're planning to sell your home in the future, or you just want to make your house the best it can be, home improvements can be worthwhile and very satisfying – but it’s important that you plan them carefully.
Some improvements offer a better return on your investment, while others might not add any value to your home at all. If renovations are poorly chosen or poorly executed, they could even make your property harder to sell.
That's why you need to think about your budget and do your research before you embark on any renovation project. To help you get started, here are five tried-and-tested home improvements that could work for you, starting from basic touch-ups all the way to elaborate and costly renovations.
1. Touch up minor defects
Sometimes, a small job can make a big difference. Keeping your home in good condition through regular maintenance will prevent it from deteriorating, saving you the cost of expensive repairs. A well-maintained home can also be more appealing to buyers, who won't have to worry about fixing it up before they move in.
Peeling paint, loose flooring or cracked tiles, faulty door handles and dripping taps are all minor defects that aren't expensive to fix. Even a fresh coat of paint can go a long way towards helping your home sell for the price you want.
2. Add kerb appeal and tidy your garden
Even before they get to your front door, potential buyers might have already made up their minds based on the kerb appeal of your property. Your front garden and driveway are important for making the right first impression on visitors, but they're often forgotten in the rush to renovate the building itself.
Mowing your lawn, repainting fences and checking that paving slabs are free from cracks and weeds all boost your home's kerb appeal and help you to make the positive impression you want. Don't neglect the back garden either!
3. Modernise your kitchen
Many people consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home, so this should be a key area to focus on if you're planning more extensive remodelling.
Even if you live in an older property, your kitchen should still look modern so your buyers can trust that it's energy-efficient, a safe place to prepare food and perhaps even a place to entertain guests.
A new coat of paint on the walls and the cabinets could be all that's needed to make your kitchen look as good as new, but you should still look into replacing old appliances, especially if they're more than 10 years old, and consider the functional design of the room.
4. Add an extra room, bathroom or deck space
One of the biggest upgrades you can make to a property is adding a whole new room.
Usually, this involves converting an unused loft or basement into new living space – a child's bedroom, a mini apartment for an elderly relative or tenant, a bar or a games room. Or you can physically expand your home by adding decking or building a patio, so you'll have an outdoor dining and entertaining area in the summer.
If your home only has one bathroom, adding a second bathroom can offer the biggest return on investment. Areas under stairs and utility rooms can be suitable for a small bathroom, but if you want to include a shower or a bath, you may need to sacrifice part of your bedroom space to create an en-suite.
The value insulation adds to your home cannot be overstated. Today, this is considered an absolute necessity by many homebuyers. In fact, not having insulation can create the perception of an unhealthy home.
With the EECA Energywise programme often subsidising the cost of insulation, there’s no reason not to insulate your property.
This is particularly important if your potential buyer is considering purchasing the home as an investment property to rent out, as all tenanted properties are legally required to be insulated by July 1, 2019.
By Gracie Allum