More and more homeowners are looking to improve what they have rather than moving home. And often it’s the smaller, cheaper improvements that are more cost-effective than big, expensive projects. Here are some inexpensive ideas you can use in your home and garden, so that when the property market picks up, you’re ahead of the game.
A solid and well-fitted kitchen is one of the first things a buyer looks for, and the idea is to fit one that can withstand fashion trends.
If you’re on a budget, there are small changes you can make, such as replacing door units and the worktop.
Home improvement expert and presenter of Property Ladder, Sarah Beeny says: ‘Give zest to a tired kitchen with new tiles. If you’re retiling a big area, you may need to replaster.’
If you look around you can pick up a new kitchen for £1,500-£2,000, which could add 10% to the value of your home.
If your bathroom is to add value to your home, first and foremost it needs to look hygienic. If the existing suite is chipped, stained or outdated in colour, replace it with a basic white one.
House doctor, Ann Maurice says: ‘If the tiles around the bath are showing their age, a coat of specialist tile paint is a cheap and easy new look.’
You can get a decent bathroom suite for under £500, and it could add 10% to the value.
A fresh coat of paint is one of the cheapest, quickest and easiest home improvements. Natural, light colours can liven up a dull room and give the illusion of more space.
Sarah Beeny says: ‘You don’t need to repaint the whole room, just touch up the areas that need it most using a large brush.’
Buyers are keen on understated, and neutral-coloured flooring.
Sarah advises: ‘If your floorboards are looking worn, cover them in coloured varnish.
Also, you can’t go wrong with vinyl flooring; it’s hardwearing, and easy to clean.’
A solid wood floor can cost from £25 per m² but it’s likely to add more value to your home than anything else.
Double glazing appeals to buyers because it cuts fuel bills and reduces noise.
Double glazed PVCu windows require very little upkeep, and are energy efficient.
They cost around £350 per window fitted, but can add as much as 4% to the value of your home.
Consider the buyers
If you’ve secured those viewings, these tricks can help get a sale
• LIGHTING- This can totally transform a room. High street shops sell modern light fittings at reasonable prices. Or if you want to create a focal point in the home, a big, floor-standing light is effective.
• DECLUTTER- Storage is a big selling point and a lack of it can weaken your property’s value. Make use of any spare space, such as at the end of corridors or in corners.
• ACCESSORIES Small flourishes, such as vases, and cushion covers bring a room to life.
Keeping your garden in good condition will help to increase the price of your home.
A smart front garden sets a great first impression for buyers.
Spending around £1,000 on garden improvements can add up to £5,000 to the total value of your home.
If your garden needs work, start with the basics: mowing the lawn, weeding, pruning hedges, and fixing broken fence panels.
Consider cleaning the paving stones with a water blaster, which removes stains and build-up of dark mould. You can use this technique to sort our your driveway too.
Creating a feature
Decking is modern, relatively inexpensive and particularly effective in sections of the garden not in use. It will give you more enjoyment from your garden and will increase the value of your home.
Sarah Beeny says: ‘Decks are a great way to create an architectural feature in your garden and more and more people like the aesthetic value of having a tidy deck outside.’
It’s important to consider the location because ideally you’ll want to lay it somewhere that gets the sunshine. Avoid making the decking area so big it takes away valuable lawn space.
Garden sheds are a good selling point, especially in smaller properties because they provide extra storage space. They’re fairly cheap and available from many DIY stores and garden centres. Privacy, gained from fences or mature trees, creates a feeling of seclusion essential for many buyers.
Consider the buyers
Making your garden a place to relax and entertain, adds £££s to your home
• While families will favour an area of grass for the children to play on, busy professionals, will prefer a simple, low-maintenance garden with a space to entertain, such as a patio.
• You can easily create a laid back al fresco atmosphere by adding a dining set, fitted BBQ and lighting, which won’t cost a fortune.
• Property expert and TV presenter Phil Spencer says: ‘The garden is now seen as an additional room, so be sure to make your garden feel like a great space for entertaining and relaxing.’