If you’re thinking of selling your home and want to maximise its market value, or just want to improve the look and feel of your property, you need to make sure that you’re checking all of the right boxes.
2nd September, 2021
If you’re thinking of selling your home and want to maximise its market value, or just want to improve the look and feel of your property, you need to make sure that you’re checking all of the right boxes. There are many different ways to improve your home, ranging from small impactful projects to large structural changes. Focusing on the right projects is critical to make sure that you’re maximizing your profit and making your money go further. In this guide, we’ll take you through some great ways to add value to your property. Read on or use the menu below to find out how you can boost your curb appeal, stand out from the competition and transform your home into a beautiful place to live!
Adding an extension to your home can be a really effective way to increase living space and boost the value of your property. However, before you embark on an extension project it’s important to weigh up the cost of the extension and the potential return on investment (ROI) that you could generate. When estimating the cost of your extension some of the key things to consider are:
How big should I build my extension?
What materials should I use in my extension?
What type of roof should I use for my extension?
How much will labour costs be?
Should I invest in premium features such as underfloor heating?
One of the most popular extensions in the UK is a kitchen extension, typically completed using a side-return extension. This is an alley that runs adjacent to the kitchen in many terraced or semi-detached houses. This type of extension allows you to make full use of the width of the house and adds valuable space. Usually, side-return extensions are typically classed as a permitted development so long they meet the standard limits and conditions (e.g. it cannot be more than 4m high and it cannot be wider than half the width of the original house). It’s important to note that you’ll still need to comply with building regulations and be inspected at different stages of the build either by your local authority or an approved independent inspector. Lighting is also a crucial factor, and roof lights over the extension are a popular choice to make sure that the area feels airy and spacious.
Revamp your kitchen
Sprucing up or restructuring your kitchen doesn’t just make your house a nicer place to live, it can significantly boost the value of your home. You can make small, cost-effective changes to your kitchen that will really add value. Renovating your kitchen can be as simple as applying a fresh lick of paint and some new worktops, or you can completely restructure and refit your kitchen. Before starting a kitchen revamp you need to think about:
Are you going to make structural changes to the layout that will require building work?
Are you going to use expensive materials such as quartz and marble?
Will you want to install new appliances?
These decisions will affect how much you end up spending on your kitchen revamp. Having a modern, up-to-date kitchen can be one of the most effective ways to add value to a property and is extremely attractive to buyers if you were to sell. The average cost of a kitchen revamp is in the region of £4,000, and the Guild of Property Professionals found that it could add around £15,000 to the value of a property, so you can get a great bang for your buck!
Boost your kerb appeal
We all know how important first impressions are! It’s critical that your house has an exterior charm to draw in would-be buyers. There are a few simple improvements you can make to improve the outside of your property and make it more appealing. Some of the most popular are:
Outdoor lighting: this is a great way to make your house stand out and is also practical. The UK is famously gloomy and lighting can ward off potential burglars!
Attractive plants: plants are a really easy way to bring life to the exterior of your home. Place them on either side of your front door to create a symmetry that is aesthetically pleasing.
Paint your walls: applying a lick of paint to your walls brightens the look of your property and can protect against weather damage too.
Accent your windows: shutters are becoming an increasingly popular way of smartening up the exterior of your property. However, really good ones don’t come cheap. Consider the cost before adding shutters to your property.
Add a canopy: adding a canopy above your front door frames the entrance to your home beautifully. You can grow climbing plants over them to make them even prettier, and they serve a practical purpose by making rainwater sideways and not directly onto the front doorstep. Useful if you ever find yourself locked out!
Update your bathroom
Bathrooms used to be practical and sparse. Increasingly, people are looking for their bathroom to be a luxury room that is relaxing and a space to unwind. A contemporary bathroom with a practical layout can boost the value of your home by 2-3% and really elevate the look and feel of your home. There are some important things to bear in mind when adding a new bathroom or updating an existing suite:
Use efficient products that give access to water and energy rating certificates, this will improve the saleability of your home.
Add a power shower. Nobody likes weak showers, and a recent poll by moneywise.co.uk showed that 70% of property professionals recommended adding a power shower as one of the most important factors in adding value with a bathroom update.
Underfloor heating: there’s no better feeling than stepping out of the shower onto a warm floor! This doesn’t just give a more luxurious feel to the bathroom, there’s a practical element here too: underfloor heating will heat the room more evenly and free up wall space for a larger bath or shower.
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Opting for cheap flooring is almost always a false economy and it will need replacing at some point. Choosing a floor that lasts a lifetime not only improves the look and feel of a room, but it can also add value to your property too. There are plenty of DIY options on the market if you’re on a budget.
It’s important to choose the right type of flooring for the purpose of the room. Reception rooms should be durable and easy to maintain due to the high footfall that they tend to get, whilst carpets in bathrooms should be avoided at all costs! Some tips to add value when considering which flooring to add:
Engineered wood: Similar to solid wood flooring but made up of several layers to prevent any warping. Engineered wood floors look like solid wood flooring due to their real wood top layer, usually oak, but are suitable to be installed with underfloor heating. These are great in rooms like your living room, dining room, hallway etc that are not prone to water contact.
LVT: Probably the most popular type of flooring with homeowners as they can be installed in any room. Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are waterproof, scratchproof, and last for decades. You can find hundreds of different styles and effects of LVT, from marble, travertine or granite to oak, ash, maple. They also come in different styles such as straight plank & parquet. LVT looks just like the real thing!
Wooden floorboards: either adding or restoring period wooden flooring is a fantastic way to add value to a property without spending a fortune.
Natural stone: this doesn’t just look great and add character, the natural stone gets better as it ages and will last for decades.
Paint and decorate
Damaged, flaking or damp walls can really devalue a property and reduce the appeal of your home. Likewise, whacky or outdated colour schemes can put off would-be buyers and drive down the value of your property. Applying a lick of paint using modern emulsion can really modernise your house and boost the value of your property. Here are some top tips to bear in mind when repainting:
Stick to neutral colours: keeping the decor of your home neutral is a great way to appeal to prospective buyers. It creates a blank canvas that can help them envision the room as they’d want it, and with trends constantly changing it can be a safe bet that remains timeless and inoffensive.
Use light reflecting paints for small spaces: this is a great technique to trick the eye into making a room appear bigger than it really is and gives a more spacious feel to a small room.
Plan carefully:this article from B&Q gives a great plan for painting a room in a day. It’s important to plan your approach to make sure that you’re taking everything into account and setting yourself up for success!
Furthermore, if you notice damp patches when redecorating get in touch with a professional as soon as possible. Damp can affect the structural integrity of your home and any property surveyor would quickly highlight the issue if you were to sell your home. This could put buyers off and could cost you money in the long run if the damp is not addressed. It is better to be safe and have damp checked than leave it to potentially deteriorate and cause greater issues!
Add storage space
Built-in storage is a real selling point and should be high on your priority list if you’re looking to add value to your home. Make sure that you utilise all available spare space, building doors to create cupboards and fitting shelves to increase space. Here are some smart places that you can add extra storage:
Dead space at the end of corridors
Either side of chimney breasts
Under Stairs space
Space underneath the bathtub or alongside cisterns
Unused wall space to mount cupboards
Space in the eaves
A great way to approach adding storage space is to begin with a measured plan of your home. Sometimes this reveals previously unknown spaces concealed behind plasterboard.
Improve energy efficiency
When you come to sell your house your home will be examined for energy efficiency and given a rating on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is a legal requirement for all properties. The EPC reveals to prospective buyers whether the house meets modern building standards. It also helps inform their decision on whether to purchase the property based on how much it will cost to heat and run relative to other similar properties.
You can make some simple alterations to improve your rating. We’ve made a couple of recommendations here, but you can check out the Energy Saving Trust’s EPC Guide for more information:
Loft insulation: this is a really cheap but effective way to improve energy efficiency. The best part is you can do it yourself. You don’t need to remove your existing insulation, you can just lay new insulation over the top of it to help your house to retain heat. This will reduce heating bills and improve your all-important EPC score!
Energy-saving bulbs: this is also a no-brainer. You can swap all of your bulbs over to energy-saving bulbs really easily. They’re cheaper, last longer, and save money on bills. So there’s really no reason not to!
Reinstall period features
In years gone by, back in the 50s and 60s, period features were seen as unattractive and put homeowners off purchasing properties to the extent that they were often ripped out of houses and thrown away. Recently they’ve made a huge comeback and homes with original beams, Victorian fireplaces, and other quirky elements are highly sought after.
Putting back period pieces using reclaimed or reproduced materials can significantly increase the valuation of your property and add a tonne of character to your home. There are many period features that you can add to your property, but the most popular ones are doors, fireplaces, radiators etc. For the biggest value-adds you should consider:
Fireplaces: beautiful fireplaces can transform a room, serve as a focal point, and become a real point of interest and discussion in a home. A fireplace is a really high impact period piece that also adds value to your property.
Cornice and ceiling roses: many people see these as a bit outdated, but cornice and ceiling roses can help to create a sense of grandeur and add elegance to a room. In turn, they can help a property stand out from the competition and many prospective buyers find them very attractive.
Selling your home without making improvements
In this guide, we’ve covered some of the most high impact ways that you can add value to your property and improve the look and feel of your home. This is by no means an exhaustive list, there are countless ways to spruce up your property to boost its market value, but these are a great place to start! Home improvements can be time-consuming and often stressful. If you want to sell your house fast and don’t want to spend time renovating, consider a cash house buyer like SmoothSale. We can buy your house for cash in as little as 7 days, or work to a timescale that suits your situation. Alternatively, we offer an ‘Investor Marketing’ route to market for vendors who want to sell their property to our network of trusted investors in under 30 days. Contact us today on 0800 368 8952 for more information or Get a Cash Offer now!
Q: What is curb appeal, and why is it important? A: Curb appeal refers to the attractiveness of a property’s exterior when viewed from the street. It’s important because it creates a positive first impression, which can influence potential buyers’ perceptions and decisions.
Q: How can I finance property upgrades? A: You can explore options such as home improvement loans, refinancing, or using your savings. Assess the costs and benefits of each option to determine the best fit for your situation.
Q: Do energy-efficient upgrades really make a difference? A: Yes, they do. Energy-efficient features not only lower utility bills but also make your property more appealing to environmentally conscious buyers, potentially increasing its market value.
Q: What’s the first step in adding value to my property? A: Start with a thorough assessment of your property’s condition and identify areas that need improvement. Then prioritise upgrades based on their potential impact and your budget.
Q: How do I choose the right smart home technology? A: Research different smart devices and systems to find ones that align with your needs and lifestyle. Opt for technology that adds convenience and enhances the property’s functionality.
Q: Can I DIY property upgrades, or should I hire professionals? A: It depends on the complexity of the project and your skill level. While some projects can be DIYed, others require professional expertise to ensure quality results.