My First Property

10 Home Improvements That Add Value To Your Property

Adding value to your home is something that every property owner should be thinking about. Whether you plan on moving out in the near future or not, it is always worth knowing how to add value. Increasing the value of your home is without a doubt the best way to move up the property ladder. Ensuring you see a return on investment when you come to sell your property will give you the step up that you need to climb the ladder.

While many people think that they have to spend a lot of money in order to add value to a property, this isn't always the case. While adding a large extension to your home is one way to increase its value, there are many simpler methods. This article will delve into some of the easiest, most cost effective ways to add value to your property through home improvements. Here are our top 10 home improvements that tips that add value to your home.

New Build House - My First Property

1) Add Modern Decor

Let's start off with an easy one. Many people overlook the fact that when a property is listed on the market, its value is directly affected by the decor and interior design. This is why first time buyers often look for homes that have been sold by older people, as these properties are usually not decorated in modern styles.

So, what are the best ways to implement modern decor to increase the value of your property? Here's a few tried and tested ways.

  • Neutral, plain colours
  • Straight lines and sleek, clean surfaces
  • No clutter - think minimalism
  • No flamboyant wallpaper or curtains
  • House plants

It can be quite astounding how the value of a home can improve simply by throwing out the old wallpaper and replacing it with a fresh coat of neutral paint. Replacing ornately designed features with something a little more chic and casual is one way to modernise your decor. Many modern retailers have now dedicated their product lines to cater to these styles, especially minimalist urban designs. Places like IKEA are a good place to start, as they offer sturdy furniture that looks clean and modern.

Apartment Interior - My First Property

2) Replace Old Switches & Plug Sockets

Here's another simple one. When houses were being built over the last thirty years, they were almost always fitted with white, plastic electric fittings. You know what I'm talking about; light switches, plug sockets and thermostats. For some reason, white plastic was all the rage for a long time, and it has not aged well. We'll talk more about this later when we get to window frames, but simply by replacing these with modern fittings will help.

Whether you prefer black, chrome or something a little more stylised, there are many options available. What's more, it is not too difficult to change electric fittings yourself. While we always recommend seeking the advice of a professional if you are not confident, this is often a piece of DIY that homeowners do by themselves. It's cheap, easy, and it helps to improve the modern look - and therefore the value - of your home.

3) Highlight Original Features

If you live in an older home, it can be difficult to bring yourself to pull out any of the property's original features. We're talking about fireplaces, beams, staircases and mouldings. These features - while not modern - are timeless, and can help to give your home a feeling of variety if you highlight them rather than remove them. However, some older design features will not offer this benefit. Features like textured walls and ceilings, internal stone cladding and patterned window frames are all things to consider removing.Other features to keep include:

  • Period-style fireplaces
  • Paneled doors
  • Authentic brickwork
  • Timber beams
  • Decorative mouldings

If your home does have any of these features, restoring and then highlighting them will do wonders for the home's value. In fact, many modern interior design styles attempt to imitate this kind of authenticity. Many new apartments contain interior brickwork and industrial style structures in an attempt to recreate what older homes already have.

Fireplace - My First Property

4) Implement Smart Storage Ideas

Many new build homes are designed with an array of smart storage ideas. But what does this actually mean? We'd all love a big house with plenty of space for everything we need, but that isn't always possible. Smart storage ideas provide clever ways to store everyday household things without taking up any floor space. This leaves more room for living space.

Many modern interior designers and furniture companies will have a plethora of ideas. Some notable concepts include wall cabinets, fold away ironing boards, slide out storage racks and more. The sky really is the limit with smart storage, as the name suggests.

Smart storage offers two key benefits; you save space, and hide things away in places they won't get lost. Both of these are ideal for upping the value of your home. When a property is valued, one of the factors that are assessed is the amount of actual livable space that the home offers. Smart storage is a great way to achieve that.

5) Consider a Loft Conversion

One way to instantly skyrocket the value of your property is by adding another bedroom. Adding an extra bedroom to your property can add up to 15% to the value of the property. But when an extension is not possible, a fantastic alternative is a loft conversion. This type of renovation is cheaper and easier to do than an extension, and makes the perfect space for a bedroom or additional living space.

Loft conversions often offer a chance to create something unlike anything else in your home. The nature of how lofts are shaped will instantly give this room a different feel. For instance, skylights and roof windows can be fitted to allow natural light to fill the room. There are multiple styles of loft conversion available, each with varying degrees of cost and planning required. Whether you simply create a roof light conversion, working with the space that is already there, or make structural changes to the property, you're sure to see the value increase.

Attic - My First Property

6) Modernise the Exterior

You'd be surprised how changing the exterior look of a property will make its value increase. Even without making structural changes, making some cosmetic improvements will go a long way. So, what should you actually change? First of all, it's important to make sure that anything showing signs of age or damage should be fixed or replaced. Fraying paint or discolouration should be rectified. Other than that, what else can you do to modernise the outside face of your property?

  • Replace white window frames with modern-looking ones
  • Add exterior rendering or cladding to create a more attractive face
  • Sandblast brick surfaces to remove any dirt
  • Replace old plastic alarms with newer-looking models
  • Discard or replace any old handrails or fences

These improvements are likely to attract more potential buyers, along with upping your value. Regardless of the interior design of the home, buyers are more likely to choose a property if it has an attractive exterior. Many seem to forget that the exterior of a home can be renovated, sometimes even easier than the interior. Don't be one of those people, and make the value of your home jump with some simple exterior improvements. Modern House - My First Property

7) Streamline the Layout

There are many ways to change the layout of your home to give you more space and accessibility. As we've already discussed, living space is key to valuation. You can make the interior of a property seem so much bigger, simply with some changes to the layout of the interior. This could mean creating an open plan living area, knocking through the wall from the dining area to the living room. This is a very common change we see in home renovation, due to how much bigger it can make a property feel.

While this idea can be difficult - due to the structural considerations - there are others that are not so difficult. Simply rearranging your furniture can be a great way to streamline your home. By incorporating smart storage ideas (like we mentioned earlier) this can also help make the layout of your rooms smoother.

8) Create a Driveway

Many properties come with a driveway, others do not. Some even come with a small driveway and a front garden. While a front garden helps to make the exterior of your home look great, a driveway can be more beneficial in the long run. For many buyers, a driveway to fit two cars - rather than one - is preferred over a front garden that they may never use. Creating space for an extra car or two will help attract families and professional couples to consider your home.

While parking on the street isn't something that most people care too much about, extra driveway space is always welcome. If your property currently has a driveway made up of flat concrete, laying down some more attractive stonework or tarmac may also be a good idea. Tarmac will last longer than concrete, comes with less maintenance and is more durable. If you do plan to add extra vehicle access to your property, you may need to contact your local authority for the best way to proceed.

Driveway - My First Property

9) Kitchen Makeovers

The kitchen is one of the major contributors to the overall look and feel a home. The quality of a kitchen is also a major deciding factor for both valuing and purchasing a property. Because of this, investing in a top quality kitchen will almost always help the value of your home. It doesn't really matter what style you go for, but a modern kitchen is always a safe bet. Creating a streamlined kitchen that incorporates smart storage, easy access and plenty of floor space is a surefire way to get a good return on your investment. Here are some things we recommend you consider doing when making changes to your kitchen:

  • Use neutral colours to ensure easy melding with alternative designs.
  • Maximise floor space to make the kitchen feel larger.
  • Replace false drawers with real storage, and implement smart storage.
  • Create a layout that is as open and clear as possible.
  • Paint wooden cabinets with neutral colours.
  • Consider open shelving rather than closed cupboards.

All these things will help to create a modern kitchen. One of the reasons that a kitchen is such an important part of valuing a home is that they can be quite expensive to install. If a property already comes with a modern kitchen, this is a big boost to the value of your home, and also provides an incentive for potential buyers.

10) Turn the Garden into a Living Space

Finally, one aspect that is not usually given much thought towards the value of a property is the garden. A garden can be cheaper to renovate than a kitchen, and a well-groomed, attractive garden can do wonders for the value of your home. So, what do we mean when we talk about living spaces? A garden living space is a place that a family can truly come together and socialise in their garden. This can take many forms from dining areas to sunken garden sofa areas, the only real limit is your imagination. When a living area is added to your garden, this acts almost like - the eyes of property valuers - a new room has been added to your home.

Additionally, adding some new stonework to your garden can offer the same result. Creating a cleaner, more modern looking garden will also go a long way for the value of the property. Modernisation is not the only way to boost the value using your garden. Cleaning up old stonework, replacing the patio and maintaining tidy planting areas will all help. Many people (especially in the UK) only really pay attention to their gardens in the summertime, but if you create a garden that still looks good in the winter, you will find yourself ahead of the curve when it comes to garden value.

Garden Living Space - My First Property

Final Notes

So there we have it, our top ten tips for adding value to your home through home improvements. If you have any questions about the best ways to go about each of these, browse our range of free resources today, we are sure you will find what you need.

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. How Do Mortgage Holidays Work?
  2. Pay Rent? Get Affordable Contents Insurance
  3. Renting With People You Don't Know
  4. Give Your Home New Life
  5. Buying a New Build Home: The Complete Guide

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