9 ways to add value to your home this summer
Make the most of the light evenings and dry weather before autumn comes along to do some work on the house or get out in the garden and get your hands dirty.
Whether you have plans to sell your home in the near future or haven’t done any work on your home since you moved in, making changes to your home can not only make it a more enjoyable place to live but can also add value.
1. Bigger projects
If you have the time and money, some big projects can also yield big rewards:
- Knocking down walls - Can maximise the amount of usable space available as long as the walls aren’t load-bearing. Create larger open spaces that are attractive to potential buyers and remove the nagging question of what to do with the pokey cupboard under the stairs
- Conservatory - As well as an additional room to relax in, experts taking part in the 2012 Home Improvement Survey valuation from HSBC cite adding a conservatory could increase the value of your home on average by £9,240. With packages available from as little as £3,500 all the way up to £50,000 it’s worth remembering just because you spend more doesn’t mean it’s going to add more value to the price of your home.
- Double glazing – can add value to your home, plus will improve the insulation levels thus reducing your energy bills
If you undertake any major structural changes to your home, make sure to keep your insurer up to date. Major changes to your home may affect your buildings insurance.
To see what if any difference they’ll make to the price of your insurance, you may want to run a home insurance quote before starting work.
2. Apply for planning permission
Believe it or not, it is possible to add value to your home without actually having to make any changes to your home by simply getting plans approved for changes.
It creates an attractive prospect for potential buyers knowing that if they’ve got the funds and motivation to do a loft conversion or build an extension, it’s all been pre-approved by the local council.
If it sounds like something you’d be interested in pursuing, take a look at the Gov.uk planning portal.
3. Get busy in the garden
Giving the garden a spruce up can give a new lease of life to your outdoor spaces whilst improving the overall look and value of your home, some quick (and potentially low cost) wins could be:
- Repainting fences, furniture and pots
- Taking the rubbish like rotting garden furniture and broken swing to the tip
- Buying some new potted plants
Or consider a complete garden overhaul with a new patio and lawn, prices range from £2.08 a slab up to £14.50.
4. Paint the house
It might sound like a simple one, but giving the outside of your home a new lick of paint can freshen it up and make it stand out against neighbours’ homes.
If you’re short on time and don’t have a head for heights, you can get away with paying a professional to do the job for you (expect to pay anywhere from £100 - £1,000).
5. Sort out the guttering
Making sure guttering is clear and working properly can help avoid water backing up and creating potential damp issues. All it takes is a head for heights, a ladder and a bucket to get started.
If you find any of it needs replacing, basic guttering starts as low as £3.99 for 2 metres but could save you thousands in the long-run.
6. Fix broken roof tiles
Whilst you’ve got the ladder out, why not fix those broken roof tiles. As well as making the roof watertight, they’ll improve the overall appearance of the roof. Single tiles might cost less than a pound and you might even have some old ones cluttering up the garage.
Depending on the type of roof you have you may want to get a professional in to do the job for you.
7. Redecorate the house
As well as looking at the outside of the house you may want to sort parts of the interior that are looking a little dated. A roll of wallpaper can cost from as little as £3.98 for 10 metres and alongside some new light fittings to brighten up your interior, you can be on your way to a plush new home.
8. New carpets
Replacing old, dusty and worn carpets with new ones can make your home appear more presentable and welcoming. If you’re planning on moving out soon, don’t go for strong or light colours just because you like them, you’re better off picking something in a neutral colour that’s going to appeal to most tastes.
According to the 2012 HSBC survey, re-carpeting the home, which can cost as little as £5.49m2 can increase the value of a property by £1,783.
9. Reveal original features
If you don’t fancy the idea of new carpet and prefer the feel of a traditional wooden floor under your feet, it’s worth stripping back the carpet to see what’s hidden beneath.
You might be surprised to find some attractive wooden floorboards just asking for a little bit of TLC. To get them looking their best you’ll need to give them a going over with an electric floor sander (available to rent from a local tool hire company from around £50 a day) then buff them up with some varnish.
Chris Stillwell writes for home and buildings insurance comparison site Confused.com. Chris took the plunge to buying his first home in 2012 and is currently undertaking his own home improvement project.