As with any renovation, the main objective is to improve the functional space within a property which is of equal importance to its visual appeal. Making a property saleable isn’t just about cosmetic enhancements such as converting the interconnecting garage into a room or redesigning the kitchen basic structural repairs need to be considered too. 77 Great Estates decided to list 10 ways that will surely give added value to your property.
1. Don’t underestimate superficial defects
While small defects don’t directly affect the value of a property, cumulatively they could potentially prevent it from selling at its optimum price. Typical defects that may put many buyers off include: peeling paint, squeaking or sticking doors and windows, door latches that don’t work and mouldy sealants in the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s good to acknowledge that all problems can easily be fixed by any competent DIYer.
2. Fix structural problems
Before considering cosmetic enhancements and repairs like new bathrooms, kitchens, flooring and redecorating, make sure you fix any major structural problems. Cosmetic solutions can conceal otherwise more serious issues from potential buyers, but will very unlikely fool an architect once s/he comes on site to evaluate the property’s condition.
Structural defects include but are not limited issues like a leaking roof, humidity problems and structural cracks to walls. While such defects are likely to be amongst the most expensive in a renovation project, in terms of adding value, they’re indispensable. Seeking expert advice by consulting a builder and architect is advisable.
Nothing renovates a home like a lick of paint in fresh, modern colours. Paint is a number one way to add value to a property of any budget and continues to be one of the easiest, fastest and highest value drivers of a property in this day and age. Make sure you choose the right colours that are modern and won’t go out of fashion quickly.
4. Update electricity and plumbing
Updating services such as wiring and plumbing is a troublesome job, involving lifting floors and chasing out plastering, so ideally you need to find out exactly what’s required and complete the work before making any cosmetic improvements.
Electrics’ updates are essential if the house hasn’t been rewired for some years. You should be able to tell by looking at the meter: if there’s an old fuse box, you probably need to rewire the house and install a modern consumer unit. Adding extra sockets will also increase value to your home and in some cases, it might be worth opting for attractive face plates for sockets and switches. If rewiring, use the opportunity to update lighting and add extractor fans in the bathrooms. When it comes to plumbing, old pipework can lead to poor hot and cold flow, knocking or rattling sounds and other noises. In in the worst-case scenario, it can lead to burst pipes.
5. Replace windows
New double glazed windows can add considerable value to a property and in the lower end of the market, are considered essential by most buyers, regardless of their style. In higher value properties, aesthetics start to become a more significant factor. In such properties, therefore, it’s often only worth replacing windows that are either beyond repair or inappropriate in terms of style, or where they could add more light. Where windows need replacing, they should be replaced like with like, although it will be necessary for them to be double glazed to meet the current local building regulations.
6. Makeover the kitchen
A gorgeous, clean and sleek-looking kitchen is essential to potential buyers. Before replacing it however, consider fundamentals such as its shape and position and decide if you’re going to make any structural changes to the space, or if you want to relocate it elsewhere.
Many existing kitchens can be given a new lease of life even on a limited budget. If the units are salvageable, you can move them around and add new units if required to get the desirable layout, and then add new doors, handles and worktops. Good quality worktops are critical as, like doors and handles, they’re the parts everyone first notice.
Opting for integrated appliances is usually the way to go, since they look much neater. Nowadays a new kitchen needn’t cost an arm and a leg, many even come with the appliances, mixers and worktops included in the price. That said, for a more valuable property, it’s always worth investing more on better quality units, with some bespoke features with superior quality finishes.
7. Makeover existing bathrooms
It’s quintessential for bathrooms to be fresh and hygienic looking, so make sure there’s adequate light. Additionally, the walls should be painted in a neutral, light shade, ideally an off-white. Remember, the bathroom is the ideal place to add a touch of extravagance.
If the existing sanitaryware is chipped, badly stained, or an unfashionable colour such as pink, avocado, peach or chocolate brown, replace it. Make sure the bathroom has an extractor fan for ventilation. Adding a mirror or two will make the space seem larger and brighter. Also think about adding a heated towel rail.
8. Add bathrooms/shower rooms
Adding a bathroom is usually a good investment, particularly if it creates an ensuite to the master bedroom. Extra bathrooms can be added by remodelling existing space, or by extending. Preferably, there should be toilet facilities on every floor that has bedrooms. A ratio of one bathroom per three bedrooms, plus a master ensuite is a safe calculation. For properties in high value areas, it may be worth adding an ensuite to every bedroom. Where there’s insufficient space for a full bathroom, consider including a shower room.
9. Add a great feature
One or two memorable features that add real class to your property could be fundamental, setting it apart from others for sale in the area. In a basic property, a feature piece might be a wooden deck, a contemporary style kitchen or an elegant working fireplace. In a larger more expensive property, it could be: a master bedroom with a vaulted ceiling, or a feature wall in the living room. Many simple features can be added easily and cost effectively, providing they’re planned and undertaken thoughtfully.
10. Makeover the garden
An attractive, tidy, well-designed garden can add a great deal of prestige to a property, thus making it more sellable. Privacy is vital and improving the feeling of seclusion will augment value. Consider adding walls and even mature trees. Create distinct areas for each function, seating, eating/barbecue, storage and work area. Make sure you carry out at least the basics: cleaning up and tidying litter and dead plants, weed, cutting back overgrown trees and shrubs.
Property renovation gives you the ability to benefit from immediate growth in value. Ultimately, it’s a no-brainer that renovation is a fast-track solution to achieving that goal by making cosmetic or structural changes to a property.
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