We’d all be forgiven for trying to save a penny or two by carrying out home improvements ourselves, especially if you’re looking to sell your home. While you can’t really go wrong by adding a link of paint, or upcycling a cabinet or two, when you’re wanting to add value, there are just some jobs that are better left to the professionals. We’ve collaborated with DIY expert, Jo Behari, to give you her top tips when it comes to getting your house sale-ready.
Quick and easy ways to add value to your home
Enhance your kerb appeal
First impressions count for a lot when people come to view your home. You’re selling a dream, a new beginning to prospective buyers, and what adds value to a house, is a buyer believing it’s worth their investment because they can see themselves living there. Making simple home improvements like painting your front door, adding pretty plants to your front garden or repainting your staircase to give your hallway the wow factor can all help with first impressions, without breaking the bank. Improving the first impressions of your house can also help speed up finding a buyer and reduce the time it takes to sell.
Jo says “Hallways should be bright, airy and clear of clutter. Adding plants, even if they’re artificial, can help freshen up the area. It’s worth painting the front door a bright neutral colour too, or even investing in new door furniture.”
Improve your garden
DIY expert, Jo Behari, advises owners to “Clear any garden clutter, paint unkempt fences and, if you have evening viewings, ensure you have enough light in your outdoor areas – even if that means putting some cost-effective solar lights around your garden in the interim. It’s a good idea to show an outdoor eating space too, in the form of a bistro or patio set.”
Together with any spaces at the front of your home, a charmingly landscaped back garden could add as much as 10% to the value of your home. Mow the lawn, make sure your flower beds are blooming, rake up the leaves, put down decking and add in some garden furniture. All of these small changes will help spark your potential buyer’s imagination of them entertaining guests and relaxing in the space on a pleasant summers day.
Increase storage space
Most of us have busy lives that are filled with lots of necessities and possessions, be it pushchairs, clothes, sports equipment, musical instruments or boxes of childhood keepsakes you can’t bear to throw away. Storage space is one of the things that home buyers really look out for, so take advantage of any wasted space, add boards to your loft and add more kitchen cupboards if you have unused space on the wall.
Jo Behari agrees “Leaving lots of stuff lying around can lead people to think you have no storage. Clear away any clutter and use a storage unit, even if just for a short space of time, if you need to. Another great tip is to hide bits and pieces in the back of your car during a viewing, as buyers love to investigate every nook and cranny.”
Spruce up indoors
It’s tough to put an exact number on how to improve the value of your home with little touches and easy fixes, but it could be anything between 5% to 10%. Whether you’re redecorating with neutral paint throughout your home, decluttering, fixing dripping taps, upgrading your lighting, carrying out minor repairs or re-grouting bathroom tiles, every little change could make a big difference to a buyer. You could even reopen original fireplaces or sand your floorboards to go that step further.
Jo states “If you have lots of bold colours around your home, consider switching it up to a more neutral scheme that offers buyers a blank canvas.”
Bigger and bolder home improvements
Install a new kitchen
Approximately 65% of UK homeowners renovate their kitchen before selling, and while this can involve a simple makeover, going all-out if you have the funds could prove to be very profitable. Side-return kitchen extensions are very popular in terraced and semi-detached houses, with the average cost coming in at around £1,500 per square metre. As it could add 15% to the value of your home, it could be a sound investment, while you may even decide to go for a two-storey extension, adding around 50% more to your single-storey cost.
Build a conservatory
The cost of a conservatory varies significantly depending on how big your plans are, but it could add as much as 10% to your home’s value either way. You may be able to get a relatively simple option for less than £6,000, while a stylish orangery can be upwards of £20,000. This could still prove to be great value though, and adding a greater synergy between your garden and indoor living space is a wonderful way to help with selling your house.
Convert your cellar
Adding more living or useable space by converting a cellar is often much cheaper than doing up your attic, with the average UK cost at only around £1,200. You may choose to splash out a lot more than that, in which case you may find you’re able to add as much as 30% to your house value, making it one of the best ways to improve the value of your home.
Convert your garage
Possible without the need for planning permission under permitted development rules, converting your garage into living space can be a great idea, especially if you have extra parking space on your drive. With the potential to add up to 15% to your home’s value, the cost of a garage conversion varies depending on whether you have an integral, attached, or detached garage. An integral conversion could cost as little as £650 per square metre, while a detached conversion is likely to be in the region of £1,300 to £1,500 per square metre.
House renovations to add the most value to your home
Add a loft conversion
Loft conversions are a hugely popular way to add an extra bedroom to a house and could boost your home’s value by 15%. You can typically expect to pay £500 to £600 per square metre for a conversion, with an average spend of £20,000 to £25,000. An additional bedroom can open up your home as an option to larger families and many more prospective buyers, while conversions with an en suite are only going to see your house value climb even higher.
Splitting your house into flats
If you want to know how to increase the value on your home to really maximise your profits, splitting it into flats could be the best way to go. This is a popular thing to do in London where there’s a huge demand for flats to rent, and could add 30% or more to the value of your house. The average cost to do this is between £15,000 to £25,000, although this figure can vary hugely depending on your property, including its location. Even if you’re spending tens of thousands though, this could prove to be an extremely lucrative way of adding value to your home.
Are you ready to make home improvements?
All these things will improve your potential buyers’ first impression of each room and make them more likely to increase their bid to see off the competition. Whether you’re adding little touches or going for a big extension or conversion, work out how much you need to spend, allowing you to see whether it’s worth your while in terms of adding value to your home.
Jo adds “There are some things that are better left to the professionals. Damp patches, replastering, electrics, gas and plumbing, for example, can all go horribly wrong if not handled by an expert. It’s worth spending some money getting these elements up to scratch, as it’ll maximise the value of your home and avoid putting buyers off.”
DIY fails can be costly
Damp patches – Jo says: “This is always a sign of water coming in from somewhere – and water takes the path of least resistance, so it’s likely to have caused damage behind the wall or under the floorboards before you start to notice anything is wrong. Never ignore signs of damp, as there could be a huge problem lying underneath, or equally it may not be, but the sooner you find out the better. Dealing with it yourself could mean repointing external brickwork or fixing leaking pipes and if this is done badly, you’re looking at thousands of pounds worth of damage to repair.”
Replastering – Jo advises: “A good plasterer takes many years to hone their craft and, as such, their day rate reflects their level of skill. Depending on your location, you’re looking at £200 a day for a plasterer. If you do decide to tackle this job yourself, you’ll more than likely end up paying double, as when you call in an expert they’ll have to undo your work before making good.”
Electrics, gas and plumbing: Jo warns: “Electric, gas and plumbing work are jobs I would always recommend hiring a qualified professional to undertake. You are looking at a day rate upwards of £200 for these trades but bear in mind you are paying for their expertise and, in not doing so, you could actually cause harm to others. Both gas and electrical work can even be fatal if not carried out properly, so don’t scrimp on this expense – think of it as an investment not an expenditure.”
A final note from Dev Malle, Chief Business Development Officer at My Home Move Conveyancing “We all know that spending time getting your house looking its best ahead of a sale can be a game changer and even add value. Our work with Jo will hopefully offer homeowners easy ways to get their properties sale ready.”
Read our article for more advice on the process of selling your home.
Disclaimer: This article is for informal and general advice regarding the best way to add value to your home.