Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just interested in investing in the value of your home, there are many options for improvement. Some tasks take a professional, while you can do others on your own. Regardless of your budget, there are enhancements to be made internally and externally that can help improve the worth of your home.
Ask a Real Estate Agent or Interior Designer to Assess Your Home
Average Cost: Free – £100
There are some home assessments you can make on your own, but many require the expertise of a professional. Real estate agents can provide an estimated value of your home as a structure, as well as from a bird’s-eye view. A local realtor has a broader perspective that can help you evaluate the value of your home by its neighbourhood (location to local schools, access to public services, etc.). Best of all, most will do this for free.
Interior designers may be unable to assign specific value to your home, but they do have an eye for improvement (and a creative one at that). Designers will invite you to find a fresh perspective in the space you already have by assessing furniture placement, room colour and more. Some designers will offer a consultation for free, while others average around £100 per hour. They’ll help you identify areas a simple (and free) rearranging of furniture could fix.
Declutter and Organise
Average Cost: Free (and make money!)
Get rid of the clutter around your home. Eliminating junk opens up your space and provides new possibilities for each room. Change up the layout or create new storage space.
You can even make money from the things you plan on throwing out or donating. Read more here.
Make Small Spaces Look Larger
Average Cost: Free
After you clean things out, make the most of your space. Too many things in one area can make the room feel cramped, uncomfortable and uninviting. Even in small spaces, there are ways to make the room feel bigger by adjusting the layout, scale and lighting. Shorter furniture and low-hanging art can make your ceiling appear much taller. Avoid chunky furniture in small spaces, as they appear to take up more space and block off movement. Opt for furniture with tall, thin and exposed legs that give the room a sense of openness and light. Mirrors are another great way of making a room look bigger. Think of hanging a mirror opposite a window to reflect more natural light.
Improve Air Quality
Average Cost: £125
If you have older drapes and carpeting in your home, they may be latching onto pollen and other contaminants. Aside from cleaning your rugs and drapes, consider checking your ventilation system and replacing any old or well-worn air filters. It will minimise allergens and help air out any lingering odours.
Upgrade the Lighting
Average Cost: £2001
The way a room is lit can highlight its best features while hiding its worst. Research the best lighting for your space based on the room’s function. For example, broader lighting options that take on the whole space are great for dining areas, but may not be as good in an office where you usually need more direct lighting for work or reading.
Hire Professional Cleaners
Average Cost: £200
If you took steps to declutter your home, take it to the next level with a thorough scrubbing. Hire a professional service to do a deep cleaning of your home. Areas that you previously thought were unsalvageable may have a second life! Take the opportunity to see your home at its best before trying to upgrade.
Give a Room a Fresh Coat of Paint
Average Cost: Varies by room size and paint quality
Any room can benefit from a fresh coat of paint. It can make a room look brand new again. The biggest area people neglect when painting, however, is the baseboard and trim. A new coat of paint on the walls only has half the effect when the pieces framing it are dull and aged. Make sure you give your baseboard and trim the attention they deserve with a nice new layer of paint. You can always hire professionals, but this will increase the cost exponentially.
Buy Energy-Efficient Fixtures
Average Cost: £275 (and save money!)
While transitioning to energy-efficient fixtures has an upfront cost, you end up saving money in the long run. You will add value to your home as well as save on your electricity and water bills. For example, an LED light bulb uses 85% less power than conventional bulbs.2 The average leaky faucet can waste 24,000 pints of water a year!3 Think of how much a new faucet could save annually.
Hire a Home Inspector
Average Cost: £400
It’s not just about looks! The value of your home is also very dependent on the health of the structure. Inspectors can assess the electrical system, the quality of the foundation, infestations and more. Small issues that are put off tend to grow over time (as does the cost to fix them), so address the issues as soon as you can.
Increase Your Curb Appeal
Average Cost: £3501
“Curb Appeal,” or the perceived value of your home assigned from a street view, is an area most realtors believe has the best return on investment. In the case of home buying, many will judge a book by its cover — does your home make a good first impression? If you regularly maintain your lawn, chances are you won’t be near the average fix-up budget of 350£. If you have some work to do, start with what you already have and clean it up as best you can. Some things may appear worse for the wear, but may be redeemable with a little grooming. Be sure to clear away plants that have died or block windows from natural sunlight.
Upgrade Small Fixtures
Average Cost: £3501
Sometimes a bathroom or kitchen just needs a small facelift and can benefit from minimal upgrades. Buy rust remover to reverse the years of damage on faucets and sinks. Scrub away mildew and reseal crevices around your tub. Update cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom with new knobs or pulls. Instead of buying brand new cabinets and paying to have them installed, paint your existing cabinets for much less with a similar result. Replace old or leaky faucets, especially if the drips are starting to damage the cabinet or flooring. A little can go a long way here, so think outside the box!
Freshen Your Flooring
Average Cost: £7501
Rethink your flooring options. Carpeting is considered dated in most homes and can “age” your house more than you think. If you’d like to keep it, consider shampooing it for a good deep clean. If you’d rather replace it with something else, look into the much more modern look of wood flooring. Real wood can be pricey, so consider laminate for the look but without the price tag or heavy maintenance.
Paint the Exterior of Your Home
Average Cost: £9851
A fresh coat of paint can give new life to the outside of your home in the same way it can improve the inside. The look of the outside of your home is another big factor in curb appeal. Before you commit to the large undertaking that is painting a house, rent or purchase a power washer and clean the outside first. This is a necessary step in the painting process, but it can also show that your house only needed a bath rather than a whole new layer of paint.
Remodel your Bathroom or Kitchen
Average Cost: £13001
A more thorough (and therefore pricey) step up from upgrading your fixtures is remodelling. Depending on the amount of work being done, remodelling bathrooms and kitchens can increase of the value of your home greatly, though at a bigger up front cost to you. If possible, do the demo yourself to save money. You can also sell your discarded fixtures and materials to defray some of the cost.
Hire an Interior Designer
Average Cost: £60 - £100/hour + cost of décor
If the structure of your home is in a good place and your only point of struggle is decor, consider hiring a designer. As described above, interior designers can add value to your home by working with the furniture you already have and optimise it based on your space. However, if your current furniture is dated, broken or otherwise unusable and the entire space needs a new look, an interior designer is a great way to go. Not only do they add value to your home, they can help you save money. It may seem counterintuitive, but hiring a designer can help you stay on budget, avoid making costly mistakes and purchase pieces for less (with exclusive access to special discounts through partnerships).
110 cheap ways to increase a home’s value. (25 May 2015). Retrieved 4 March 2016, from http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2015/05/25/10-cheap-ways-to-increase-a-homes-value/
2 Light bulbs. (n.d.). Retrieved 24 February 2016, from http://www.ecooptions.homedepot.com/energy-efficient/light-bulbs/
3Fix a leak week. (n.d.). Retrieved 4 March 2016, from http://www3.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/fixleak.html
The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.