When it comes to home renovations there is often a fine line between your house as a money maker vs. becoming a money pit! Adding value to your existing home often requires investing just enough money to make home improvements that will hopefully pay back dividends when the time comes to sell, enabling you to climb the property ladder. Instead of a fingers crossed approach, it’s very much advised to do a bit of research locally and get some expert advice before undertaking any large scale renovation work.
Here are a few suggestions of more failsafe ways to approach home improvements that should help add value to your home. As always at Vanilla Square, we are happy to chat through any ideas you may have and give our expert opinion on the local property market.
- Sound structure
Keep surveyors happy and, importantly, giving you the highest value possible, by first making sure that any structural problems with your home are resolved. This could include things like a sagging or leaking roof, rising damp, structural cracks in walls, rotten joists or roof timbers, missing or broken roof tiles and unstable chimneys, to name a few. Potential viewers may be fooled by your own DIY attempts and purely cosmetic improvements but an experienced surveyor will know if more serious problems are lurking and the value of your property will reflect this. Structural repairs are likely to be amongst the most expensive work required in a renovation project but, in terms of adding value, they are absolutely essential. If you are unsure about confusing structural defects with purely cosmetic faults, then consult a builder, surveyor or structural engineer for their opinion. As repairing any of these problems can be very disruptive, it is wise to identify them and get the work completed first before starting any other home improvement projects.
- Conversions & conservatories
Loft conversions and conservatories can be the most cost effective ways of adding on square footage, compared to extension projects which can be much pricier. Ask whether your property could benefit from more space (usually yes!) and be clear on the best way to utilise it before committing to any building project. For instance, the price difference between a 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom home can be significant, however, property value tends to level off after the 5 bedroom mark. Loft conversions can be great for creating an extra bedroom or two but be sure this would definitely work to add value and desirability. If you have the sufficient ceiling height and space to create a staircase, loft conversions can be one of the easiest and least disruptive large scale projects that often lead to large returns on investment. If you are short on living space rather than bedrooms, conservatories are also a great option and will be even cheaper than a conversion, just aim to avoid that ‘bolted on’ look and instead create flow with the rest of your home, ensuring that the extra room feels part of the house.
- Prioritise the kitchen
When it comes to working with what you already have, the kitchen takes priority. For many, the kitchen has become the hub of the home and the room you should showcase if ever looking to sell. Things to update could include work surfaces, tiling and flooring and making sure the layout is functional and efficient. Remember the kitchen triangle – oven, fridge and sink – and keeping easy access between all of these points. Install equipment that is as up to date as possible and make sure that any updates and refurbishments match the overall value of your home – putting an overly expensive kitchen in a mid-value home will just see you losing money.
- Driveway & Garage space
Off street parking can make a big difference to the value of a property, especially in an urban location where on street parking is restricted. Creating one or two parking spaces in front of, or alongside, a property can add significant value, even if it means sacrificing part or even all of a front garden. For many buyers, a well-designed, low maintenance driveway is more valuable and appealing than a garden they never use. Consider the last time you used your garage to park your car? If it’s a well-used space that’s one thing, but in many cases garages sit with equipment that never sees the light of day and boxes of old belongings gathering dust. As an addition to point two, picture your garage as an extra bedroom or living space and work out whether it would be worth undergoing a conversion project here.
- Boost kerb appeal
Repointing brickwork, redoing paintwork on doors, walls and windows, replacing old garage doors, updating windows, repairing or removing cladding, re-landscaping gardens – none of the creative or exciting home DIY jobs but ones that are essential to maintaining the appearance of your property as well as protecting the value. Larger exterior renovation projects can act to completely transform a property. What was once an unremarkable terraced house can be re-envisioned as as updated, contemporary home. Remember, most buyers will decide if they like a property or not before they even get out of the car and it can be hard to shake off negative first impressions created by a poor or unattractive exterior.
For sales and lettings in Glasgow and beyond, contact our friendly Vanilla Square team. Whether selling or letting property, you will always be liaising with one of our business partners, which makes our service that much more responsible and approachable. When you instruct us, your property will reach a wider audience as we are one of the few agents who are present on all the major property portals to offer sellers and landlords maximum exposure. If you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or lease your property, or you’re simply considering the idea, contact us by calling 0141 229 0210 or pop into our new office at 711 Great Western Road. One of our partners will be delighted to help and provide you with impartial, expert advice.