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7 equity-building home improvement ideas

7 equity-building home improvement ideas
Image source: Getty Images.

With lots of us spending more time in our houses, some will be thinking of starting all those little home improvements that we just haven’t had time to do before.* However, what home improvement ideas will actually increase the value of your home – and hence your equity?

Here’s a round-up of seven things you can do to your property that will boost its value – including some that that won’t cost the earth or be too disruptive!

1. Paint the kitchen cabinets

One of the most popular home improvement ideas is to fit a new kitchen; however, this is neither cheap nor simple to do. So if you don’t have the budget for an entirely new kitchen, making a few aesthetic improvements could be a way to boost the value in your property.

Doing things like painting the kitchen cabinets or fitting a new worktop can improve the space without costing too much. Similarly, maybe think about replacing the floor tiles or introducing better lighting. Sometimes you don’t need a complete overhaul to improve something, just a few little changes.

2. Give the garden some love

Having an attractive outside space can be a huge boost for a property. Potential buyers typically don’t want to have to do too much additional work once they move in, and having a neat and tidy garden can help improve the overall appearance of your home.

Beyond de-weeding and mowing the lawn, maybe also think about creating distinct areas for different functions in your garden. If you have the space, then creating a seating area, BBQ area, lawn and storage area could add value. A well-designed deck will increase a potential buyer’s perception of the amount of usable living space in and around the property.

3. Make use of natural light

A property that appears to be light and spacious often wins out over something that is smaller and darker. So if your home doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the first description, maybe adopt some of these home improvement ideas to boost the natural light it does have.

Well-placed mirrors can open up a room and make it appear lighter. If you hang a mirror opposite a window, it can trick the eye into thinking there is another window there. Alternatively, maybe explore adding roof lanterns (raised skylights) to your home in order to draw extra natural light in. Failing that, upgrading your light bulbs is a simple way to brighten your home.

4. Spruce up your front door

When it comes to properties, first impressions count. So if you are thinking of improvement ideas that will make it easier to sell your home, take a look at your front door. If you can’t afford to replace it, maybe look to give it a power wash or a fresh lick of paint. A few well-placed plant pots and a clear door number or name can also make all the difference.

5. Replace windows*

This could be a little bit more expensive than some of the other suggestions, but replacing your windows has multiple benefits that will improve your home. Double-glazing is now considered an essential by many buyers; if your property doesn’t have this, then adding it is likely to be a major win if you can afford to make the change.

New windows will improve the ‘curb appeal’ of your house, making it more pleasing to the eye at first glance. And  new windows will also improve the energy-efficiency of your property and therefore make it that much more cost-efficient to heat.

6. Change the layout*

If you are looking for something that is a bit more ambitious than a fresh lick of paint, then improving the existing layout of your home could be the way forward. Opening up your main living spaces – kitchen, dining and living room – and changing the way in which they work together could make a big difference.

Things to think about are whether you could knock down internal walls to provide more space, whether you could make use of halls and corridors, and whether you could provide multi-functional living spaces. Think about fewer but larger rooms, which will make the house appear larger.

7. Add a conservatory*

Finally, if you have a bit more money to play around with, then adding a conservatory to your home can achieve a big equity boost. A quality-built conservatory will typically add more value to a property than it costs. If you are thinking of a conservatory, you won’t need to apply for planning permission if specific conditions are met. For more information, take a look at this guide on the Planning Portal

* This article was written during the coronavirus lockdown. At the time of writing, it is not possible to visit a DIY store for anything other than essential maintenance or repair items, and it is not possible to have work done inside your home. 

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