There is no doubt about it: us Brits enjoy our home improvements. In fact, in 2015, over £22 billion was spent on home improvements and renovations in this country. Perhaps its rooted in our obsession with owning our own homes; something which always seems to puzzle people abroad, where renting for one’s entire lifetime is not unusual.
Either way, we clearly take a lot of pride in where we live, and ensuring that our houses feel like the homes we imagined them to be. But the good news is that despite all this eye-watering spending on home improvements, there are all sorts of things you can do for little or no cost that can give your home a facelift, and even add considerable value. Below are a good mix of options which suggest enhancements from all ends of the price spectrum.
1. Quick fixes
Squeaky door hinges, peeling wallpaper, stuck sliding windows, creaky floorboards… These are all annoying little things, which can just as easily be forgotten about for a period of time. But a quick trip to the hardware store for some WD-40, talcum powder and other relevant remedies, followed by a few minutes of your time, can sort all these kinds of things out and make your surrounds feel good as new again.
Some home improvements require a bit of an outlay, and certainly insulation can fall into that category – specifically with respect to windows. Double glazing can cost anywhere between £100 and £10,000, depending on what you want done, and also on your Window Energy Rating. However, the benefit isn’t just in keeping you warmer over the winter. Having double-glazed windows will have make a significant difference to your energy bills, and, perhaps more importantly, it will likely give your EPC rating a boost too. When the time comes to sell up, that’s something you’ll be unlikely to regret.
3. The garden
One of the biggest potential jewels of any home is a garden – provided it is looked after correctly. Certainly the grim weather over the winter can make gardening seem particularly uninspiring, but giving your patch a bit of TLC is something you should make a point of doing regularly. Just a bit of trimming every now and again will prevent the ‘overgrown’ look that so many neglected gardens have. Decluttering is also an important value adder, while other little jobs could be to sure up the fencing, re-seed the grass, unblock drains and gutters, or even to put in a water feature. If you’re considering larger-scale projects, putting in a patio or decking is always a winner, while you could always get a landscape gardener in if you want to go the whole hog. Either way, your garden is worth investing in, and can add so much to your quality of life – not to mention the value of your home.
4. Paint, paint, paint!
There isn’t really a cheaper, easier way to give your home a fresh feel than by painting it. Freshly painted rooms, which look updated and clean, will always be value adders. But don’t just think about the indoors. Maybe the outside walls could do with a lick of paint? Or the fence outside? Just be a bit selective with colours. Neutral colours tend to appeal to a wider base of people, which is a significant factor if you think you may sell up in the short or medium term.
5. The bigger ones
If you do have a bit of a kitty, and are thinking of some grander undertakings, the most popular options tend to be loft conversions, building conservatories, fitting new kitchens or putting in a woodburner. All of these options will cost you well into the thousands of pounds, but these tend to wash their face and more when it comes to value added.
So while the price tag may be off-putting initially, it may be worth thinking about the bigger picture. These are also the sorts of projects where funding it on finance will be well justified. Instead of simply assuming your mortgage provider will be able to offer you the best deal, it may be worth looking into the various providers of personal loans who can offer similarly competitive rates. Given that something like this would represent an investment which will almost certainly lead to gains in terms of value, it’s something that’s well worth considering.