Renovations

5 home upgrades that add value

Considering an upgrade to your home? Go beyond the standard kitchen remodel and consider these 5 suggestions that will add value to your home without breaking the budget
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Flickr / Brian Snelson

Are you considering a home renovation? While loads of people will tell you that upgrades add value to your home, the reality is that not all home improvements are created equal. When it comes to investing in the single largest asset you own the last thing you want is to sink money into a project only to find out the upgrade is a sunk cost.

To avoid this, step away from the standard list of home renovations such as kitchen remodels and new floors. Turns out these aren’t the only upgrades to consider. Instead, consider these five home improvement suggestions to help add function and value to your home. By doing home upgrades such as these you’ll be able to increase your home’s value and appeal to potential buyers.

1. Focus on curb appeal

They say you only get one chance to make the right first impression. Take full advantage of the psychology of buying and selling homes and put extra effort into the curb appeal of your home, including the garden, the drive and any exterior elements of the building.

Check the roof for missing tiles, refresh exterior render or discoloured brickwork, power wash a dirty path or mossy drive. Take a look at your front door and windows to see if they need repairing or replacing, and make sure that everything is sparkling clean.

A garage and drive is a big selling point, particularly in urban areas where parking might be at a premium. Revitalise your old garage door with a lick of paint, or upgrade to a secure, stylish door in a choice of finishes. Or spend a little and paint your entry door or garage door a bright, new colour to add a bit of pop — and to immediately improve your home’s visual appeal.

Finally, make sure that rubbish bins and other unsightly items are tucked out of sight, mow the lawn, tidy up the front beds and welcome your guests with some pretty planters or a hanging basket of flowers by the front entrance.

2. Tap into the bathroom

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There’s no doubt that bathrooms add value. According to recent figures, an additional bathroom installation costing an average of $15,000 CDN can add as much as 5% to the value of your home.

Remember, house buyers now expect 1.5 bathrooms for every 2 bedrooms, which is what new builds tend to provide. In a 4-bedroom home, this translates to a family bathroom, and master bedroom with ensuite facilities, and a downstairs powder room. If your main bedroom doesn’t have an ensuite bathroom, this is where you ought to direct your money and your efforts.

In terms of style, design and functionality, it should go without saying that all bathrooms in your home must be updated to contemporary standards. Such as updated bathroom fixtures (no plastic towel rails!), glass shower doors (no soggy shower curtains!) and contemporary vanity and light fixtures.

Finally, give your bathrooms a deep clean (or get a professional cleaning company to do it for you) so it smells fresh and gleams like new.

3. Present a tech-friendly home

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Whether your home is a chic urban pad or a rambling country home, present-day utilities include fast internet speeds and a robust mobile reception. If there is a problem with your broadband connection or phone signal, this will need urgent attention to bring your property up to scratch with the competition.

Sometimes, this is simply a case of relocating your router to balance out interference from solid walls and heavy doors, or buying a WiFi signal booster to solve the problem. If you have internet, there are several free tools that can measure your download and upload speeds, along with helpful advice on how to increase your speed if there’s a problem. If you don’t have broadband or need to upgrade, you can check what’s available locally through comparison websites such as this one.

By making small upgrades or modifications to your home’s tech, you can add value to your home. People love a home that’s “connected” and you can add this to your home’s listing description. Another selling feature is how this tech can add security to your home. If you have cameras installed or smart locks, make sure you let potential buyers know, as these upgrades go a long way to providing a safe, secure feeling in the home.

4. Woo them with a cosy fireplace

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While very few modern day house hunters would willingly choose a property without broadband, a back-to-basics open fire or woodburning stove exerts an irresistible pull. If you already have a working fireplace that’s fed by wood, gas or electricity, make sure this is a standout feature on a day when you’re home has viewings arranged. There’s nothing better than a crackling real fire to make you (or your punters) feel at home!

If you have an old fireplace in the house but don’t use it, repairing and/or re-commissioning the fireplace and flue are well worth doing, so that the next owner doesn’t have to. If there is no fireplace, consider installing a stylish wood burner, which is technically more straightforward and a bit cheaper too.

5. Offer extra outdoor space

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If you’re selling a home with a garden, be reassured that any outsize space will add to the value of your home. Styles and tastes vary widely when it comes to garden design. Some people love the romanticism of elaborate, labour intensive English country gardens while others prefer the low-maintenance convenience of a mowed, minimalist garden design.

Unless you’re passionately green fingered and love to show off your garden space in all its lush glory, focus on showing the potential. This means not worrying about the perfection of your perennials and focusing, instead, on making sureEnsure your garden looks healthy, your lawn, beds and borders are tidy, your hedges are pruned and your patio and fences are clean. Tackle any neglected corners where garden junk may have accumulated and in order to maximize space and light.

Dakota Murphey
Dakota Murphey

Dakota Murphey is a Brighton, UK-based content writer. She writes on a variety of topics including homeowner tips, smart tech, travel and business planning.

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