How to Increase the Value of Your Home: Part 1

So we’re doing a couple of multi-part guides, but these are all pretty important pieces, especially with spring right around the corner (we hope!), as it means that the housing market is going to get a little bit of a boost – which means that if you’re trying to sell, unless your house is already super duper fabulous, you might want to stick your neck out amongst the rest of the houses in your neighbourhood and increase the value of your home, whilst you’re at it. Read on to find out what you need to do in part one of our guide.

Upgrade the Kitchen


Most design experts will agree that the kitchen, and the bathroom/s are where you want to spend your money. If they’re not up to scratch, the people viewing your house will walk in and think, “Oh crikey, I’ve got to spend £5,000/£10,000/£15,000 on renovating the kitchen, ripping out the bathrooms”. Now, that doesn’t mean that you’ve got to drop that amount of money on your kitchen, especially if you’re moving, but a couple of hundred quid can go a hugely long way in making your kitchen look a million times better, making your home easier to sell. If it’s a shabby wooden kitchen, for example, lay down some sheets on the floor, empty the cupboards, masking tape the worktops, clean the doors and then paint them. Viola! Instant update. Add new handles (about £8 each). give your worktops a good old clean (or replace them with laminate, if you have the budget – around £400 for a really good laminate in an average kitchen) and paint the walls. Move around your paintings or spend £20 in the supermarket on new canvasses and accessories and you’ll notice a huge difference. Honestly. A huge difference.

If you’re just upgrading the kitchen for you, consider adding granite/marble countertops, switching white goods for stainless steel kitchen appliances, or knock down a wall so that you can expand your kitchen and turn it into a kitchen/diner or add an island.

Upgrade Your Bathroom

Next up, your bathroom. If you’ve already got a white suite, then you’re already doing pretty well. It’s just the little finishing touches that you might need to change – things like the taps, the sealant around the bath and the grouting around the tiles. Taps can be cheap as chips, even for really nice ones – although you might need a plumber to help you fit them, and they update a bathroom instantly. Some new tiles can also make a huge difference, and if you buy click laminate tiles – in other words, tiles that you don’t really have to “lay” – that you can just click together. Regrouting will stop the bathroom from looking a bit rough and ready and then you can again re-paint, add some new towels, and spend £20 on some canvasses and some accessories and the place’ll look spick and span. A good vinyl floor’ll finish it off beautifully.

The thing to remember with all of this is that each job – even if you’re doing it for only a few hundred or a few thousand pounds – you need to do it right. Rough, scabby edges, unfinished lines, paintmarks in the wrong places, scuffs on the walls, etc etc – it’ll all look a bit cheap. So even if you’re doing it on the cheap – it shouldn’t look cheap. Keep that in the back of your head and the end result will be perfect.

Source: Real Simple

5 Renovating Rules You Need to Know

If you’ve just moved into a new place and are dying to get your hands on that avocado bathroom suite and the floral wallpaper, you should keep in mind these five renovating rules in order to avoid any unnecessary repairs, costs or work.



Be Patient

It’s tempting to want to change anything and everything you see when you move into a new house – that green loo? That floral wallpaper, contrasting beautifully with the floral carpets? It can be expensive if you just forge straight ahead and change everything – plus, you could end up ripping out features that you’d end up loving if you’d just given them a chance! The lesson here is: be patient. Don’t decorate on a whim – take your time.


If you’re new to renovating or have simply never decorated a house before it can be really tempting to just call someone in to do everything for you. Most of the time though, it’s just as simple – and easy – to do some of the jobs yourself. For example, you could re-carpet the floors and paint the walls (if you really can’t deal with that floral wallpaper) in neutral colours, move in your furniture, then decide on things like a colour scheme or tiling choices. It means that your house will be livable but you won’t have made any rash decisions.

Know What You Can and Can’t Do

Thinking you’re a bit of a DIY expert is almost as common as not knowing how to do any DIY at all. But it’s important to accept what you can do and what you can’t do. So you might be able to paint the walls, but can you really install a brand new bathroom? Perhaps not – it might be a better option to hire a plumber to do the job for you. If in doubt, always ask for an expert opinion – the last thing you want to do is end up causing even more problems than you started with.

What About the Neighbours?

The value of your house will be greatly influenced by the other homes in the area. If the house already has a brand spanking new bathroom and kitchen and was bought for approximately the same price as the rest of the houses in the area, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to add any value. If your house is a little bit like a time warp – and so are the rest of the houses on the street – an easy way to add value is by renovating key rooms like the kitchen or the master bedroom.

How Long Will You Stay?

How much money and time you pour into the house really depends upon how long you’re planning to stay there. Just 5 years? You’ll want to redecorate rather than renovate. If you’re trying to create your forever home, you can go ahead and renovate it properly.

Source: The Nest

How to Prepare for a Home Renovation

A home renovation can be super exciting. Ranging from a mini renovation whereby your home gets a facelift, to a full on revamp with walls knocked down and an extension added, making over your home has never been easier. Before you get started though, it’s important to have a good think about the issues mentioned below, just to make sure that everything you’ve got planned is right for you and your circumstances. Read on to find out more and take a look at this link for building materials to get you started.



How Long Are You Going to Live There For?

Are you going to be moving out in the next five years? If so, it’s important to keep potential buyers in mind when you’re planning your renovation – use neutral colours on the walls and think about the finish you’d want to see when looking for a new home. Focus more on the kitchen and bathrooms, as these are probably the most important rooms when it comes to selling up and if you can, use quality materials that will last a good few years. If you’re not moving out, or are renovating to create your forever home, you can afford to be a little more creative.

What’s the Next Step?

Trying to do everything at once can be expensive, and not to mention, disruptive. That’s why many people choose to do gradual renovations, whereby they add things and replace things and decorate as and when they can afford to. If this is what you’re doing, you’ll need to plan ahead. For example, if you’re replacing the kitchen cupboards and the worktops but can only afford to do one at a time, do the worktops after – it can be very difficult to remove a worktop without cracking it, particularly if it’s made of marble or granite. If you’re replacing the sink and want to add a shower tap later on, get the relevant holes cut before you fit the sink as it’ll be a real pain in the bum to do it later on. Plan ahead and you should be just fine.

How Long Will it Take?

Contractors tend to be quite conservative with their time estimates and if you’re having major work done, such as a new kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, it can be very distracting. If you have to sleep somewhere else whilst the work takes place, it can be even worse – especially if the contractor takes more time than they quoted. Before you sign a contract, call up a few of their references and ask them if the contractor finished on time – just to give you peace of mind.

What Should You Do First?

As a general rule, the first room you tackle should be the smallest room in the house – for example, the bathroom, or the home office. Do everything, including all of the finishing touches. When you start to move onto bigger rooms like bedrooms and the kitchen and things start to get a little bit stressful, you can look at your completed room and feel a sense of achievement. That’s what you’re doing this for.