see our featured
"Tool of the Month"



Is what you are planning for your home going to add £££ to the value of your home or is it going to be a selling feature?

Not all home improvements and makeovers will actually add to the value of your home in monetary terms. But, if you are planning on staying in your home for a number of years the intrinsic value should not be overlooked.

If you live in a high-crime area, an organized community watch program not only will lower the crime rate but can enhance property values, too. It also helps to live in an area where other homeowners are upgrading their homes, which can help pull up your property value, too.

Prospective home buyers believe that every plaster crack represents a huge structural problem--even though most plaster cracks are cosmetic.

On the exterior, scrape off loose paint, then prime and re-coat. On the interior, just refresh the paint if the woodwork is painted. (If it's clear finished, don't paint over varnish or shellac in an attempt to make the house "light and bright.") The only surfaces worth stripping are hardware or other metals--they're small and easy to strip, and polished hardware is like jewelry for the house.

Spend your money on details with impact. Potential buyers respond positively to gleaming wood floors, an attractive fireplace, polished hardware, appropriate light fixtures, and most important, color. All are relatively inexpensive to add to a house, and when done well, they create a more favorable impression than a £6,000 cooker.

People want the following amenities in a kitchen: a built-in dishwasher, disposal, frost-free refrigerator, gas stove, and sufficient cabinets and electrical outlets. As long as these elements are present, usually the house sells quickly, even when the kitchen looks as old as the rest of the house.

This doesn't mean you should overspend. Period appropriate cabinetry and countertops have more impact than expensive appliances. Unfinished, custom or semi-custom cabinets that you paint are not terribly expensive if you find the right cabinetmaker. Finish the counters with inexpensive tile. Appropriate drawer pulls and cabinet knobs are also relatively inexpensive if you buy them at builder's supply stores. A nice-looking faucet shouldn't cost more than £85. Simple light fixtures with brass canopies and glass shades are appropriate to most house styles, since old-house kitchens tend to be fairly utilitarian.

A single bathroom is usually adequate for a two-bedroom house, but a house with three or more bedrooms should have at least a bath and cloakroom or two full baths. Adding a second bath to a three-bedroom house will more than pay for itself in the next sale.

Bathrooms need a shower, tub (or shower-tub combination), sink, toilet, and some storage space. With old houses, it's important to make bathrooms look like they belong in the house. A bath with a hexagonal tile floor, tile or beadboard wainscoting, claw-foot tub (with shower), wall-hung or pedestal sink with porcelain-handled faucets, and a simple wooden medicine cabinet would fit into any house built up until about 1940.

The bottom line is to measure the cost of any improvements you want to make against the overall values in your neighborhood. If you over improve for the neighborhood, you may not necessarily recover your costs or boost your property value significantly.


Top of Page

Get advice about...




As lifestyles change so does what's popular and what's not.

Some Turnoffs
* Swimming Pools
* Coloured Bathrooms
* Dated Kitchens
* High Maintenance Gardens

Turn Ons
* Wooden Decks
* Neutral Bathrooms
* Low Voltage Down Lights
* Breakfast Kitchens