You don’t have to spend a fortune on a kitchen extension or loft conversion to make a big impact on the home you live in.
Whether you’re selling up and want to get the best price possible, or simply want a nicer place to live in, there are plenty of ways you can improve a property without breaking the bank.
First impressions count
How your home looks makes a huge difference to its appeal.
Paint the front door and windows, jet wash or paint the walls, spruce up the front area, perhaps by putting some nice new decorative chippings down and buying some lovely potted smaller trees, such as bay leaf or cherry laurel, to ‘frame’ the frontage.
Approximate outlay (for the average terraced 3-bed property): £500
As any estate agent will tell you, the most important room in the house is the kitchen, but you don’t have to install a completely new one to make a huge difference.
Firstly, clean the kitchen from top to bottom, and then give it a good paint job. Don’t be afraid to paint over old cabinet doors and fascia (see ‘how to’ guides online), and even old tiling.
New flooring can work wonders too, such as ‘luxury’ vinyl (as the better stuff is referred to these days). Most vinyl is relatively easy to fit, looks great, and costs between £10 and £15 per square metre.
Now add inexpensive but important touches; including new light fittings and blinds, kettles and toasters, fresh tea towels, food caddies, pictures and a mirror or two.
Approximate outlay (for all of the above in an average-sized kitchen): £700.
Lighten the living room
If your living room is drab and dingy, think about how you can let more light in.
Paint the room with lighter colours, and think about adding a stylish feature wall using ‘posh’ wallpaper. If you prefer darker, cosy hues, add lighter colours using cushions, throws, lamps, pictures and mirrors.
Switch out heavy old curtains for lighter ones, or consider getting rid of them altogether and replacing with off-the-shelf blinds (if your windows are of a standard size).
Sand and varnish tired old floorboards, or fit light-shaded new carpet (or at least get the old one cleaned). Add mirrors on walls opposite windows to bounce light around
Also, wash the window glass and paint the frames! This might seem obvious but can be overlooked, even though it has a surprisingly big impact.
Approximate outlay: £600 to £1,000 (sanding floorboards is usually cheaper then decent new carpet).
Beautify the bathroom
The bathroom is second only to the kitchen in terms of its importance to a home’s appeal.
The first rule when sprucing yours up is to de-clutter and deep-clean – and then deep-clean again – to get the sink, bath and shower sparkling!
Dig out any mouldy old silicone sealant around the bath, shower, skirting and other areas and re-do it; it’s amazing the impact this can have.
Paint the walls and ceiling, and add new flooring if your budget allows. As with kitchens, vinyl has improved hugely in recent years and is now an attractive but affordable option.
Next, add a new shower curtain and blinds. Or, if you have a shower door, change the screen seal at the bottom as there’s nothing worse than a grubby one, and think about changing the door itself as they’re relatively cheap to buy.
Add pictures and new accessories, such as a toothbrush holder, soap dispenser and towel rail and rings.
Approximate outlay: £350 to £500.
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Published 16 April 2019