While you might enjoy making the occasional home improvement, and you might have convinced yourself that it’s only for the sake of keeping your house in good condition, there is a part of you that just loves looking at the results of all your hard work. The good news for DIY enthusiasts is that all your projects are helping your house climb up the property ladder, so you should stand to make quite a bit of money if you ever need to move. However, you shouldn’t need to blow your budget to transform your house into your dream home. Here are a few cost-effective ways to help your property increase in value; some of them even pay for themselves.
Create more bedrooms
If you have an attic, basement, or garage just going to waste as a storage room, the easiest way to add value to your home is to renovate one of these into a bedroom, or maybe an extra bathroom if this is the common cause of an argument between family members. Getting a consultation is often free, and it’s important for you to know whether a conversion is possible before you start calculating a budget. You will need to strengthen the floor joists, which will raise the floor of the loft, so you need an architect's or builder’s expert opinion on whether you will have a sensible space to stand up in when you’ve finished. The average national cost for attic renovations is $49,438; however, project costs will vary depending on a number of factors. Alternatively, you could put up walls in existing rooms to create two separate spaces, or knock down a non-structural wall to design a bigger, open-plan living room and dining room.
It really does pay to go green. Some studies estimate that eco-friendly houses can fetch up to 35 percent more on the real estate market. Effective insulation will slow the rate that heat escapes from your house in winter, and will also slow the rate that heat gets into your house during the summer, thus reducing the amount you spend on your energy bills. Solar panels are becoming increasingly desirable because they generate the building’s own electricity; in California, for example, a small 3.1-kilowatt (kW) system can add an average of $18,324 to the value of a medium-sized home. The benefits only get better as you increase the size of the panels. Double-glazed windows are not just effective at preserving heat, they look so much better than single pane windows made of aluminum and wood, so they house will also have an aesthetic improvement. These are just some of the more common ways that people choose to make their home green. The US Green Building Council’s LEED Certification is one way to communicate to buyers that a home is sustainable and green. The green label means a lot to buyers, as it rates your home’s energy efficiency and sustainability across multiple measurements.
Speaking of keeping the heat in, when was the last time you spent some time in your garage? It’s always a cold space. In your efforts to reduce your energy bills, have you considered how much heat also escapes from your garage door? It might be time to switch out your rusty old garage door for the best roller doors you can find in your area; not only do they look more presentable, but the thermally efficient curtain of an insulated roller garage door reduces the amount of heat lost from inside the home making it perfect for properties that feature a bedroom above the garage or where the space is to be used as a workshop. Or you can keep using it as a storage space and feel happy in the knowledge that your home is energy efficient.
Let the light in
No one wants to live in near darkness, so those small, badly lit rooms at the back of the house aren’t doing you any favours. If expanding the windows doesn’t make a difference, then you must use decorations to light up the room. Hanging mirrors opposite the window will reflect any natural light that makes its way into the room and white paint will make the space look brighter. You should also consider the decorations that are adorning the room; make sure your bookcases are not parallel to the windows, because this can disrupt the flow of light. Keep bookcases perpendicular to the window, or eliminate them altogether by opting for open shelving. Open shelves add depth to a small room and they aren’t as bulky as bookcases.
When you’re renovating your kitchen, you should consider invest in some energy efficient appliances. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but technology has made dramatic strides since the 1970's. New appliances are more energy efficient than their predecessors, so you’re actually wasting more money by not buying new appliances. Refrigerators and freezers, for example, aren’t something you can afford to turn off, so it’s better for your finances if you buy something that cuts down on your electricity consumption. Energy efficient dishwashers also cost less to run than the lowest rated dishwashers of the same size, and they use less water which is good news for your water bills.
An immaculate interior won’t do much if the garden looks wild and overgrown. Tangled trees and unkempt bushes can obscure views, darken interiors, and promote mold, so it’s also in the best interests of your family if you prune the trees. You should also spend some time this summer clearing the gutter of any debris and dead leaves so you don’t encourage small animals to make their nest in there. Additionally, outdoor spaces have become more desirable as more people opt for staycations instead of going abroad for the summer. A garden with a deck is in high demand with homebuyers, so building a deck in your garden can increase the value and desirability of your home in case you ever want to sell.