Home improvements – what are they and why bother with them? Simply put, home improvements involve more than just maintaining the elements of your home, i.e. roofing, walls, floors, windows, etc. Remodeling and renovating are big parts of this and the main aim of embarking on such projects is all in aid of ensuring that a level of comfort, security and functionality is created in your home.
Furthermore, making home improvements, in essence, involves placing more value on the investment you made when purchasing your home. “For most people their home will be their biggest single asset –it makes sense to protect your investment – and maintaining a home regularly and on an ongoing basis does that,” affirmed Barry Davis, Franchising Director for Chas Everitt Property Group.
“Outside of the fact that maintenance comes at a cost, the obvious advantage is that it helps protect the value of your home. A poorly maintained home – should it come to selling – has buyers mentally discounting your price based often on a guesstimate of repair costs which may well exceed reality. But that doesn’t change the fact that they will make lower offers,” Davis continued.
Continuous maintenance and additions to your home can benefit you. But you must know which areas to focus on, before you decide to knock down walls or change colour schemes. Here are our recommendations for where to start:
Whether you have the intention to sell or sublet, or neither of the two, it is in your best interest to keep your home investment in a good condition. More often than not, most home improvements come from the necessity or the desire for comfort. For instance, removing a wall that once separated your kitchen and entertainment area will ensure you don’t miss out on any of the conversation your loved ones are involved in while you put final touches to whatever culinary masterpiece you’re busy with. This type of open plan kitchen-living space is a popular trend. Following this trend could yield amazing benefits for you, your family and your investment, which is why improvements to kitchen areas gets first mention on this short list of top five areas to improve in your home.
Bathroom Improvements & Renovation
Coming in second, but in no particular order, are bathrooms. Retiling your bathrooms, and including an entirely new range of toilet bowls, bath tubs, showers, taps and mirror styling’s is another great way to give your home a make-over. And if you’re so inclined, installing a Jacuzzi or sauna will add value to your comfort needs, however changes of this nature may not necessarily add property value to your home.
“From an enjoyment perspective – adding the likes of a Jacuzzi may suit your lifestyle and desires, but with some buyers it (Jacuzzi and sauna) may not feature on their wish list and may not affect their estimate of value,” Davis explained.
The state of your roof is something to consider as well. Whether you’ll retile the exterior or re-insulate, change ceilings or merely repaint them, ensuring your roofs maintains a high level of protection from the elements while conserving energy will be most valuable. “The likes of modernization like bathroom upgrades and kitchens will more often have a positive impact.
Opt for Sustainable Improvements
In today’s environment, with utility costs soaring and power interruptions; improvements like water heaters, solar powered geysers and low wattage lighting to decrease consumption can also have a positive impact,” said Davis. Energy efficiency is more than a buzz word that home owners are attracted to. The benefits of having low power consuming technologies cannot be ignored. Similarly, installing state-of-the-art security systems, reinforced windows that have dual functions (such as sound proofing) will benefit your standard of living and give your home investment more value.
Fix Up Your Floors
Your floors are also important to look at. By retiling, refinishing your wooden floors or reinstalling new floors, you’ll give your home a kind of face-lift that can be both subtle and impactful. If you’ve been ignoring your home, based on the notion that making changes to its design will increase your home insurance cover premiums, you have no reason to worry. As it stands there are a number of innovative services with which the comparison of home insurance as well as other financial services products is possible. These enable you to find the product or service which is suited to your needs. Furthermore, Davis assures that, ”Insurance companies use replacement value as the yardstick, not market value per se. So, whilst the “market value” of your home might have gone up or down – it’s not relevant from an insurance perspective.”
And, because your home exterior acts as your home’s cover (so to say), ensuring that your landscape and garden are kept tidy with an attractive design will surely give your neighbours good reason to stop and stare. Maintaining your doors, gutters and paving are other great ways of keeping your home investment high in value.
Many homeowners often fear the costs that may be associated with renovations and improvements to their homes. But with a little creativity and elbow grease, making small improvements need not amount to a costly exercise. There will be times when you need to call the experts in but with a bit of research you will be able to source the appropriate contractors that can make the necessary changes you had in mind, without breaking the bank.
The most important thing to bear in mind as we’ve mentioned throughout the article is that by making the necessary improvements, you’re most likely to be adding to the asset value of your home. Though you might need to set aside the required funds for any renovations that are required, the anticipated return on investment especially from the above mentioned home improvements will be worth your while.