If you just moved to your new property -or you have been living in it for a while-, you have probably started thinking about what should you change. There are always details of the property that aren’t entirely your style and perhaps you are thinking of a thousand ways to make upgrades. Of course, owning a heated pool or a tropical garden might seem cool, but first you need to cover the basics. Letting yourself go with the first urges can end up proving expensive.
Once you’ve recognised you need renovations, there are two options you must consider. Some people prefer to take care of the improvements slowly but steady, throughout the years. This is a good option if you don’t have money enough for what you need/want to do, and the property is good enough to move in. This way, you can do the upgrades as you can afford them (for example, room by room). This is specially recommended for handymen, because they will be able to keep with the work and save some extra cash. The only thing you need it patience!
However, there are people who already have the savings to take care of everything at once and they don’t want to dedicate too much time to it. If that’s your case, don’t hesitate! But please mind that you might need to find an accommodation while the works are being carried out.
Upgrades are also interesting if you are thinking about selling your property. Doing renovations can have a very positive impact to buyers for a small amount of money.
Either way, a refurbishment isn’t a decision you should take lightly. It’s better to know which are the most important upgrades that will really increase the quality of your life and the market value of your property without draining your bank account. That’s why you should write down a list of everything you think that needs to be changed and estimate how long and how much money would they take.
Here’s a collection of the best upgrades for your home!
First things first: before you start imagining new vanities or a skylight, check that the structure of your property is strong. A fractured or sunk roof, leakages, damped walls, crooked or cracked walls, insect infestation or a tilted floor can ruin an otherwise splendorous home. Structural works are very expensive, but strictly necessary. Plus, they will increase the market value of the property. If you just bought it, you probably already inspected it and you know what’s more urgent. In case you’ve been living there for a while, we recommend you hire a home inspector to get some advice.
Every real estate expert will agree that the kitchen is the most valuable room in terms of upgrades. A comprehensive renovation can be expensive, but you can recover the 80% of your investment for relatively little money. You can replace details such as furniture, kitchen cabinets and the sink; paint the walls; or install an energy efficient lighting system. It can also be a good opportunity to replace old appliances with new ones, more efficient and eco-friendly. They can reduce your energy bills by almost 20%.
The bathroom is the second most valuable room in terms of renovations. That’s where there’s more damage of wear and tear, so check that everything works fine and make upgrades when necessary. Make sure there are natural lights and evaluate if you can add windows to let some fresh air in. Also, bet on glass shower screens (they look more spacious) and marble or granite countertops, as they are cleaner, sleeker and more resistant. You can change tiles, taps or shower curtains as well. These last two are the cheapest upgrades for renovating your bathroom, and they will make a difference!
If you are going to sell your home, don’t hesitate to buy new colorful towels if your bathroom’s colour seems too neutral. It will bring a homey and modern touch.
Tip! Did you know that a house with four rooms should have at least two bathrooms? Although you should never give bedroom space up to build a restroom, investigate if there is a “dead corner” in the house to install one. Adding a bathroom to the master suite is usually a good investment even if you have to remodel the existing space.
Knowing the best type of floor for each room will help you increase the value of your home. For example, the parquet flooring (specially bamboo or cherry wood) is perfect because it lasts quite a lot, it’s easy to renovate and also cheap.
Avoid carpets and rugs as much as possible, as they become easily soiled and can be especially annoying to people with dust allergy.
On the other hand, tiles are the safest bet for bathrooms!
Energy efficient home
As we explained in this article, an energy efficient home reduces costs and increases its value. You may not notice it immediately, but you will see its benefits in the long run. Especially for your pocket! Soundproof windows, natural lights, insulated walls, non-toxic materials… these are details that can’t be seen at first but are worth it. Not only in terms of quality of life but also if you’re thinking of selling your property, as more and more buyers demand energy efficient homes, as Rosie Mulvany of Sherry Fitzgerald, an Ireland property broker, justifies.
Improving the heating of your house goes hand in hand with having an energy efficient home. Try to use the gas whenever is possible, as oil prices are higher in many countries. Although installing central heating will cost more at first, it will reduce your bills considerably. In addition, you won’t need radiators that don’t match with the style of your property and take up space.
Electricity and plumbing
They are responsible for the household appliances and other basic hygiene and cleaning items. Therefore, it is crucial that electrical and water systems are in place with the current legislation and that they work fine. If they haven’t been checked for a while, consider having them evaluated and reformed.
Extra plugs and switches will also add value to your home. Don’t forget to check that they are located in the right places. If your house has more than one floor, study the possibility of installing independent circuits.
Take this opportunity to include air extractors in the bathroom and check the pipes, as they may be worn-out. In addition, consider having a pressurised plumbing system instead of gravity fed, as it doesn’t need a header tank.
If you want to take your house to the next level and you’re anyway carrying out fixture renovations, you can build in a music system or room temperature control. Here are some example of gadgets that will help your home be up to the latest technology.
Upgrades in the outside of the house
This is essential to consider if you want to sell your house. First impressions matter! I’m sure you don’t want to run out of buyers because of a sloppy garden or a broken gate, right? The way your house looks on the outside influences its final value and there are upgrades that can have a very positive impact. For example, paint the facade; repair cracks; add a porch; improve the driveway; cultivate plants in your garden; and have a good exterior lighting.
Painting your house is one of the cheapest ways to make it look better and increase its market value. You can also upgrade the walls for very little money. If possible, stay away from bright colors and choose clear and neutral tones to give way to luminosity and create a calm atmosphere.
If you already know which upgrades you are going to do to your house, here you are 6 tools that will help you visualize it during the process. These apps will give you an exact image of how it will look like.
Can you think of other renovations you could make to have the best home? Share your opinion in the comment box below!