Category: diy (4)

Given the nature of the UK property market, it is easy to see why home owners are keen to add as much value to their home as they possibly can. While there are many ways in which you can make your home look better or feel more comfortable, it can be harder to add genuine value. This is why it is best to listen to the property experts before investing time and money into home improvements.

As you would expect, different experts hold different opinions on what will provide most benefit when adding value to a home. This can seem frustrating to some but it means that homeowners have a number of options to choose from and they can choose an option that best suits their budget or the current condition or layout of their home.

An extension

There is a wide range of possible extensions to choose from, which makes it difficult to note a price for this level of work. Extensions can range from two-story improvements that practically double a house in size to adding a small single story room.


A loft conversion

Given that adding an additional bedroom to your property is said to add an additional 9-10% of value to your home, converting your loft into a bedroom is a great choice for many people. If you are currently only using your loft for storage or no purpose at all, it makes sense to convert it. You need to make sure that converting your loft doesn’t impact on any other living space in your home, but if it doesn’t, you can expect to get a good return on your investment.

Again, the variances involved with loft conversions means it is difficult to state a price you should be paying for this work. A minor loft conversion can cost around £15,000 while many people will expect to pay between £20,000 and £40,000 for a larger conversion.


An additional bathroom

Having an en-suite or additional bathroom can add a lot of utility to your home and property experts predict that an additional bathroom can add 6% to the value of your home. Depending on the size of the room or the materials being used, the cost of a new bathroom can range from £2,500 to £7,000 and beyond depending on your choice of fittings and labour.


An improved kitchen

Kitchens have been consider to be a key aspect of making a home more attractive and adding value to your property of late. There has been a greater acceptance of the fact that the kitchen is the hub of family life, making it an important part of the home. Studies suggest that the average cost of a new kitchen comes in at around £8,000 but a new kitchen can add around 6% value to your home so often this can be seen as a good investment if you were considering selling the property in the coming years. A new kitchen, bathroom or extensive will help increase the level of sale ability to your property too.


A Conservatory

While a conservatory will minimize the amount of space that you have in your garden, it provides you with an additional room. This is also a very pleasurable room which means that there is a lot of benefits to be gained from adding this style of extension. You can expect a good standard of conservatory to add around 5% to the value of your home while the cost of a conservatory can be anything between £4,000 and £10,000 if not more in some cases depending on the size, shape and design.

If you are looking to upgrade the standard of central heating, you can expect to pay around £3,500 and the expected impact on value is likely to be around 5%. This may be one of the more cost-effective ways to add value to your home but it is a decision that every property will need to make. Some of these options will impact on your day to day life more than others, which means you need to think about any impact on your family or home life while work is being carried out.

All of the images use on this blog are properties we have for sale. For more information on our properties: 

You want to sell your house for as high a price as possible, right? You’ll do whatever it takes to increase the value of your home. But what exactly does it take?
It’s common knowledge that bathrooms and kitchens can be the clinchers when it comes to sealing the deal on selling your home, but it doesn’t mean you have to add a brand new kitchen or completely remodel your bathroom to win over people who want to buy your house.
Fact. A new kitchen only adds an average of about £4500 to your home’s value, even if it cost £15,000 to install (that can obviously go up and down pro rata, so you do the math) – depending on how many bells and whistles you add and whether you’re going to do it yourself or get it professionally fitted. For another, personal tastes and styles differ widely, so your idea of the perfect kitchen might not agree with prospective buyers’ ideas of style. You could spend a fortune fitting a new kitchen only for the new owners to rip it out and start again. Then there is the fact that your kitchen might actually be pretty decent, with only a few cosmetic touches required to give it a modern, contemporary design.

So instead of buying a brand new kitchen, why not buy and install some new kitchen cupboards. New cabinets will give your kitchen an instant facelift and they’re not very expensive to install. You can also change your kitchen’s old countertops for something in a high-gloss finish for a fresh new feel. Even a lick of paint can transform your kitchen from drab to fab. Be careful when choosing colours though; it’s best to choose neutral colours that will provide a blank slate for new owners, or to choose harmless cheery colours that house hunters are unlikely to object to.
When you show your house, make sure that all the kitchen surfaces are free of clutter, that all the dishes have been put away and that it’s spotlessly clean.
You can do most of the cosmetic repairs yourself – there are even DIY kitchen kits that you can install yourself if you have your heart set on a new kitchen but want to save costs. Just make ensure that you have the skills necessary to do a good job because a shoddy job that looks cheap and nasty will definitely bring down your house’s price when it comes time to sell. If you’re not sure what you need to do to your house to increase its value, contact an estate agent for advice. No one knows what sells on the housing market like a property expert. Be realistic. If you decide to go ahead, it should be because you want to create a better home environment for yourself and your family, not because you are relying on a new kitchen to add significant value to your home. But remember that too “quirky” a style, which appeals to your taste, could put off future buyers.

Plan your expenditure. Most people now budget for about £10,000 to create a new kitchen, but you don’t have to spend anything like that if you are just looking to refresh the decorations and make some smaller changes. Replacing the doors on your current kitchen cabinet, changing the layout, upgrading your cooker, will all improve your enjoyment of your kitchen space without costing a fortune. Be creative. Whilst built-in kitchens are still the most popular option, free-standing kitchen furniture is becoming increasingly popular. The advantage of introducing some free-standing elements is that you can use them to create additional storage but also as interesting features in a kitchen. An antique plate-rack, or an old pine corner cupboard, can add to the attractiveness of the room, and best of all – you can take them with you when you move.
With estate agents citing a new kitchen as the most popular home improvement, it’s wise to realise that if you decide to upgrade it may make your home more saleable, but it’s unlikely to increase the value of your home enough to cover the cost. But just think how much enjoyment you will get from a beautiful new kitchen, designed just as you want it.

We are a nation of Do-It-Yourselfers – and that’s official. Six out of 10 adults claim to be good or very good at DIY but 12 per cent of people admit that creating a DIY disaster costing hundreds of pounds to remedy, according to a recent survey.
Easy DIY jobs…

• Decorating. Make sure you unscrew electrical sockets and light switch covers to get the best finish, use a long-handled roller for ceilings (and a mini one for behind radiators);
• Bleed radiators. Buy a key from a radiator shop, turn heating off and open each radiator valve – air escapes but as soon as water seeps out, the job is done;
• Putting up shelves. Get appropriate size and strength brackets and timber, use a spirit level to get it straight and rawle plugs to keep those screws in;
• Filling wall cracks. Apply the wet filler, let it dry thoroughly, then sandpaper flat and smooth before you paint over;
• Seal window draughts. Old sashes or loose-fitting windows leak hot air out so fill with self-adhesive foam weather strips. Use the smallest size to do the task to keep it neat.

…but leave these to the professionals

• Any work involving gas can produce leaks, fires or carbon monoxide poisoning and must be left to a Gas Safe-registered professional listed on;
• Complicated electrical work can also be dangerous if botched so use a professional electrician with certification to handle Part P buildings regulations;
• Frozen water pipes have to be replaced by a professional familiar with cutting, bridging and welding pipes if necessary (but you can lag the new ones to prevent a repeat);
• Roofing should be left to those who understand building regulations and best eco-practice regarding membranes, bitumen and tiles, and with access to appropriate scaffolding;
• Unblocking drains is easy with the right length, diameter and strength of brush, but most DIY-ers use small makeshift items which get stuck and worsen the problem.

Wallpapers have been transforming otherwise ordinary rooms into specific, evocative spaces for more than 500 years. And with a few rolls of the stuff — handcrafted by contemporary makers or scooped up from a vendor specializing in vintage stock — you can do that, too. Since many of today’s top wall decor trends have roots in the past, let’s take a quick trip through the archives of wallpaper history.
The earliest wallpapers in the Western world were conceived as alternatives to costlier textile hangings like woven tapestries or embroidered panels, with ornate patterns that riffed on those motifs. The eighteenth century saw a European obsession for hand-painted silk wallcoverings imported from China, and French and British wallpaper manufacturers became wealthy by printing their own interpretations of Eastern designs.
Prior to the industrial revolution, all wallpaper patterns had to be hand-stenciled, hand-painted, or (most commonly) block-printed on individual sheets of handmade paper, which were then joined together to create wall-sized panels. All this changed around 1840, when factory-produced, continuous sheets of paper and mechanized rollers put intricate and colourful patterns within the budgets of the masses. By the late nineteenth century, however, supporters of the Arts & Crafts were fed up with industrialized production and called for a return to traditional crafting methods — notably, British design reformer William Morris, whose beautiful block-printed patterns are still produced today.

Now, even as modern advances in digital printing have revolutionized wallpaper production once again, we’re also seeing a subset of craftspeople return to traditional printing methods, à la William Morris and many of the most up-to-the-minute designs for 2016 are revivals and reinterpretations of historic styles.
Below, find six trends to show that when it comes to wallpaper, what’s old is new again.

DIY Decals
In mid-eighteenth-century England, print rooms were quite the thing: DIY decorators collected inexpensive prints of favorite artworks and pasted them directly to their walls in creative arrangements. The prints were often further embellished with wallpaper frames and decorations manufactured by paper-stainers specifically for this purpose. Today, removable vinyl decals alleviate the potential for mess, and give us even more freedom to cut, paste, and move stuff around our walls. Thanks vinyl!

Lush Botanicals and Florals
Big, bright botanical patterns help us feel more connected to nature, even when we’re stuck indoors. Some beautiful examples were produced by early nineteenth-century French manufacturers; as horticulture was a fashionable hobby at the time, botanically accurate images of roses abounded. This year, look for tropical-inspired patterns featuring motifs like palm fronds, hibiscuses or twisting jungle vines, or classic florals updated with vibrant colour palettes to bring a 21st-century feel to this timeless concept.

Trompe L’oeil Texture


Another favored nineteenth-century trend making an appearance in 2016 collections is trample l’oeil. French for “fool the eye,” trompe l’oeil wallpapers create the illusion of a textured surface on a flat wall. By choosing paper instead of the real deal, consumers were able to get the look of draped fabric, elaborate moulding, gilt and leather — without the price and upkeep. Today’s designers tend to focus on patterns that imitate natural materials (and in a strong second place, faux bookshelf prints), but don’t overlook vintage papers for tufted, lattice, and even macramé inspired styles.
Repeating Vignettes
During the mid-Victorian era’s Rococo revival, quirky, toile-like patterns with little repeating vignettes of exotic or idyllic locations were very popular for the parlor; scenes of bucolic life and architecture from far-off lands show up with frequency. In the 20th and 21st centuries, we’ve seen playful new riffs on this old style, which is good news for parlors (and living rooms and bedrooms) everywhere.
Room-Specific Papers
Jumping forward to the 1950s, we find an affinity for themed wallpapers specific to spaces like kitchens, kids’ rooms and laundry rooms. After decades of turmoil brought on by the Depression and then WWII, Americans were eager to settle into the good life. Wallpaper reflected this desire quite literally by depicting objects associated with a comfortable domestic existence. Food themed patterns are a fun and witty choice for cooking and dining areas.

Geometric Feature Walls
Another great throwback to postwar America is the feature wall papered with a large scale geometric pattern. Many of the new homes mass-produced for suburban developments featured wide-open floor plans. People found that papering a bold pattern on just one wall helped to bring interest and intimacy to a living space without becoming overwhelming. For 2016, geometrics incorporating thinner lines and neutral tones are particularly on trend.

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