Five Tips to Add Value And Usability To Your Home

Now that we’ve got over the Spring Cleaning bug there’s another seasonally affective disorder to combat; the Summer of Home Improvements! We all know how it starts, the weather gets a bit hotter and you start to feel twitchy, shifting furniture around the house, painting the odd wall, then, all of a sudden we want to move house, if you live in the country you’ll want to move into town, if you live in town then the rural idyll becomes almost overpowering. However the practicalities of such an upheaval often put all but the most rash off of the idea.

If you’re sensible enough to restrain yourself from looking for a new mortgage there are some options that will make

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

your home feel like new and add value so that when it comes time to sell.

Professional insiders recommend that spending more than 20% of the value of your home could be a mistake; you can’t be guaranteed to recoup the costs and you could price you house out of the market if you’ve left your neighbours for a standing start in the value of your property.

But this info shouldn’t make you hold back, fore-warned is fore-armed after all so just watch the costs and be selective about the improvements you make. Often the cheapest and easiest are the most productive.

Repainting can be one of the cheapest ways to put a new gloss on your home, literally, but instead of getting the decorators in, couldn’t you do it yourself or even just wash the walls thoroughly? There’s no hard and fast way of knowing for sure what your endeavours will achieve financially but it’s often the little fixes that, in a percentage scale, pay off the most. Sticky doors, cracked fingerplates and dangerously broken switches can put buyers off but repairing them can often cost nothing, a few dollars at most but make the home look so much better to prospective buyers.

Whatever you do, don’t get a swimming pool.

A swimming pool is hugely expensive to dig, line and maintain and will actually knock it’s own price off of the original value of your home. Instead, there are five killer fixes which can take your home from hum drum to all a-buzz making it more pleasant to live in and like flypaper when it comes to putting it on the market.


Photo by HCG

Curb Appeal: The first impression your home gives the potential buyer is something that’s incredibly difficult to claw back if you get it wrong. Your home has to hit the buyer right between the eyes. Plant hardy plants so that they don’t look tired or dying even if you’ve no time to maintain them. Keep the outside of your house clean and perfectly maintained. Toys in the garden might say child friendly to you, to a buyer they say “squalid,” trust me!


Basic Housekeeping: Fixing stiff doors, creaky stairs and replacing light bulbs as they come to your notice will not only save you aggravation keeping on top of these chores will mean that you don’t have an entire catalogue of jobs to do the day before you have a viewing.

Paint and Polish: When things start to look shabby and dull or ingrained in dirt from fingers on doors and walls,

Photo by Walulla Junction

crack out a can of paint and exorcise it! Keeping wood furniture polished and metalwork a-glister will make your home look well maintained and comfortable.

Energy Efficiency: As well as cutting your bills for the duration of your ownership, energy efficient household goods will make your home, your kitchen in particular attractive. With energy prices so high at the moment and with no prospect of their falling any time soon efficiency is going to become more appealing than ever.

Fiddle With Fixtures: A very cheap and quick trick is to replace light fittings, door knobs and cupboard handles. They’ll make your lounge or kitchen look new and improved, fashionable while costing next to nothing.

Dan Cash is a feature writer who’s always looking for ways to gussy up his house just in case it ever comes time to sell. By looking for energy efficient kitchen accessories like chest freezers and Bosch washing machines you not only save on bills you increase the value of your home.

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