Many homeowners toy with the idea of updating their property, bringing it into the 21st Century and enabling the space to be used most effectively by the whole family. However, with so many choices when it comes to DIY jobs, it can be hard to know how to renovate a home, particularly in a way that packs the biggest punch.
That is why we have put together some home improvement projects that have the greatest impact, not only changing the way the property looks, but how much it is used and loved by everyone living there.
- New driveway
While you might be tempted to start updating your house by ripping out old bathrooms and replacing them, sometimes it is a good idea to begin with the outside. This is because the exterior of the property is the first thing people see when they visit, and therefore, it has a huge effect on how they view the rest of the house.
According to Better Homes & Gardens: “Curb appeal truly begins at the curb, so it makes sense to create an attractive driveway.”
If your drive is looking a bit worse for wear, you can update it by replacing it with gravel or new paving. Alternatively, you could customise it by adding a pattern or texture to concrete before it sets.
There is a huge choice when it comes to driveway materials and designs, so pick carefully. You will even find asphalt can be coloured or patterned to look like slate, stone or brick, giving it a superior look without the price-tag.
- Doors and windows
Curb appeal is exactly why the front door and windows are also good areas to focus on if you want to renovate your property.
A report by Remodeling.net found that the return on investment for replacing the front door was 91.3 per cent. When picking a door, it is a good idea to go for a solid one that looks pricey. By finding an inexpensive installation, you will be able to save costs and spend more on a better-looking door.
When it comes to windows, having poor-quality, cheap-looking window not only lets down the appearance of the house, but it also raises alarm bells about its energy efficiency and security. If you are planning to renovate your property in order to sell it, having old-fashioned windows will make any potential buyers think your home will cost a fortune to heat as lots of warmth is lost through single-glazed windows, and will be easy for burglars to break into.
Therefore, updating your home with secure double-glazed windows is essential. Timber windows in Gloucestershire will complement most properties, and instantly give the façade a revamp.
It is not just the outside of windows that is important, but how you dress them. In the blog A Beautiful Mess, one of the most effective ways a couple changed the look of their house was by updating their window treatments.
“Hanging curtains high and beside my living room window made the window look much larger, and for a very nominal cost … I also replaced other window treatments with nicer window shades and / or new rods and curtains placed higher and wider around the window. Each of the rooms feel much more grand now,” they wrote.
According to Tower Gate Insurance, mending outside décor is one of the most profitable home renovation jobs you can do, adding £25,000 – or ten per cent of the value – on to the price of the residence worth £250,000.
Simple kitchen updates
For some homeowners, there is nothing they want more than to knock through their kitchen, extend it to create an open-plan living space and give it a complete revamp.
However, many people do not have the budget or space to build their dream kitchen-diner in their home. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, as simple kitchen updates can still be incredibly effective at sprucing up the space.
You could replace countertops, hang new fixtures up, install under-cabinet lighting, paint the tiles, fit different knobs to the doors, change the window blinds, or give the cabinets a new colour. Replacing the accessories might not feel like it will make a huge amount of difference, but you will be surprised about the impact this could have in transforming the kitchen.
Generally, unless they are really old or you want to change the layout of the room, the cabinets will be fine to keep, and doors can look totally different with a new lick of paint. This means you can turn a traditional farm kitchen into a modern one, or vice versa, simply by swapping the fixtures and fittings.
Homeowners will also be pleased to know that undertaking a minor kitchen remodel actually has one of the best returns on investment, as the cost is relatively low. Even if you replace the flooring and appliances, you can still recoup 81.1 per cent of the cost spent when selling it.
Those who want to really enjoy their kitchen space before putting it on the market might, however, be tempted to knock through walls, install breakfast bars or islands, fit wine fridges or integrated appliances, and update its technology with things like hidden charging docks. A kitchen revamp is likely to be the most valuable renovation project, in terms of how much satisfaction and enjoyment is gained from it. Financially, it is thought to add six per cent to the value of a property, increasing the asking price of a £250,000 house by £15,000.
While a brand new kitchen is one of the biggest DIY jobs you can undertake, painting is one of the smallest – and simplest.
However, you might underappreciate how much a new lick of paint can spruce up a property, making it look fresh, clean and bright again.
If you have old-fashioned wallpaper, stripping this off and painting a plain colour on to the walls could even make the room appear bigger and less busy. However, there are several ways you can use paints to add patterns to your home should you wish to, from painting some block art to the walls to creating a feature wall on one side or around a fireplace.
Better Homes & Gardens says: “Limit your wall colour to two or three related hues to unify your home’s look from room to room. Painting trim the same colour throughout your home helps tie everything together.”
If you fancy painting a few rooms but do not know where to start when it comes to choosing colours, you might take inspiration from Dulux’s Colour of the Year 2019 Spiced Honey.
Described as a “warm amber tone, inspired by the beauty and versatility of honey itself”. Dulux states it can be “soothing or calming, cosy or vibrant”, making it a good choice for a living room, bedroom or even kitchen.
Good House Keeping magazine also suggests using classic blue, blush pink, burnt orange, peacock, hunter green, clay, or bright white as other good colours this year.
Many homeowners love the look of white-painted homes, as it adds a brightness to a room, allows you to decorate it with vibrant fixtures and fittings, and has a crisp, clean look to it.
Interior designer Breeze Giannasio told the publication: “While this might have been a sterile envelope before, it’s only getting more subtle and layered.”
Indeed, there are different shades of white, which he says add “age and depth” to the design of a room, making it appear larger and more spacious than before.