For most home-owners, their house is their single most valuable asset and when they plan to sell, they want to make a profit. Often, that means figuring out how to increase the value of your home. A quick Google search will bring up a whole bunch of suggestions, many of which involve major (and expensive) home renovations such as converting a loft or adding an extension. For many people, this simply isn’t worth the hassle and cost involved for the difference in price when the house is put on sale.
But this isn’t the only way. You don’t have to call in a professional and spend a fortune to add value to your home. There are many smaller house improvements that you can do yourself and reap the rewards later down the line. There’s something for everyone: cheap and easy DIY projects for beginners, as well as more advanced home improvements for the DIY aficionados amongst us.
Get inspired by these 33 DIY projects and home improvement tips that will increase property value and make your home much easier to sell when the time comes.
Quick NavigationKitchen DIY ProjectsPaint Kitchen Cabinets Install New Cabinet HardwareInstall a BacksplashHome Improvement Tips for the BathroomAdd storageReplace the TapsReplace the toilet seatInstall a new shower headRedo the bathroom floorInstall a towel rackInterior Home Improvements that Increase Property ValueDIY Crown MoldingModernise light fixturesRepaint the property in neutral coloursRemove popcorn ceilingsReplace carpetsHang mirrors to open up roomsAdd storage where possibleReplace dated wallpaperKnock down walls to create open plan living spacesAdd insulationFill holes and cracks in the wallsRestore hardwood floorsUpdate worn internal doorsUpdating Exteriors for Added Curb AppealRepaint or replace your front doorBasic landscapingAdvanced landscapingRe-pave drivewaysPaint window framesMaintain guttersRepair the roofWash the exterior of your homePower wash your drivewayRepaint exteriors
Kitchen DIY Projects
The kitchen is now the most valuable room in the house and is one of the biggest selling points for potential buyers. It’s no longer just a place to cook food; instead it’s often the hub for socialising and hosting guests. A full kitchen remodel can add serious selling power and massively increase the value of your home, but even smaller incremental changes in the form of easier kitchen DIY projects can make a difference when it comes to valuation day and attracting buyers.
Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchen cabinet often endure a lot of abuse, with grease and grime from cooking often slowly building up over time. Plus, different kitchen styles are always going in and out of fashion, so it’s easy for cupboards you bought several years ago to start looking dated. A repaint can revitalise and modernise your kitchen, whilst saving you the far bigger expense of refitting the entire room with brand new cabinets.
Quick tip: Use white paint to bring a bright airy feel to the room.
Install New Cabinet Hardware
Your do it yourself cabinets don’t have to end at a new paint job. Unfashionable or worn out cabinet handles and pulls can really age a kitchen, so consider installing new ones to make your kitchen more appealing and up to date. This is also a great opportunity to fix any pressing issues you might be experiencing with cupboard doors – for instance, misaligned doors, scratched doors or damaged varnish.
Quick tip: Sleek chrome handles are a fantastic way to bring your kitchen on-trend.
Install a Backsplash
Installing a kitchen backsplash will instantly boost the value of your home. By adding one behind your hob, you can protect wallpaper and paint from cooking splatter, which can stain and damage walls. On top of that, they act as a barrier against water, blocking the growth of mould.
They’re available in a wide range of styles and materials, from ceramic tile to glass, metal and wood. This means you’re sure to find one that really matches your kitchen and enhances its unique flair. This fantastic mix of functionality and beauty is why it’s a great home improvement and one of the best ways to increase home value.
Home Improvement Tips for the Bathroom
Like the kitchen, the bathroom is a crucial room for any buyer. As bathrooms are constantly exposed to water and damp, it’s worth carrying out a few simple DIY jobs to make sure it’s in tip-top condition before you start showing buyers around the place. Although none of these changes are as dramatic as a full-blown bathroom renovation, having new fittings can help when your home is being valued.
Ample storage is one of the most desired attributes in a home nowadays, but it’s quite common for bathrooms to be a bit short in that department. Building your own bathroom cabinet or installing a set of floating shelves can remedy this, as well as providing a cost-effective way to add value to your home.
Replace the Taps
Fitting new hardware to your sinks and bath is a straightforward and cheap home improvement that will instantly renew your bathroom’s appearance. Brand new fittings will always go down well with buyers!
Replace the toilet seat
If your toilet seat is starting to look worn, installing a new one is a very easy 10 minute job and only requires a few basic tools. Of course, don’t expect a huge increase in value from this, but it will improve the appearance of your bathroom.
Install a new shower head
Shower heads don’t last forever – they’re in a bacteria rich environment, and over time, they can start to develop mould or slime that resists attempts to clean it. Eventually, they need replacing and if you’re looking to sell your home anyway, it’s a very easy DIY project (even for beginners!) that will heighten your home’s appeal.
Redo the bathroom floor
If your bathroom floor is starting to look dated or has been damaged, laying a new floor can bring new life to your bathroom. By saving the new owners a job, you’re also likely to add value to your home.
It does require a bit of skill – particularly if you’re laying tiles – so make sure you’ve done your research, and if in doubt hire a professional.
Install a towel rack
If your bathroom doesn’t have one, installing a towel rack is a really simple upgrade. The difficulty of this will depend on whether or not you need to drill into tile, but with proper preparation this shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. Again, don’t expect your house’s market value to skyrocket, but it is a nice additional feature for buyers.
Interior Home Improvements that Increase Property Value
Some improvements aren’t specific to rooms, but can be implemented across your entire property to modernise your home and increase its value. Decor trends change over time, and you might find there are certain features that are ageing your home and making it appear outdated.
DIY Crown Molding
Crown molding, or cornice, is all the rage right now. It can bring an elegant finish to any room and seriously upgrade your overall decor. That means added appeal for buyers and more money for you! It can be tricky to put up as you’ve got to get the angles right, but if you can manage DIY crown molding you can save yourself a fortune on installation costs and get a better return on investment.
Modernise light fixtures
Fluorescent lighting used to be popular, but nowadays looks dated and harsh. Instead, opt for recessed lights for a soft and timeless glow in rooms like the kitchen. Other fashionable options include wall sconces and modern chandeliers.
WARNING: Always ensure you cut off a room’s electricity before undertaking any electrical work. Make sure you know exactly what you’re doing and if unsure consult an electrician.
Repaint the property in neutral colours
If you chose to paint your house in garish colours when you last decorated, you might live to regret it. Buyers want neutral colours that go with lots of different things, like greys, whites and creams – a blank slate, essentially. Redecorating in these colours will make your property far more desirable and valuable. After all, who wants to move into a house and immediately start painting over the neon orange paint that the last owner left behind?
Plus, if you skip the decorator and do it yourself, you’ll save yourself a load of money, with the only expense then being materials and paint.
Remove popcorn ceilings
Removing them can be messy, but don’t be too intimidated. As long as you’ve got a decent level of DIY knowhow, it’s definitely doable.
Once upon a time, popcorn ceilings (often referred to as Artex ceilings in the UK) were considered the height of fashion. Nowadays they’re widely considered eyesores that can put buyers off a property. That can translate to a big drop in house value for you if you’ve got them. Removing them, on the other hand, will modernise your home and increase its value.
WARNING: Asbestos wasn’t completely banned in the UK until the year 2000, and many popcorn ceilings and Artex coatings contained this hazardous and carcinogenic material. Before attempting any work, it’s crucial that you get the ceiling professionally tested for asbestos, as you will need a specialist to remove them if they contain it. Removing ceilings containing asbestos can disturb the fibres and allow them to enter your lungs.
Over time, carpets can become threadbare, flattened and stained. If this is the case in your house, it’s wise to replace battered old carpet with new flooring. Laminate flooring can be a good choice, as it’s cost-effective, durable and it’s a DIY project you can work on yourself, saving the need for a handyman.
Hang mirrors to open up rooms
A well-placed mirror can do wonders for the appearance of small or narrow rooms, as they add depth and make them appear larger. In fact, this is a classic home staging technique used by estate agents to entice buyers. Remember, it’s not just about what your estate agent thinks – you’ve got to convince buyers that your house is worth spending money on, and little touches like this can make all the difference.
Add storage where possible
Many older and smaller homes are lacking in storage. Adding additional cupboards and shelves where possible will make your home more practical and easier to live in, making it stand out from other properties. There are many cheap DIY options available, so it’s a simple way to improve the appraised value of homes.
Replace dated wallpaper
What was popular 20 years ago often looks hopelessly outdated today. This includes busy and overly patterned wallpaper, with neutral walls a far more fashionable option today. Replacing dated wallpaper with neutral paint will make your home easier to sell.
Knock down walls to create open plan living spaces
Of course, this isn’t a job for the faint of heart and is most suitable for experienced DIYers. You’ve also got to avoid any load-bearing walls (unless you want your house to collapse), so it’s worth bringing in a surveyor before you carry out the work.
Open-plan living spaces are very popular nowadays, with many favouring light, spacious and multi-purpose rooms over smaller rooms. If you can, knocking down a wall between two rooms (such as the kitchen and living room) will allow you to capitalise on this trend and increase home value.
Eco-friendly and energy efficient homes will always do better on the market than their counterparts. Solid wall insulation can really improve a house’s EPC rating and you can actually receive grants to help you with the cost. Without insulation your property will lose between 30-45% of its heat and who wants to live in a cold house?
It’s not easy to install yourself, and again it’s more of a job for those experienced at DIY. However, if you’re confident you can manage it, you can save yourself the installation costs and improve the return on investment.
Fill holes and cracks in the walls
Over time, holes, chips and cracks can appear in plaster walls. This is often a result of general wear and tear, but they’re worth repairing before you put the house on the market. This is an easy DIY project that will improve the appearance of your home and the extra bit of effort can boost its value.
Restore hardwood floors
Hardwood floors are a really desired feature nowadays, but in the past they were often covered up by other types of flooring like carpet. If you discover original wooden floors under your existing flooring, restoring them is a fantastic way to increase the value of houses. With the right sanding tools and a touch of wood stain, you can refinish hardwood floors to their original glory.
Update worn internal doors
Internal doors are constantly in use, and so can deteriorate over time. Think scuffs, scratches and even falling out of place all together! Replacing them with fresh new doors can really enhance your home’s aesthetic appeal.
Similarly, you can refresh your doors with new handles. This is a minor aesthetic improvement, but one that’s very simple to implement. Door handles can become damaged with repeat use (or they can just start to look outdated) and replacing them can help when staging your home for viewers.
Updating Exteriors for Added Curb Appeal
If you’re looking to sell your home, you’ve probably heard all about curb appeal: it’s how attractive and well-maintained your home looks from the outside, and it’s the first impression that any would-be buyer will get. Does your house look run-down and dilapidated, or like an attractive and modern home?
Naturally, many sellers wonder “how much value does curb appeal add?” and whether it’s actually worth the investment. As it stands, estate agents have found that exterior improvements and landscaping can generate a return on investment of 150% or more! That’s one of the best returns on home improvement you can get.
Repaint or replace your front door
Front doors are an obvious focal point for anyone entering your home – and a worn out door can give the wrong impression. For a cheaper solution, simply repaint your front door to brighten and refresh your home’s exterior. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, opting to replace the door means you can select a more modern style to fall in line with today’s trends.
Just how much does landscaping improve home value? Well, it probably goes without saying that an overgrown and out of control garden can seriously impact on your property’s curb appeal. On the other hand, a well maintained and landscaped garden will help to create a positive first impression for buyers and you don’t need to make major changes to capitalise on this.
Your first step is basic garden maintenance – this means getting rid of unwanted weeds and beautifying your yard with colourful flower beds.
- Pull weeds
- Add mulch
- Cut grass
- Plant flower beds
If you’re looking for more advanced landscaping DIY projects, you’ve come to the right place. Here are just a few ways you can make the most of your DIY skills to improve curb appeal and raise the value of your home.
- Add water features
- Install rock gardens
- Build patios and additional walkways
- Add raised beds and stone walls
Driveways degrade over time, and if you’re looking to sell it can be worth repairing or re-paving yours. This isn’t necessarily an easy job, and it’s certainly physically demanding – so don’t undertake this lightly. It’s vital that you get the sub-base right, and that you check for buried services before carrying out any excavation work.
- Pull weeds
- Add mulch
- Cut grass
- Plant flower beds
Paint window frames
If you’re looking for easy DIY home projects , adding a fresh lick of paint to exterior window frames can provide an instant refresh. Peeling and cracked paint is never a good look and will make your home appear run-down and poorly maintained.
Keeping your gutters in good shape is essential for preventing water damage in your home. Beyond these practical benefits, poorly maintained gutters can smell and look bad, and put off potential buyers. Regularly cleaning and repairing your gutters will keep them running properly, and will ensure that you don’t take a curb appeal hit.
Repair the roof
That said, for obvious reasons roof repairs are a potentially risky job to undertake, so even experienced DIYers should only attempt smaller repairs like fixing a leak or replacing a few shingles. For bigger jobs, or if you’re in any doubt whatsoever, hire a professional roofer.
There’s plenty that can go wrong with a roof, from broken and missing tiles to cracked chimneys. Buyers know that getting a roof repaired can be costly, and so a damaged roof will affect the appraisal value of homes.
- Wear rubber soled shoes to prevent slipping
- Make sure there’s someone on the ground watching.
- Never go on the roof in inclement weather, such as wind or rain.
Wash the exterior of your home
You’d be surprised at how dirty the walls of your house can get, as residue slowly builds up over the years. You can use a garden hose and a scrubbing brush to eliminate this dirt and revitalise your house’s appearance. This very simple and affordable task is a brilliant way to retain home value.
For some houses, a power washer may also be a suitable and effective alternative. However, it’s worth testing on a small area first as power washers can cause damage to older brickwork.
Power wash your driveway
As with your home’s exteriors, driveways and yards need the occasional bit of maintenance to restore them to their former glory. Power washing a drive is pretty simple, and the main cost is either hiring or buying the equipment. It’ll boost your property’s aesthetic appeal and generate more interest from buyers.
Some houses have painted exterior walls which require maintenance. Flaking, peeling and scuffed paint is an immediate turnoff to many buyers, and estate agents will take this into account when determining the house value. Repainting these walls is therefore a sensible investment.
Painting exteriors is more challenging than indoor walls, and requires a greater level of DIY expertise. This is because you may well need specialist equipment, like scaffolding to do the job properly. There may also be structural issues that need addressing, such as cracks.