Home improvements – major impact for minor cost

You’ve cleaned the windows, weeded the garden, touched up the paintwork and swept the drive, and still nobody wants to buy your well priced and presentable house. The scenario is familiar to all who have gone through the rigmarole of selling a property, but all is not lost; within an affordable budget there are a few things you can do that will most certainly add to the desirability of your house.

decoratingI imagine a number have been put off already by the word ‘budget’, but read on and you’ll see that a major impact can be made for relatively little outlay.

Paint the walls

The first step is to look at the walls. If you have heavily patterned wallpaper it can be off-putting for some buyers, as many will look at the décor and decide that it is not ‘for them’ as much as the last house they viewed.

The trick is to present a blank canvas. It does not take long, and it does not cost much, to apply a coat of paint to walls. Choose a neutral colour, a pale one that adds an appearance of light – yes, even the clichéd Magnolia gets a look in here – and paint rooms throughout. The beauty of this approach is that it gives the viewer less to not like, as plain and simple is, after all, plain and simple. Add a few pictures – car boot sales are a fantastic place to buy cheap and disposable prints and framed pictures – and the effect is complete.

Wood flooring

When the walls have been dealt with, the next step is to look at the floors. Carpets are items that tend to have a long life, and by the time you come to sell they can be past their best. Carpeting a house with cheap carpet can be a false economy – not only will it be cheap, it will look cheap.

The most affordable way to give a room impact, and an added feel of space and style, is to rip up the carpets and put down an in-vogue wooden floor.

The least expensive of these are very reasonable indeed – a pack covering just over two square metres can be had for under £10, with underlay much less than that, and a room measuring, say, fifteen feet square ( about 5m x 5m) can be floored for under £150.

Take into account the ease of fitting – the boards clip together and are cut to size easily using a hand or power saw – and this option begins to look like a bargain. Throw a few rugs down – again, car boot sales are a good source, or discount stores – and you have a fresh and beautiful room that will look bright and breezy to any potential buyer.

The bathroom

A further room to consider is the bathroom, one often overlooked by sellers but ranked high up the list by buyers. A coloured suite is a poor selling point, and you may be surprised how affordable a new plain white suite can be.

A visit to any of the major hardware superstores will give you a choice of suites under £200. Indeed, I found one for £199 that comprises bath, washbasin and toilet, complete with taps and mixers. Fitting a suite is possible for the handyman, but much better done by someone experienced. Ask around, and you’ll be sure to find someone willing to do the job. Add plain with tiles to half height on the walls, and you have a new bathroom – potentially for less the £400.

All improvements cost money, but the above are surprisingly affordable and will be vital in enticing viewers to choose your house over another.

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