So, you’re looking to sell or let your property that requires some updating. The two most important rooms when selling or letting your property are the kitchen and bathroom but don’t assume that spending £15,000 on a high end kitchen or bathroom will get you more than the current value of your property. It will certainly help achieve the best price but you may not get back what you paid in, so it’s always worth getting a valuation from your local estate agent first, to establish the maximum price that can be achieved for your property.
Before you go spending more than you need to, let’s go through what really counts and where you can really save.
I always recommend sticking to a white bathroom suite, apart from a clean look, any colour wall or tiles will complement the suite and will make the smallest of bathrooms feel bigger. You can buy either steel or acrylic baths with basin, WC and taps sold separately or a budget ‘off the shelf’ bathroom suite for as little as £300, including taps and waste.
Should the bath be acrylic, providing it’s no less than 4mm thick and installed correctly, it will serve just as well and you won’t have to worry about piercing the side with a toe nail. Taps and tiles is where you need to spend a little extra and if you do go for a budget suite, sell the taps it came with and put towards some higher quality and stylish looking taps, it will immediately transform your budget suite and if you’re a landlord letting your property, it will save you money in the long run.
Budget suites generally come with black or white plugs but leave them in the box as for less than £5 you can buy chrome or brass to match the taps and will give your suite a far more premium look.
If your bathroom walls are in good condition, consider going for the minimalist look, painted walls with just a tiled slash back above the basin and around the bath area. This will be a huge saving on the cost of tiles, trims and adhesives, not to mention the labour costs of a tiler.
If the walls are not good enough to paint, you could have the walls skimmed by a local plasterer for around £200-£300. If you want the walls tiled, you still needn’t spend a fortune. Ceramic tiles tend to be cheapest but it’s worth shopping around as many outlets have limited quantity and batches of tiles like travertine and porcelain at knock down prices. Try keep tiles neutral in colour. Beige, browns, greys, black or white are all generally appealing.
TOP TIPS: Always use SILICONE sealent and fill an acrylic bath with water BEFORE sealing around the bath, if you don’t, the weight of the water when filled will lower the bath creating a gap between the seal and the bath causing never ending water problems, especially if you use the bath for daily showering.
Grout tiles using a powder grout and mix yourself, it’s easy to clean off any excess when dry. Ready mixed grout sounds easier, but you’ll need a Kango to remove any excess off the tiles once dried.
The room of focus for both buyers and tenants. Buyers will be looking at possible costs of replacing a kitchen so it’s important when selling to have a well presented kitchen in order to achieve the maximum price for your property. Before go buying a new kitchen, take a good look at what you have and what is really needed to update your kitchen.
Often, either the worktops are fine but the cupboard doors need replacing or vice versa. Providing the cupboards themselves are ok, you’ll only need to replace the doors. Chances are you can buy replacement doors to fit the carcasses you already have. It would also be worth replacing the plinths at the same time if they match the doors for the sake of £50 or so but whatever you decide, avoid loud colours. Choose what goes well with your work surface and keep the doors plain with simple lines but spend a little extra on some quality looking handles, they will instantly stand out and add that wow factor to your kitchen.
If it’s just the worktop that needs replacing, laminate worktop it can be bought from as little as £70-£150 per 3m length, solid tops will inevitably cost more. If you already have a tiled splash back, make sure the worktop thickness is the same as your old one as a thicker worktop will not slot back into the gap under the tiles. Thicknesses are typically 28mm & 38mm but If you don’t have tiles then any thickness will do and you’ll be able to opt for a 100mm up stand to match your new worktop. It’s cheaper than tiles, easy to fit and gives a sharp, clean minimalist look. Again, fixtures and fittings is where you should spend the extra, so if the sink taps are tired and dated, consider replacing the taps.
Lastly, the oven. Most people will be put off by dirty ovens and cookers and some to such an extent, it would mean a complete new appliance to be fitted. You can clean yourself with a little elbow grease or have this done professionally for around £50 for a single oven but either way, it’s an absolute must.
If your walls and woodwork are in need of a freshen up, this is relatively cheap an easy to do. Try keep all woodwork, covings and ceilings in white as rooms will feel spacious and will look clean and fresh.
You’ll need to use a water based emulsion paint for walls, covings and ceilings and I’d generally advise to use a matt finish as it covers well and hides imperfections superbly. For kitchens and bathrooms, silk or satin will be best as can be easily wiped clean and is more resistant to steam but will expose imperfections more clearly. If you need to fill before painting, a powder mix is always best and really easy to sand but if you need a fast drying filler, you can use a ready mixed but be sure it’s easy to sand or you’ll be reaching for the angle grinder, well maybe not quite but it will certainly make your work alot harder.
When preparing woodwork, you only need to lightly sand the surface to take off any surface bumps but primarily to give a key for the new paint to stick. You can use an oil or water based gloss or satin finish paint. Oil based has a strong odour, takes longer to dry and will yellow over time due to the oil but it’s tougher once dry and easy to apply. Rollers and brushes will need cleaning with white spirit. Water based paints for wood stays white, dries very quick and is virtually odourless, so great if you have children within the household. Rollers and brushes will simply need cleaning with tap water. Whichever you choose remember, satin will hide imperfections whilst gloss will expose them due to its high sheen.
Take this approach whether your selling or letting a property together with my tips from part 1 and you’ll be ready to offer your property to the market to achieve the maximum price.
It will not only save you thousands of pounds in home improvements, but can literally make a difference of thousands of pounds to what you get when selling your property and ensure the maximum rent when letting your property.
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