It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on selling your home in the coming months or looking to stay put for years to come, there are plenty of projects you can do this year to bring your home to its full potential.
1 – Kitchen
If you have been living for too long with an outdated kitchen, make this the year that you replace it. However, before you start to get carried away by kitchens in glossy magazines you should decide on a realistic budget. The many elements of a kitchen can soon add up and you may have to compromise on some decisions. Start by measuring your room and then you can use an online planner to start to get some initial ideas and prices.
2 – Bathroom
A beautiful bathroom is near the top of most homeowners wish-lists. However onerous the task of replacing your bathroom might seem it doesn’t have to be that way with careful planning. Begin by thinking about what you really want from your bathroom? Do you want a beautiful minimalist wet room or is your requirement a good quality family bathroom? When choosing your fittings do remember that you probably won’t redo it for many years. Don’t be tempted by fittings that are too fashionable – you will soon tire of a bright red basin however great it looks in a showroom. Start by measuring the room, choose the fixtures and fittings you like and you can then calculate the cost.
3 – Extend your home
Start to plan your extension now and you could be enjoying the extra space when Summer arrives. Due to changes in the planning regulations, you do not always need to apply to the local council for planning permission to extend your home. However, the Permitted Developments rules can be complicated so seek advice from your council first, and if your home is Listed or in a Conservation Area different rules will apply.
Once you have established if planning permission is needed you should draw up some plans of your proposal. An architect or interior design firm can do this for you. These plans are essential before you start any work, so the builder knows exactly what they are building.
4 – Decorate exterior of house
Exterior decoration is an often-neglected aspect of home maintenance. However, as these elements of your home can be exposed to harsh weather conditions it is essential that you regularly maintain them. Spring is a good time to do this once the air is less damp and the days longer. The key to a good finish on any decoration project is the preparation. The frames will need to be rubbed down and prepared before you start any repainting. Ensure any holes are correctly filled and also check that there is no evidence of damp.
When you are ready for the final topcoat make sure you use exterior paint – this paint is designed for longevity in all weathers and should always be used for exterior woodwork.
5 – Refurbish your windows
Many UK homes have Victorian Sash Windows while the remainder will have a variation on a casement style window.
Sash Windows are lovely, but they do let in a lot of air around the edges. In addition, the majority are single glazed. The gaps themselves can be fixed by the installation of brush strips. If you look at your window you will see that there is a strip of wood running around the edge of the inner window (the one facing the house) this is the retaining bead, and between the windows is the parting bead. These need to be removed and replaced with ones with brush strips. Search the web for “Sash window repair kits” and you will find what you need.
Casement style windows can either be replaced in their entirety with sealed double-glazing units or refurbished. Search the web for a trade joinery company and ask them to make some up for you much cheaper than a double-glazing company.
6 – Add a master bedroom ensuite
Adding a bathroom to your bedroom to create a master suite is a reasonably easy task if you have sufficient room. If your home currently only has one bathroom that is used by all the family an ensuite allows you to create space just for your use. The new bathroom could become a spa like room for you to escape the pressures of modern life!
Unless the available room is very large it is often best to install only a shower in this room, especially if the main bathroom already has a bath. You will then need to choose a basin and a WC and allow for adequate storage. Wall hung furniture is also a good option if the new bathroom will be small as the room visually appears larger. Choosing simple tiles to complete the look wile ensure that the new room doesn’t look crowded and adds a very valuable room to your home.
7 – Landscape your garden
With inside space often at a premium, you should ensure you make the most of any exterior space available. If you start to plan your exterior space now you can plant it up in the Spring and have a wonderful space to enjoy this Summer. When planning your garden consider your lifestyle and how you want to use the garden. If you have little time and want a garden for entertaining, a large patio and low maintenance landscaping will be important. However, if you want to spend time tending the garden you can choose different plants and maybe even include a lawn.
8 – Renew or renovate your flooring
Over the last 10 years many homes have had carpet removed and wooden flooring laid. This has totally changed the character of our homes, but floors have moved on from when this trend first started and are now better quality. In addition, a floor laid a few years ago will have begun to look tired. Laying a new floor or resurfacing the existing one will breathe new life into your home and is an easy task to be carried out.
9 – Convert your loft
If you have a good-sized loft space this is often the best choice for increasing the space in your home without moving. A simple conversion can often be done under Permitted Development but if you want to change the roof line or shape you will need planning permission.
Once the potential has been proved you can think about what you want to use the space for – a kid’s playroom/den or maybe a new master bedroom suite? Both of these options would require a proper staircase so can this be achieved? If you just want additional storage you may be able to do a basic conversion to provide extra space. Plan every aspect before you start and your loft conversion should be a painless process.
10 – Plan a new colour scheme for your home
One of the easiest ways to refresh your home is to plan a new colour scheme. Recently the trend has been to move away from a very neutral palate and introduce more colour into our homes. If you are still living in a very neutral 90s home grab yourself a colour wheel and plan a more exciting scheme for your home.
If your budget is tight you could just add colour through the accessories. The high street now carries a great range of soft furnishings – and the low prices also mean they can easily be changed when you tire of this year’s colours and want to update the look.
Want more advice on setting your home up to sell successfully or what the value might be once a project is done? Get in touch!