Lower cost home improvements that still add value

Woman And Child In Box (2)

Many of us have spent more time in our homes this year than ever before. And for some, that extra time indoors has meant thinking more about home improvements.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on an extension or a refurbishment to improve your home. There are plenty of significant but lower cost home improvements you could try.

From innovative methods to increase your living space, to subtle decorative changes - there’s no limit to what you can do in and around the house when you start thinking outside the box.

Luckily - we’ve taken some of the thinking away for you with some affordable home improvement ideas you can carry out on a budget.

Cheaper DIY ideas for your garden

When it comes to the value of your home, your garden has a lot to answer for.

Just having a garden can add anywhere between 5-20% to a property’s value. So if there is potential to improve your existing space for minimal cost, it’s definitely worth exploring your options.

In fact, a 2017 study looked at which garden features add the most value to your property.

To provide you with a spot of inspiration, here's a summary of three less costly garden upgrades featured in the study. And the good news? They can all be DIY!:

  1. A decent-sized shed: a straightforward shed is not only easy to build yourself, but it also adds to the amount of storage space available across your home.
  2. Good quality patio / sturdy decking: another simple way to enhance what your garden has to offer (provided you’re reasonably handy when it comes to DIY). Who knows? This could be the foundations for an al fresco barbecue dining area you could enjoy this summer. Weather permitting of course...
  3. Artificial grass / lawn: a low-maintenance artificial lawn certainly shouldn’t go unnoticed when your home is valued - and is one of the simplest changes you can make to your garden.

Remodel your fireplace

Moving inside the home, a cosy lounge area isn’t difficult to achieve if you have the right components.

A fireplace makeover can make a massive difference to the look and feel of your home.

In terms of cost, a bespoke fireplace (across electric, non-chimney gas and traditional log burners) can typically range from £600 - £2,500. The variation in price will depend on specification and the company you’re purchasing from.


Install fitted wardrobes

Fitted wardrobes can maximise how you use your space - particularly if you live in a small and compact house.

They allow every inch of bedroom space to be utilised to its full potential - making room for other pieces of furniture that perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise fitted comfortably.

There’s also a decorative element, since many providers offer an extensive range of designs and finishes.

Although some will be more expensive than others, this is usually a cheaper way of adding space to a bedroom than carrying out building work.


Lay new flooring

Having new flooring fitted throughout your home can be quite an exhaustive task - especially if you have a large house.

Luxury marble flooring is, of course, much more likely to set you back further than wood, or laminate for instance. But when taking a general view of renovations, new flooring sits within the remit of better value home improvements. So, it’s definitely worth thinking about if you want to invest without spending lots of money.

You can also save on labour costs if you lay the flooring yourself.

Upgrade your kitchen appliances

You don’t necessarily need to revamp a kitchen in one go.

Ultimately, you might find it easier (and less expensive) to make a few specific improvements here and there.

For instance, you could gradually upgrade individual components over time to spread out the cost of a new kitchen. You might start with a new oven, dishwasher, fridge, or even a new worktop if necessary.


Replace your front door

When it comes to selling a house, kerb appeal could make a real difference. After all, you want to make a good first impression - and that’s what your front door can do.

There are plenty of different door options to choose from and, as with most money-saving home improvement ideas, it can be cheaper to install yourself.

For more information, visit Double Glazing on the web’s guide to front door prices.


Liven up your lighting

Modern lighting, inside and outside the home, is also an enviable feature that an appraiser is likely to take into account when valuing your house.

The return on your investment is likely to be subject to the size of the quote provided by your electrician, but it could be worth looking into if you think your house would suit some stylish, decorative lighting.


Get a new roof

At the higher end of ‘cheaper’ home improvements sits roofing upgrades. The average price of a new roof is between £5000 - £6000.

Unlike most home upgrades though, a new roof can also help cut down on energy costs. According to Advanced Roofing certain types of roof can help with energy efficiency and ventilation, helping to keep heat inside.

A new roof should only be built if needed. According to roofing experts, certain types of roof could about 30 years so you may not need an upgrade. However, if you have any signs of roof damage such as worn or missing tiles, daylight filtering through roof boards, or a flat roof that’s sagging or has cracks, puncture holes or splits, you should speak to an expert to see if it’s something to consider.

Update central heating

Similarly to building a new roof, upgrading your central heating can also make your home more energy efficient.

Although it’s not a visible home improvement, new central heating can give you more control over heating in the colder months - helping you to be more comfortable while staying aware of costs.

According to research by Movewithus.co.uk a new central heating system could cost around £3000 and increases a property’s value by an average of 5.4%.


Convert unused space into a driveway

A driveway could have the potential to increase your property’s value by 5-10%. And that’s why this affordable home improvement is certainly something to consider if you’re thinking of selling up.

If you have space at the front of your home that you don’t use, then this might be something for you to consider.. You could also have a go at doing itt yourself.

There are plenty of creative ways to tackle it. For example you may want to fill with tarmac or might prefer to fill with gravel – it’s up to you.


Looking for more home improvement ideas?

For smaller home improvements, read our guide on home and garden DIY ideas to help pass the time.

Home improvements, even on a budget, can come at a cost so make sure it’s the right option for you before getting started. We have a number of guides and blogs to assist you with managing your finances which can be found in our News and Guides section. During this period where social distancing may still be in place, you might also want to check the availability of the supplies and professionals you need before starting your project, find out more here.