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20 secrets to a profitable home renovation (part one)

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Fitted Kitchen, Newton Mearns, Glasgow, Scotland by Glenlith Interiors (Scotland) Ltd
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Not all home renovations are because the owners want to enjoy a more beautiful or bigger home. A lot of makeovers are simply to zhoosh up a tired-looking space so the current inhabitants can sell it and make a pretty penny. 

If you’re currently in the same boat of needing to spice up your space for potential buyers, make sure you take the necessary steps to turn that renovation into a profitable sale – you don’t want to blow a big budget just to end up with no buyers, do you? 

Keep the following in mind…

1. Act now

Suburban villa: View Road, Highgate Modern houses by Wolff Architects Modern
Wolff Architects

Suburban villa: View Road, Highgate

Wolff Architects

Don’t think that just because it’s the holiday season you have to wait. Thanks to the Internet, everybody can window-shop online whenever they please – which means while they’re off work and relaxing, they have plenty of time to scope out your listed house.

The end of the year is actually the best time to buy or sell!

2. Renovation means rejuvenation

Fitted Kitchen, Newton Mearns, Glasgow, Scotland by Glenlith Interiors (Scotland) Ltd
Glenlith Interiors (Scotland) Ltd

Fitted Kitchen, Newton Mearns, Glasgow, Scotland

Glenlith Interiors (Scotland) Ltd

Don’t see a renovation project as a waste of money. Even something as small as cladding the bathroom walls in new tiles can make a big difference to the end result – and possibly the asking price!

3. Call in the pros

Porthleven Eclectic style kitchen by LEIVARS Eclectic



Don’t go the DIY route if you don’t have to – put your property in the hands of professionals who do this sort of thing every day. 

However, whether it’s a kitchen renovation or a job fit for a landscape architect, get three quotes from three different experts, as well as references from previous clients. And be sure to put down on paper what needs to happen by when.

4. Go up

Millennium Drive : Mezzanine Space Rustic style living room by Nic Antony Architects Ltd Rustic
Nic  Antony Architects Ltd

Millennium Drive : Mezzanine Space

Nic Antony Architects Ltd

Want to include an extra bedroom or bathroom in your house before putting it on the market? Use your vertical space by including a mezzanine level.

But take into account how you’re going to get to that new room. Will a ladder be sufficient? Do you have enough room to put in a staircase? How about an open-riser spiral one?

5. Heat things up

Riva Studio Duplex Fire: modern  by Stovax Heating Group, Modern
Stovax Heating Group

Riva Studio Duplex Fire

Stovax Heating Group

We all know how interesting the weather can be. So make sure the new owners of your house will live a comfortable lifestyle in terms of toasty interiors (fireplace, wood-burning oven, etc.).

6. Think about others

Warwick Avenue, Westminster W9, London | Flat extension Modern kitchen by GOAStudio | London residential architecture Modern
GOAStudio | London residential architecture

Warwick Avenue, Westminster W9, London | Flat extension

GOAStudio | London residential architecture

Buyers want to buy your house, not your taste. So even though you might love bright colours splashed across every available surface, take into account what is trendy and what others might want to see.

Opt for a design that is more neutral (such as light timber cabinets and a dark grey granite countertop) and won’t require a complete do-over by the new occupants of your house.

7. Do the maths

Don’t think that just because you have a £1m property and spend 20% of that on renovations, you will end up with 40% more on the value price. However, doing the same to a £5m house might just work! Unfair, we know. 

This is because people in the £5m category are looking for something spectacular, and are less likely to flinch at high costs. Whereas buyers in the £1m mark have a lot less financial flexibility. 

But don’t think you’re not getting anywhere by working on a £1m house: these babies have increased by 32% since 2012, so clearly there’s a market for them!

8. Play the planning-permission card

Muswell Hill House 1, London N10 Modern houses by Jones Associates Architects Modern
Jones Associates  Architects

Muswell Hill House 1, London N10

Jones Associates Architects

That house can look a lot more alluring to potential buyers if they know that you have already taken the liberty of ploughing through the planning-permission landscape for a basement or extension. 

This realises as-yet unrealised potential, adds value to the property, and doesn’t involve you having to do any building work.

9. Focus on the important spaces

You need to make the buyers feel that they can walk straight into your/their home and start living their life. Of course they’ll redecorate the living room and bedrooms in their own style, but they won’t be so keen to re-do entire bathrooms and kitchens. 

Remember that these rooms are the beating heart of any house, so put a lot of focus into sprucing them up.

​10. Keep things in proportion

Master Bedroom Modern style bedroom by Clean Design Modern
Clean Design

Master Bedroom

Clean Design

Which sounds more attractive to you: a four-bedroom house with three bathrooms, or a seven-bedroom house with one shower room? 

More bedrooms do not necessarily mean added value. In fact, if you have to sacrifice comfort, an increased number of bedrooms can result in a reduced asking price. 

Of course you don’t have to include an en suite for each and every bedroom, but just make sure there’s a comfortable balance for the new owners. 

Still want some more advice? Then check out the: Common home renovation pitfalls you MUST avoid!

Agree with our secrets? Let us know!
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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