DIY projects that will add value to your home

DIY projects that will add value to your home

Private Property South Africa
Sarah-Jane Meyer

Not all home improvements add value to a property, so it’s important to choose the ones that will give you the best chance of improving your prospects of a profitable sale in future.

Kitchens and bathrooms have a major impact on the value of a home, so upgrades to these areas are often worthwhile and need not break the bank.

The garage is a part of the home that is often underutilised, but you can add a lot of value to your property by turning yours into a more functional space.

Kitchens

Buyers prefer light and bright kitchens that are practical without being clinical.

Repainting walls and outdated dark cabinets in lighter, more modern colours can turn a previously dull kitchen into a welcoming space. Various shades of green and blue are trending in kitchens this year, so don’t be afraid to splash out with bright colours.

Although tiling an entire wall may be too arduous a task, a tiled splashback between hob and extractor is relatively straightforward and can create a strong focal point.

External surfaces like countertops and cabinet doors are fairly easy to refurbish without professional help.

  • Granite, marble and engineered stone counters are elegant, but they are expensive and need to be installed by professionals. Wood and melamine are more affordable DIY materials, and can be equally attractive and functional if carefully selected and installed. Modern wood grains and minimalist textures with square edge profiles create a contemporary look.
  • Solid wood cupboard doors should be sanded down before applying paint, whereas melamine cabinets need a special primer before painting.
  • Before sanding and painting, take cabinet doors off the cabinets and remove all handles and hinges.
  • For a smooth and long-lasting finish, use a foam roller to apply a fast-drying water-based paint.

Bathrooms

A total revamp to your bathrooms may require a plumber and a tiler, but even small changes can make a big difference here.

  • A fresh coat of paint on walls and ceilings will work wonders.
  • Replace outdated towel rails, soapholders and toothbrush holders with more modern accessories.
  • Modern low-flow taps and showerheads are attractive and will help save water.
  • Refinish bathroom cabinets to match the new paintwork, or replace the entire vanity.
  • Add a few stylish mirrors and display shelves.
  • Existing wall and floor tiles can be painted with paints specially formulated for the job. Be careful to follow instructions closely and avoid shower enclosures and other areas that regularly get wet.

Garages

Garages may not seem like the most important part of a home. However, they are ideal for:

  • Extra storage space, which a lot of buyers look for. Ready-made cupboards and shelves are available from most hardware stores. Second-hand kitchen cabinets or stationery cupboards also look good along garage walls.
  • Pegboard walls with S-hooks will hold everything from bicycles to lawnmowers and other gardening tools.
  • A mini workbench at the back of the garage is perfect for undertaking small chores around the house.
  • Laundry space. This will require a plumber, but will free up kitchen space for other large appliances or additional storage.

Gardens

Gardens have become more popular among buyers during the Covid-19 lockdown, often doubling as outdoor entertainment areas. Keep in mind, though, that most buyers prefer low-maintenance outdoor spaces planted with waterwise plants.

  • DIY enthusiasts can easily add paved or gravel sections to their garden, as well as a built-in-braai or a lapa. There are plenty of construction plans for braais and timber pergolas online, and supplies are readily available at hardware stores.

  • For the most effective greenery, visit your local nursery to find out about waterwise, low upkeep plants that thrive in your area.

Whatever updates you decide on, keep in mind the general style of your home, and make sure your choices enhance the property as well as your lifestyle.

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