DIY tips and tricks to add value to your house

If you are thinking of selling your property, you will want to get the highest price possible. For many, this could mean bringing in an expert to advise on things that need improving and hiring a handyman to ensure the work is done. However, you may be able to save yourself a fair amount of cash if you tackle some of the simple problems yourself. Here is a handy guide to some of the things you can look out for and tips and tricks on how to change them.

1 Underfloor heating

If you have a old house or if it is poorly insulated, you may want to consider underfloor heating. In an average house, underfloor heating for the whole of the ground floor should be within this budget, depending on what’s already under the carpet or floorboards.

Tips and tricks

Underfloor heating is particularly useful in kitchens, where you need all the available wall space for units, utilities and glazing, not clunky radiators. It’s most worthwhile for rooms in daily use, as the warmth remains long after the heating is switched off; in less frequently used rooms, you might be better off with a woodburner. Underfloor heating takes longer to warm up than radiators, so add a “smart thermostat” to switch it on the day before you get back from a trip. “Wet” systems (using hot water) are often used for large areas and electric mats for small rooms such as upstairs bathrooms.

2 Garden office

You can buy an off-the-peg version for well under £11,000, but if you want to add value, a bespoke version that suits your garden and property is worth the investment. “It’s like having an extension without having to extend,” Greg Toon says.

Tips and tricks

Go for an office with heating that you can use all year: if you plumb in a loo and a sink, you can work all day without leaving your sanctuary. You shouldn’t need planning consent (but do check).

3 New kitchen

It’s likely to be the most important room in the house, for you and for future buyers, so a new kitchen deserves serious thought. You could blow your entire budget on kit, so beware of “kitchen porn” brochures: the key element is a layout that suits daily life. Focus on the basic configuration first.

Tips and tricks

Kitchen suppliers often provide a free design service with no commitment to buy, so shop around until you find the layout that works for you.

4 Ensuite bathroom/wetroom

Estate agents report that master suites are now a must-have, and private bathrooms for everyone are fast becoming the norm. A new bathroom typically costs £3,000, according to Homebuilding & Renovating magazine, but if you’re sectioning off a bit of your bedroom to create one, factor in the cost of paying a builder or carpenter.

Tips and tricks

An underfloor heating mat takes up less space than a heated towel rail, if you can find somewhere else to dry your towels.

5 Garden makeover with outdoor dining area

A landscape designer could solve your lawn, planting, lighting and outdoor seating problems in one hit. The smaller the garden, the more important the quality of the planting and furniture, so spend a bit more. Start now to be dining al fresco this summer.

By addressing and perfecting these 5 simple areas, you will be amazed at the difference it makes to the value of your home. These are areas that people often underestimate, but really do change the whole perspective of a property. Always remember to get at least 2 different, independent valuations of your property to ensure that you find out the most realistic price.