* This article first appeared in our Home Improver digital magazine.
It’s important to understand the different imperatives here – what you like and want in your home might not be for everyone. Here are some guidelines to help you when it comes to the reasons for your renovation plans.
Avoid busy wallpaper: With its designs and colours, wallpaper can be a bit much. When you’re getting your home ready for sale, cool and neutral wall coverings are the best bet so that buyers can imagine themselves in what will no longer be your home. The same advice goes for bold and bright wall paints. Neutral and fresh is what you’re looking for.
Texture on the walls and ceilings: Avoid. It’s hard to get rid of and could put off potential buyers.
Quirky wall and floor tiles: They’re hard to ignore and expensive to get rid of. Go for white or neutral laminates.
Bathrooms: As with kitchens, a good bathroom renovation adds value. But forget fancy baths and Jacuzzis.
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Home office: Do not spend money on this. If the buyers want to use a spare room as a home office, they can put in the necessary infrastructure. But they might well prefer an extra bedroom.
A pool: If it’s already there, make sure it’s sparkling and the pump works. Do not install a pool – many people don’t want one and think it’s a lot of bother.
Kerb appeal: Pots of flowers will make your home attractive but don’t go over the top. The buyers may not be natural gardeners and may fear the effort of keeping up a busy garden.
Kitchens: Sleek kitchens add value but don’t spend too much. Focus on what is looking tired and fix it. New cabinet handles can make a difference. You can also paint melamine cabinets. Again, you’re looking for fresh. Avoid spending a fortune on appliances.
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Wallpaper: See advice in For Sale. Like buyers, tenants want their homes to reflect themselves, not you.
Texture on walls and ceilings: Avoid. See under For Sale. Paint: See under For Sale. Fresh and neutral is what you want.
Quirky wall and floor tiles: Avoid. Again, neutral white or tan laminates or tiles are best.
Kitchens: As under For Sale, focus on what is looking tired and fix it. Otherwise, leave well alone.
Bathrooms: Clean, fresh and not too fussy. It’s probably a good idea to keep a bath, as these suit families with young children, but walk-in showers are also popular. You could install a shower fitting over a bath to have the best of both worlds.
Home office: Do not convert a spare room for this. Generally, people are keener on extra bedrooms than home offices, even in this time of working from home. Tenants can always use a table in a spare bedroom for remote working.
Kerb appeal: A couple of pots of flowers are all very well but many a landlord’s heart has been broken when they see their pretty garden allowed to die by uncaring tenants.
Swimming pool: If it’s already there, ensure it’s clean and sparkling and functional. Otherwise avoid.
Wallpaper: If you really love the wallpaper, and this is going to be your forever home, put up whatever paper you like. Just remember that wallpaper can be hard to remove, and you might find what you thought gorgeous 10 years ago is definitely not a forever wallpaper.
Textured walls and ceilings: If you think texture on the walls on ceilings looks great, go for it. But, generally, it’s a waning trend.
Quirky floor and wall tiles: Be sure you can live with these for years because they can become passé and are difficult to rip out. White floor tiles, while being wonderfully neutral, show up every hair and paw print.
Kitchens: Go big. Do whatever you fancy and can afford. Avoid anything too trendy – you might get tired of it.
Bathrooms: Do what you like. But even if your children are grown up, and you no longer need a bath, you might find in a few years that the visiting toddler grandchildren want to wallow.
Home office: In a time of working from home, a home office is a boon and the space can be claimed against tax.
Swimming pool: Are you sure you want one? Will you use it?
Kerb appeal: If you’re going to maintain your garden, by all means do what is necessary to create the prettiest or most water-wise garden that you can.
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