Mistakes to Avoid When Adding Value to Your House 

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When you choose to invest in your home to increase its value, it is important you know exactly what you are doing. Whether you are upgrading your home because you are choosing to stay there, or because you want to sell your home and move, you will likely spend a lot of money on renovations.

In some cases, this is an excellent thing to do because it either means you get to customise your home to your taste, or you can increase the equity in your home and make a bigger return on the sale. 

While adding value to your home is typically advised, it comes with various challenges. Many homeowners think that they can just do any old task and the value will shoot up. However, this is not the case. There are going to be specific tasks that you can do that are going to increase your home’s value. There are also going to be other tasks that will not work the way you want it to and you risk losing time and money.

It is therefore important that you conduct research and know what buyers want, and what is going on in the current market, and avoid making any big, costly mistakes.

To help you on your journey, here are some top mistakes homeowners make that you should avoid when adding value to your property. 

Not obtaining the correct permissions

Not many homeowners know this, but for a lot of work that you may be considering on your property, you may have to obtain various permissions and licences from the council. While you own your property and think you can do what you want with it, there are barriers that you may come up against because changes have to be agreed upon by the council. If you wish to paint or decorate, that is fine. However, if you are renovating your home and making structural changes, you will need to fill out an application form with your local authority. A huge mistake homeowners make is to ignore these rules and go ahead with structural changes without seeking permission and permits. This can result in a lot of wasted costs, as not only will you be fined for not obtaining the correct permissions, but you will also have to tear down any renovations you do without permission. So not only do you lose the cost of the renovation, but will also have to pay to have it all taken down. 

Not drafting a plan or budget

A plan of action and a budget is a key part of any upgrade project, and one that would be a huge mistake to miss. Whether you plan to paint and redecorate or add an extension to your home, you should always consider the budget and the plan. A budget is vital for any work that is to be completed because you need to be able to fund the changes you wish to make. It would be best to see how much money you have and save before you invest.

A mistake for some people would be to rush into a project without the right funds or even an emergency fund, as there are always going to be delays and unforeseen costs. It can also be a mistake for some people to obtain a loan or finance for the work. This is a huge risk and one that is not always worth taking. A good plan of action will take into consideration your financial situation and plan in a way that suits your budget.

It will also allow you to see how the upgrades will unfold, and what activities you need to do along the way to make sure everything happens as you wish it to. A plan is a great thing to follow and can be a mistake to not make one.

Not hiring skilled professionals to do the work

It is a big mistake to think that you can either do all the work yourself or hire random contractors to do the job. However, if you are a skilled professional, then choosing to work in your own home may be okay. Just remember that it is a big commitment, especially if you are already working and have other commitments.

Many homeowners will try to save money by compromising on the quality of the work in the home by attempting it themselves with knowledge from YouTube, or a contractor who does not possess the right or quality skills. If you are trying to increase the value of your home, you must consider the effort behind what you are doing and the investments that you are willing to make.

You have to be willing to invest the time and money on good quality work and materials, to be able to see the outcome you desire. If you don’t, you may risk losing money, putting off buyers, or putting your house in a worse-off position than before. 

Rushing the process

Not taking your time with adding value to your home is a big mistake to make. If you rush, you may make mistakes or choose the wrong upgrades. You should start the process off with a lot of research into trends and the housing market.

You should also talk with your family and professionals, such as estate agents. This will take time, but it will be worthwhile because you will be more informed about the decisions and investments you make. While you might be eager to start, you should ensure you have a thorough plan in place, and include a timeline of tasks that are realistic to complete.

You may need to liaise with contractors to see when they will be available for work, and also the correct order of projects, which is important for bigger renovation projects. If you take your time, you will find you have fewer issues and more success. 

Not considering your home exterior 

Many homeowners will make the mistake of investing a lot of time and money in their home’s interior, only to neglect its exterior. The exterior of your property is what people will see when they first visit the property, and those first impressions count.

Make sure you clean up the outside by decluttering the area, landscaping the garden, clearing out the gutters, cleaning the brickwork, updating the paint, refreshing door and window frames and pressure washing the driveway clean. These will add great value to your home and are simple to do.

If you are working on a renovation project, then you may choose to add a driveway or carport, add an extension, dig up and rebuild the garden, and more. It is up to you and what budget you have to invest. 

Ignoring issues in your home and not fixing them 

Many people will make the mistake of ignoring issues around their homes and not fixing them. Instead, they will focus on renovations, painting and redecorating. While this is all great and will help the value of your home, if you ignore issues, then buyers will see straight through it all and it can put them off or come in with a much lower offer.

It can also lead to issues later down the line when selling your home and you have surveys and inspections done, as this gives buyers a valid reason to pull out. Whether you choose to stay or sell your home, ignoring issues that need to be fixed can also lead to a loss of effort and money.

You may ignore them, but they will only get worse with time. They can then lead to bigger issues that will cost more money and may even make you have to reverse your upgrades and start all over again. 

Not learning about making a good return on investment

Did you know there are several upgrades you can make to your home that may put off buyers, not increase the value of your home, or worse, decrease its value?

It is therefore important that you conduct thorough research into the work that you are going to complete before you do it. From smaller tasks such as painting and decorating, make sure you consider the quality of the materials you use. If you are staying in your home, you want to make sure they are of good quality, and you are choosing timeless updates.

If you are selling your home, make sure you don’t personalise your home too much, as what you might like, might put off other buyers. There are also bigger projects that might not always add value, such as getting rid of bedrooms, removing the bath for a shower, installing a swimming pool or increasing the square footage of the property.

You will need to consider what buyers are looking for, the state of the market and affordability, the location, and more.

Adding value to your home is a complicated and long process to go through. Make sure you avoid these common mistakes so you can save money and time.

A collage showcasing various home renovation projects with a focus on home improvement mistakes to avoid in 2024.
Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram

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