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A modernised bathroom has a significant impact on a property’s sale price. An old-fashioned bathroom can be off-putting, and yet you also don’t need to spend a fortune making drastic changes. Decide what elements need a complete renovation and what you can simply improve.
Upgrade fixtures: Replacing light fixtures, changing old taps, and switching to new toilet seats are small ways to make a big impression. YouTube has resources if you’re ready to DIY. You might also want to replace any cracked, stained tiles (whether around the basin or on the floor).
Install modern pieces: You don’t need to revamp your whole bathroom but you can start small with a double sink or floating sink. Not only are these popular bathroom trends, but a floating sink is helpful if your bathroom is tiny. A walk-in shower or heated towel racks are also contemporary and luxurious touches — an added attraction for buyers if you have the budget for bigger renovations.
Add fresh caulk: The brown tinge and cracked appearance of aged caulk can dull the shine of your bathroom space. However, it just takes a few hours and simple tools to reapply this. And the best part? Caulk is incredibly cheap to buy.
Install a bathroom vent fan: Cloudy mirrors and mildew can be signs your bathroom has a moisture problem. Instead of breaking in a new window, consider first installing a new bathroom vent fan to make a difference.
Add new bathroom decor: A vase of flowers or other indoor plants, shells scattered around the bath, or a diffuser emitting fruity or floral scents are easy improvements you can make to prompt a feeling of serenity. Look out for sales or head to second-hand or charity shops to find items at affordable prices.
As the heart of the home, the kitchen should be a renovation priority because everyone uses it. Did you know? Sellers who remodel their kitchens generally receive 69% of the remodelling cost back when they sell the house. Make sure your kitchen is welcoming, modern, and highly functional to increase your home’s value.
Do your research: Think carefully before making changes. You need to cater for your kitchen’s specialities. Otherwise, you could make misguided and costly decisions. Here are some things to consider:
Update your kitchen cupboards: Give them a fresh coat of paint if you’re on a low budget or replace cupboard doors that are scuffed, outdated, or hanging off their hinges to ensure they give a great first impression when prospective buyers enter the room.
Replace your countertops: Quartz has emerged as a durable and popular kitchen trend, so why not renovate your stained, scuffed countertops (especially if they're wooden) and replace them with quartz.
Add some window boxes: These cheap additions to your kitchen can make a surprising difference. If you plant flowers, these enhance your kitchen’s beauty. But, opting for a herb or vegetable garden in your window box can also help you save on cooking costs.
Create drama with a new backsplash: Your tired backsplash can be revamped, and it doesn’t have to lighten your purse or wallet. There is a range of materials you can choose from with varying price points such as tile, stone, glass, ceramic, or beaded boards. You can also consider adhesive plastic tiles for a visually arresting look.
Upgrade your kitchen lighting: This is a quick fix if your budget is tight. From recessed lighting to pendant lighting to backlights and accent lighting that highlight the details of your kitchen, there are many ways to add ambience and showcase this space.
You want to evoke a positive emotional reaction from buyers. Ambient lighting can achieve this.
Your bedroom is a place of rest and relaxation. With some clever changes, you can also turn it into a stunning addition to your home. These changes are easy enough to do yourself so you can even save on installation costs.
Install crown moulding: Trimwork and crown moulding give walls, doors, and windows an extra sparkle. They’re like interior decor jewellery. And while they can transform your bedroom, they are also easy on the budget.
Stop clutter from taking over: Leave clutter at the door and delight all eyes that see your room with clean spaces. The easiest (and most rand-saving) way of doing this is to add hooks to walls and extra rails to cupboards to maximise your space. You can also add decor such as baskets and bean bags that can store more items.
Have your carpets cleaned: Having your carpets and rugs professionally cleaned can give them a new lease on life. Investing in a good carpet cleaner is a cheaper alternative but you will still benefit from a brighter look and a fresher scent.
While everyone has their own idea of what a living room should look like, a well-maintained and comfortable space will appeal to most tastes. Getting your room in order can be done within a reasonable budget. You just have to make clever choices.
Restore your floors: This room gets a lot of foot traffic and you’ll see the result in your floors. Buy special products that can polish wood or shine up tiles to restore them to their former glory.
Give your fireplace a facelift: An outdated or dingy fireplace can bring down the appeal of your space. However, you can apply a coat of paint or use decor strategically to make it feel modern and fresh.
Make the room smell amazing: A cheap fix for your living room is to simply make it smell more pleasant. Unlike kitchens where ripe smells can be forgiven, living rooms need to delight from the moment one enters. Whether you use scented candles, air fresheners, or reed diffusers, you’ll certainly be pleased with your efforts.
The exterior of your home is the first thing potential people notice when they visit your home. Whether you’re entertaining or looking to sell your home, some smart but affordable changes can help you boost curb appeal.
Make your front door welcoming: Those who visit your home will be greeted by your front door, and this should make a statement. A well-maintained door in the right colour will do the trick. For that, a coat of paint will work wonders.
Power wash your exterior surfaces: Over the years, dust, grime, and mould can settle on your walls and driveway, making them look tatty. By pressure washing them, you can restore their colour. Buying a machine might be out of reach but you can always rent it affordably or hire the services of a professional.
Increase your entertainment potential: If you have enough space in your yard, there are plenty of ways to maximise the joy you get from it. Adding a firepit or dedicated braai area, for example, doesn’t require you to fork out wads of cash.
Spruce up your patio with stunning furniture: A patio connects the interior and exterior of your home. With many parts of South Africa enjoying warm all-year-round weather, outdoor furniture improvements are a good idea to prompt extra leisure time with family and friends. Plus, you can revitalise this space without breaking the bank.
Break out the paint brushes: First impressions count, and peeling paint in peachy pink, brown, or bright yellow (to name a few of the worst colours to paint the outside of your home), is unlikely to make guests or buyers want to enter your home. You can solve this problem with a fresh coat of paint. Try to stick to neutral colours that will appeal to a majority of people.
Invest in new roofing: While on the pricier side of these budget-friendly changes, changing or (at least repairing roof damage) can prevent any further damage to other parts of your house.
Upgrade your security: You can’t put a price on your peace of mind. If times are tough, you can still improve your home’s safety cost effectively. From trimming down large trees and bushes, and adding more outdoor lighting, to installing dummy cameras, there’s a lot you can do.
1. What home improvements will add the most value?
According to ooba, the top four renovations that add value are updating your kitchen, bathroom, roof, and swimming pool. With the latter, it’s important to consider your neighbourhood’s buyer profile before adding one in.
2. What is the most common home improvement?
According to a study conducted by mortgage broker Boon Brokers, the most popular home improvement project is general redecoration, followed by fitting new flooring/carpets, and fitting a new bathroom.
3. What is the cheapest room to remodel?
Experts consider the living room to be the least expensive room to remodel as it doesn’t require plumbing and there are usually no pricey fixtures to buy.
There are many factors that influence property value, and it’s essential to consult with an experienced real estate professional who can offer advice on which aspects will do the most for your property’s value in your specific area. This will help you avoid spending unnecessarily.
"Please note: All building conversions and renovations must always be subject to local bylaws and building regulations."
Note: This post was originally published in 2021. It has been completely updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in December 2022.