What's the best way to add value to my home?

23 September 2013


I've just bought a new house, and I would like to renovate the kitchen and bathroom. I have a budget of £15,000. But I don't know if it will stretch to doing a good job of both rooms. If I can only do up one room, which one would be best in terms of adding value when it comes to selling my house?


It's long been accepted wisdom the kitchen and bathroom of any house are by far the best rooms to upgrade in order to add value. However, many people mistakenly believe that such renovations will cost a fortune.

Your £15,000 needn't only be used for just one room - with careful planning and a tight grip of the budget, it ought to be completely possible to do up both rooms, thus giving yourself the best chance of adding more value to your home prior to any resale.

I would divide your available funds into two 'pots', say, £9,000 for the kitchen and £6,000 for the bathroom.This should represent ample budget to transform both areas completely.

The best option to keep control of costs is if you source all the large items required for each room yourself – bath, shower, basin, wc/cistern, oven, hob, units, worktop and so on. If you purchase and store these prior to instructing contractors to commence the works, you'll know exactly what is left for labour, and you'll avoid any cheeky mark-ups that may otherwise be added along the way by the people you've employed.

Once you've assembled the core elements of your project, you'll essentially only be getting contractors to quote for their labour to rip out the previous appliances and fittings and install the new ones. Assuming you can source the list above for between £5,000 and £7,000, depending on style and spec, that leaves more than 50% of the overall budget to cover labour and any ancillary materials such as fittings, connections and adhesives.

That’s a reasonable sum to do both rooms if you shop around for competing quotes. And don’t forget to factor-in late-completion penalties if you’re working to deadlines.


Save money with DIY

1. Make the most of free advice and guides
Before you get your hammer out, you need to find out how to do the job first. You can find easy to follow how-to guides online.

2. Don't blow your budget on tools
You can also pick up small and simple tools such as drills and saws at lower prices online and pick up decent-quality secondhand items on eBay or at local car boot sales.

3.Shop around – and online – for materials and supplies
Your local DIY superstore may be convenient but chances are you'll pay over the odds for purchases, so check out eBay and gumtree for cheaper deals.

4. Fit carpet underlay yourself
Carpet companies often charge a hefty mark-up to supply and fit underlay but it's a pretty simple job to do yourself. Even if you make a bit of a hash of it, it won't really matter because the new carpet will conceal any mistakes.

5. Remember 'more haste, less speed'
Wastage is a primary source of cost on most DIY jobs, so the old adage of 'measure twice and cut once' is definitely worth bearing in mind.