THE LITTLE JOB
Small details make a big difference to potential buyers – you don’t want to put them off by showing them round a house that’s a shadow of its former self. ‘The psychology goes as follows,’ Sheree Foy of Source Harrogate explains: ‘if the seller hasn’t attended to the small details, perhaps they haven’t attended to the big issues – often things you can’t see.
‘Many people have a list of jobs that they intend to get round to,’ Sheree says, ‘But they never seem to have the time. If something’s broken, fix it. The most important point is to maximise the potential of your home as it stands today so a short, but not definitely not exhaustive list, would be: whiten the grouting in your bathroom and kitchen, ease or repair any creaking or ill-fitting doors or windows, keep your garden trim and tidy, check electrical switches are all safe and secure, have your carpets cleaned and have your roof serviced to remove moss and clean the gutters. I’m also a huge fan of a fresh lick of paint.’ Some of these jobs are things you can do yourself (possibly with a bit of instruction – there’s a lot of help available online), but others might be best left to the professionals.
THE MEDIUM JOB
Making and putting up a stud partition wall will have you feeling like a real lumberjack with activities like sawing, hammering and measuring. A great way to add a bit more value to your property is to increase the number of rooms and, by following some relatively straightforward instructions online, you can do just that, so prepare your best plaid shirt and get to work. When preparing to get started, keep in mind where you want the wall to go, what might be lurking under the floorboards in terms of joists, cabling and pipes and make sure you take your time with the measurements. Or, if you’re not feeling too confident with your tools, bringing somebody in to put your stud partition wall up might be the way to go.
Done correctly, the stud partition wall can be so much more than a partition between two rooms – depending on your commitment and expertise you can have pipes and cables running through it to turn your creation into an integral part of your home. There’s also the added bonus that, because the wall isn’t load-bearing, you can take it down again any time you like, if you have a change of heart.
THE BIG JOB
If you feel like going all out, consider a loft conversion. Turn your dingy loft-space into an office or an extra bedroom, and clear out those old Christmas decorations that you suspect the mice may have eaten. ‘The development of a loft space can be a great idea if it creates an extra bedroom.’ Sheree says, ‘But not if it caters only for people up to three foot, six inches.’ Definitely best to bring someone in for this one then. ‘The secret is to work with good professionals (especially architects and builders),’ Sheree says ‘to make sure you enhance your home, rather than creating a home with a bit added on.’
However there a few preliminary factors to consider before you call someone in: the height and pitch-angle of your loft space, as well as building regulations and the type of roof structure your property has – some are more suited to conversions than others. Make sure you do a lot of reading around the topic before you plunge in – it can be a costly and potentially dangerous business, if mistakes are made. Don’t let that put you off though – done correctly, a loft conversion can add extra space, and therefore value, to your home.