Can Home Improvements Increase the Value of Your House?

One of the most common reasons people give when asked why they are improving their home is that home improvements increase house value. While this can often be true, it is by no means as universal as some people assume it is. When you’re about to pay out lots of money for a home improvement, it’s worth checking whether the value of your house will increase by enough to pay for it – or, worse, whether it might actually force your house value down.

Let’s start with bathrooms and kitchens. While well-maintained and nice-looking kitchens and bathrooms do add value to a home, there’s nothing to say that they have to be the very latest thing. An older room that is well looked-after and wasn’t a complete abomination to begin with can often help the value just as much as a newly-installed one.

Extensions, on the other hand, almost always increase the value of your home, as they make it bigger. A four-bedroom home can be significantly more valuable on the market than a three-bedroom one, as a bigger family can live in it. However, you need to watch out for building too far out into your garden if you only have a small one: get rid of too much of your garden, and you could knock even more value off your home than you gain from the extra bedroom.

Although it might seem strange, this same rule also applies to garden features such as swimming pools and ponds. While you might like them, not everyone does – and you’ve just taken a piece of garden that could be used for almost anything and turned it into a single-use feature. Also, swimming pools especially can be very expensive to maintain, which can put off potential house buyers.

Overall, it’s a bad idea to make home improvements just to make money, as you will almost always fail. Instead, just make the improvements that you want, while avoiding any that will really hit your house’s price.

Creating Curb Appeal – Before and After Photos of Home Improvements

Do you love watching others creating curb appeal from dated yards or from old houses? Have you ever seen the before and after photos/renderings in home improvement magazines? Have you ever wished you could have a new design makeover done for your home?

I enjoy seeing what a place looks like and what it can become. I imagine it gives home owners hope that their place can look fresh and new again…a place they can be proud to come home to.

With the different homes I’ve owned, I can never resist making them the best they can be. I’m sure if you enjoy home improvement magazines like I do, you’ve probably seen these (before & after) images. I like to think of them as a (problem before) and a (design solution after).

It’s a results oriented approach that I like. These before & after pictures speak to me in a way that a single rendering by itself can’t quite do.

Maybe it’s because it shows a starting point to know how and why the new design came to be what it is. It’s similar to a behind the scenes look at the design process. People love to see how things are made.

The rendering becomes a visual plan to work from…a blueprint of where you want to go. You might choose to take on your home improvement all at once or you can take your time and do a little each year. You can work at your own pace as you have the time and the money.

At least you know where you’re going. Without a plan like this it becomes more challenging to know where to start. Often it feels a little overwhelming so you never begin.

2 examples of where these before & after images have been published are “Cottage Living Magazine” (which is now out of print I’m sorry to say) and “This Old House Magazine.”

I appreciate the homeowner’s letters being included so we can read what their concerns were at the time. It also gives us insight into why the home design solution was designed the way it was.

Quite often coming up with a design solution leads to other interesting elements that will also improve the over all appearance.

I like to see the list of products used to complete the finished look. Showing a picture of the product or material along with a place to find it makes it convenient for the interested homeowner who wants to take on their own before and after home improvement project.

Browse through some before and after photos today, you may just get inspired to do some home improvements of your own.