A lot of first time property buyers look forward to making their house their own; the process of decorating, home improvements and putting their own stamp on the property. Others however look to do this in a manner than not only improves the look of the house, but in a way that adds long term value.
Regardless of whether you are purchasing a house as a home, an investment, or a bit of both, there are any number of day time TV shows that explain the numerous ways to make a house both more saleable, and more valuable.
Decorating can make all the difference when it comes to selling your house
After fixing obvious problems such as leaks, damp areas, sagging roofs and damaged skirting board or plaster, some presenters focus on interior decor, suggesting pale pastel colour schemes to make rooms appear light and airy (picking colours from a limited range to help with a consistent look and feel throughout the house). Others suggest changes to fittings such as doors and floors, changing drab carpets and contemporary doors to more characterful solid wood flooring and traditional styled oak doors (a change that doesn’t require touching a single paint brush, but can have a big impact on how appealing a house is). For home owners with a slightly bigger budget to play with, knocking down walls to merge rooms, increase light levels or to make a combined living/dining area is a potential option (if you are happy to put up with the noise, dust and disturbance of more serious home improvements).
But what if you’ve decorated your house, upgraded the fixtures and fittings and now have no alternatives left? Well one area that home owners often forget about is the garden. To many prospective property buyers, the garden can make or break the deal to buy a house. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, so if your garden is too small or too big for buyers with very specific demands, then there is little you can do. However, making subtle changes to a garden can help to make it more appealing and interesting, and both of these qualities can help make a house more saleable. But what if you want more than to just make a property easier to sell? Keeping your garden tidy, changing the planting so it’s low maintenance, making the garden more private or planting hardy evergreens to ensure all year round colour isn’t enough.
So how do you add value to your house using the garden?
One of the main elements an estate agent will contemplate when it comes to calculating the value of your property is the overall floor space and number of rooms. If you have the space available in the garden or roof (and can put up with the planning applications, paperwork, noise, dirt, building rubble and disturbance of a traditional home extension), you can increase your living space and add value to a property. However, there is a much simpler, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly manner to do this.
There are now a substantial number of companies that sell timber summer houses, garden rooms and outdoor offices that are available in pre-assembled elements, or using kits specifically designed to be built by people with limited DIY knowledge. The range of garden buildings available these days is huge, from sculpted timber constructions that look like upended rowing boats, to classically designed pavilion-style summer houses and ultra modern garden rooms created for the latest contemporary garden designs.
You may think that your garden is too small, or that local planning laws will prohibit you from constructing a timber building in your garden, however this isn’t the case. Modern garden rooms come in a stunning array of sizes and shapes, many specifically designed to be tucked into a corner, or running along a back fence. Whole ranges of summer houses and garden rooms are often available under 2.5m high, which means in a lot of areas they don’t even require planning permission (although, as a matter of courtesy, always check with neighbours and your local planning authority just to be on the safe side). Some companies only use timber from sustainably managed forests too look for the FSC logo when browsing which means that your new garden office, work room, play area or summer house is not only substantially less hassle and expense than a traditional extension, it’s a much more environmentally friendly option too.
Ultimately, if you want to add value to your house, be it your home or an investment, and you have followed all the usual steps of fixing problems, improving decor, upgrading fixings and tidying the garden, the next logical step is a garden building. If you invest in a quality timber structure you can enhance your garden design, enlarge your living space and increase your property value all at the same time.