Plan your work and work your plan, the DIY motto

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Refreshing your kitchen

You do not need a brand new kitchen to improve your home, for better financial returns, focus on the simple touches, replace curtains with blinds or facelift the cupboard with new handles. A new work surface will add real value, but remember employing a professional joiner for such a crafty job rather than DIY, is preferable here! Feel free to contact Nelsons - estate agents in Shoreditch for guidance.

Bathroom revival

Updating old fixtures, re-grouting and repainting with mould resistant paint is usually the best way of a limited cost update for a tired bathroom which won't kill your budget. Installing new fixtures is one for the experts, but you can make a real difference with some simple tile surrounds, matching towels and just a new loo seat, on which to rest 'old toothless', is already a noticeable improvement.

Outdoor space

For those times when the weather is kind to us, an outdoor social and leisure area is a welcome and valuable home addition, a very visible and appealing improvement. Even lesser changes which should be classified as maintenance rather than 'improvements' will draw favourable attention; trimming back overgrown hedges and shrubs, planting colourful seasonal flowers and mowing the lawn, which are all easily achievable. Leave the big tasks such as the installation of a deck, which has the potential to damage housing foundations, or paving, to the experts.

Be aware of 'dated' changes, short lived improvements

A small, easily overlooked, very important fact to remember is the avoidance of 'vogue' trends, like clothing fashions, household trends also change, in some cases even on an annual basis. While preparing your home for sale, do not choose the design or colour that is the moment's fashion, because it won’t be to everyone’s taste and believe us, purple and yellow front walls will not last. Instead choose something classic and neutral which will be easy for most people to imagine themselves living with, those that will stand the test of time.

TAKE NOTE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ESTATE AGENTS

In a tough market, DIY home improvements can seem like the best way to increase the saleability of your home and weekends and holidays present you with the perfect opportunity, while due to TV D.I.Y. shows we are now all amateur tradesmen, however to sell the sponsors' goods, those shows seldom emphasise any of the notable pit falls that we as home owners should be aware of before embarking on willy nilly, oft unplanned improvement efforts.

The self-made jack of all trades needs to take cognisance, some changes add more value than others and it’s a risky game to start a big project if you don’t have the skill set to finish it, because that cheap self-do may turn into one of your most expensive done-by-others after you throw in the towel. Confucius said, “plan your work and work your plan”!

Always take advice, especially when offered in genuine affiliation, as those offered by your local Nelsons Estate Agents in London, or on the written promise of their President, the nearest office of the NAEA. Certain labours like stripping the papered walls in favour of a brand new painted white finish, or building garden decking to create a new outdoor space are just two examples of how DIY could add real value, but also have the potential to have the exact opposite effect on a home if done badly. Shoddy additions may even negate other existing attractions.

We repeat, advice is cheap, mostly free, when you plan to sell your home, always run any significant changes to the property past an NAEA member or just pop into the Nelsons Estate Agents office in Bethnal Green, who can give you professional advice on what changes will add value and which ones won’t, or which ones should be left to a qualified tradesman, not attempted by yourself. NAEA members and experienced estate agents at Nelsons have their fingers on the pulse as to what attracts buyers, and will be more than happy to share their knowledge with you, freely.

Happy improvements, may your house sell high.