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Beware! The Top Property Renovation Mistakes you Should Avoid

When undertaking a property renovation it is vital to consider what will add maximum value to a property.

Certain projects may be quick,easy and add instant appeal, while others may be larger changes to the property.

This blog post takes a look at what will add most value to a property but also what to avoid, so to reduce the risk of being out of pocket.


What is a property renovation?

A property renovation means to restore a building to a good state of repair, or to make new again.

This can consist of three parts:

The act of renewing: In home construction this includes re-painting, re-facing cabinets, installing new light fixtures, or adding other finishes and fixtures.

Update and upgrade: The purpose of the renovation isn’t to drastically alter, but to update to a new standard. For example, when doing this to a kitchen, it can make the space more attractive.

Cosmetic improvements: A renovation means updating the existing structure with cosmetic changes. This can include replacing old windows with new ones.



What is the difference between renovating and remodelling?


Remodelling is to change the structure, shape or appearance of something.

Changing the use of space: A remodel is altering the structure and style of a space and completely transforming it, such as reconfiguring the floor plan. 

Improves functionality: This may include merging rooms together to create an open concept kitchen layout or adding a kitchen island for ease.

Breathes new life: By gutting, adding or removing walls, raising ceilings, or expanding the square footage of the home, then it is remodelling. This breathes new life into a room, which gives the space a whole new look and feel.


What can investors do to add value to a property?


There are lots of ways that can make a property increase in value during a property renovation, these can include:

Redecorate: Small renovations, such as adding a lick of paint to a property, can be done at relatively low cost. Neutral colours are most appealing to house buyers and can go a long way to giving a home a new lease of life.

Fix superficial defects: Small problems and defects can create an impression of a house being run down or not well cared for. These include peeling paint, dirty walls, dripping taps, squeaky floors, doors and stairs, mouldy sealant in kitchens and bathrooms, limescale build-up and broken lightbulbs.

The front door: First impressions are crucial with property. Whilst a new door may not be essential, it can be power washed or given a fresh coat of paint.

Declutter: A clean and tidy room has the potential for high impact. This includes considering whether there’s too much furniture in each room as it can make the property feel smaller.

Heating and lighting: By presetting the heating, buyers will know that the heating works well and they can feel comfortable in the home. The good lighting is essential for dull days, so ensuring lamps feature in darker corners of the property is encouraged. It is also recommended that viewings take place in daylight.

Garden appeal: It is recommended that garden space is utilised, perhaps with a few plant pots and a clear pathway that help with first impressions. The back garden should feel like an extra space for entertaining or relaxing, rather than an expanse of grass. It is essential to trim borders, clear pathways and cut back any overgrown trees or bushes, particularly if they block direct sunlight into the property.

Create a driveway: In some areas of the country, the ability to park close to the front door comes at a huge premium, therefore the addition of a driveway or off-street parking can increase the property’s value.

Smart technologies: The technologies play increased importance for home buyers. This includes the use of fibre optic cables, double glazing and even things like multi-room sound systems.

Makeover the kitchen: This room is often the main focus for buyers. Even with a small budget, units can be painted or cupboard doors can be replaced.

Fresh bathrooms: In this room, re-grouting, eliminating all limescale and replacing taps are good options to make it fresh and hygienic.   



What property renovations are detrimental to house price?


Estate agents at Petty Son and Prestwich explained that some perceived property improvements can also have a detrimental impact on the property’s value.

1. Losing a bedroom

The property experts warned, “Losing a bedroom can end up being one of the costliest mistakes that a homeowner makes when renovating property. 

“Living spaces are commonly listed with three vital statistics; price, number of bedrooms and number of bathrooms. Negatively altering this key selling point is simply asking for trouble and could end up costing as much as a 15% loss in value when you put your home on the market.

2. Adding solar panels

Installing solar panels can be a costly affair, and research shows that when homeowners put their properties on the market, the estate agents say, “the return on their investment is zero percent.

“If you’re not intending to move for the foreseeable future, then installing solar panels may well become a perfectly viable option financially, as you’ll get your money back and then some by way of reduced energy bills. 

“Installing them because you’ve heard that buyers are more frequently looking for eco-friendly homes in today’s property market isn’t such a good idea. Whilst this train of thought seems sound enough, the reality is a bit more nuanced.

“In the main, solar panels are regarded as a selling point, but some buyers simply can’t stand the look of them and will actively avoid homes with them in place.”


3. Installing a new kitchen

The estate agents said, “While it’s certainly true that everyone loves a beautiful kitchen, not everyone agrees on what constitutes beautiful. It’s also highly unlikely that your buyer will want the same appliances that you do, even if they are the bee’s knees in your mind.

“So, while it may be tempting to overhaul your kitchen prior to putting your home on the market, we’d always advise against it, even if yours really is in desperate need of renovation. We’ve lost count of the amount of brand new kitchens we’ve seen in skips just weeks after the new owners have moved in.”

4. Redoing the bathroom

Bathrooms again can come down to personal preference.

The experts add, “not having a bath in place can alienate a surprising number of people and could well put people off buying the home.”


5.  Hanging pricey wallpaper

Petty Son and Prestwich added that wallpapers are also individual taste.

They added, “There’s also another reason not to hang expensive wallpaper prior to sale. Home buyers are now well versed in the way of viewing a property, and the vast majority will enter your home with one eye on redecoration regardless of whether or not they can still smell the wallpaper paste.

“Not only are the chances high they’ll disagree on your choice of pattern, it’s also a fair bet that some will be put off by the thought of having to strip every wall in the house to get things how they want it to be. Creating unnecessary work for your buyers is not a savvy move.


6. Laying new carpet

Agents claim that laying carpet is largely a “pointless and potentially costly exercise.”

“Your buyers may want a different colour,” the estate agent adds. “They might want a patterned carpet. It’s likely they may not want a carpet at all, opting instead for tiles, wood, or vinyl flooring.

“The choices are endless, so the likelihood of you getting it right for the new owners are slim to none and it’s probably going to end up in the skip alongside that new kitchen and bathroom.”



What should renovators do next?


Touchstone Education’s Abi Hookway is a specialist in property flipping, alongside other property strategies, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel here for more top property tips.

She is also author of the Amazon best selling book, Flip Or Flop: The Ultimate Guide To Property Flipping.

To make the first steps on your property journey, claim your free Wealth Through Property e-book.


For more information call us on 01302 897131 or email


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