April is filled with public holidays and with a nice long weekend to look forward to, smart homeowners could seize the opportunity to tackle some value-adding DIY projects on their home.

House price appreciation happens gradually over time, but according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, there are a few things homeowners could do to try and bump up the resale value of their properties sooner. “It is all about creating greater buyer appeal, enhancing the functionality of the home, and keeping up with maintenance,” says Goslett.

For those who are keen to get their hands dirty during their time off, here are a few upgrades homeowners could tackle on their own that might just increase the resale value of the property.

Build a fold-up workbench in the garage

“So many homeowners fail to utilise the garage space to its full potential. They forget that this is valuable floor space that can function beyond just storing the family car and other household items that fail to fit inside the home,” says Goslett.

Those who would like to fully utilise the space could take the weekend to build a fold-up workbench that can be attached to the garage wall where other household projects could be tackled in future.

“Remember to treat the garage as another room inside your home. Create neat storage solutions so that the space does not look like a dumping ground, paint the walls, install adequate lighting and redo the flooring if need be so that the garage can double up as a work space that you (and future buyers) may actually want to spend time in.”

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Repaint walls and clean carpets

“Paint can work wonders when updating a space. As trends change, certain wall colours can start to make a home feel dated. Pale yellow, for example, used to be a very popular neutral colour choice in its day, but in today’s terms, shades of light grey tend to be a more modern replacement,” Goslett points out.

Getting the carpets cleaned is another great project to tackle in your spare time to make the home feel more modern and increase its overall appeal. Homeowners can hire a carpet cleaning machine and buy some carpet shampoo to give their floors a facelift.

Install kitchen cabinet rollouts

Instead of cluttering up the kitchen countertops, enhance any existing storage space within the kitchen cabinets by installing roll-out drawers and other inventive storage solutions that can help you make better use of awkward storage spaces like corner units or narrow drawers.

Instead of redoing the whole kitchen, which can be costly, homeowners could find clever ways to reorganise to make the space more functional. If the kitchen is in need of updating, simply replacing dated cupboard door handles for more modern fittings can also work wonders. Those with a little more DIY experience could retile the kitchen backsplash to give the room a more modern feel.

The key to any DIY project is not to over capitalise on the updates. “As a simplified example, if you pay R50,000 on a renovation project, but the value of the home only increases by R10,000, then you would experience a negative return of R40,000 on that investment. Those who are unsure of how much to spend on a project, could contact a real estate advisor to find out what buyers want and are willing to spend in that area. This can help you make an informed decision before you go ahead with any DIY project,” Goslett concludes.

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