Ways to Maintain and Add Value to Your Property In 2021

Finding somewhere to live that you love can be challenging with location, price, and level of work needed all playing a part in decision making. When you have finally moved in, regular maintenance of your home and dealing with any necessary repairs can be both time consuming and overwhelming. But we can help.

As we start the new year, money saving tips continue to be popular as people look to maintain, improve and add value to their homes. Top tips, including “start small” and “do your research”, rank highly on Google but don’t necessarily cover the extent of what you can do.

Searches for DIY projects remain high

As people slowly look to return to pre-pandemic life, searches for DIY projects remain popular around the UK. In Spring 2020, we found that searches for garden DIY projects increased by 1241% due to lockdown. This year, the trend of people being hands-on with home renovations and maintenance continues, as people realise and value how much money they can save by undertaking a project on their own.

The 6 areas still searching for DIY topics the most:

  1. Stoke-On-Trent
  2. Plymouth
  3. Bristol
  4. Liverpool
  5. Sheffield
  6. Derby

Future-proof: what can you do in the new year

Regardless of your circumstances or finances, you’ll probably have to improve your home or make repairs at some point. Whether you’re looking to do up the garden, revamp the kitchen or spruce up the living room, you don’t always need to call out a professional tradesperson for a valuation and work.

With the housing market in flux and many people being financially impacted, the motto ‘improve, not move’ continues to reflect how most British homeowners feel.

Here are some areas around the home to work on in 2021 and the tasks you can do yourself:

Bathroom

Tradesmen fixing toilet

Adding or renovating a bathroom is one of the most popular renovation projects to do around the home. Regularly making sure the drains are clear by using a drain cleaner, can help you avoid unnecessary callouts to professional plumbers, which could cost you in the long-term.

Top tip: Get a drain guard to capture any hair that could go down the plug and eventually block the drain.

Keeping an eye on seals around sinks, showers and baths is also a good idea as this is where water will run behind if it wears away, potentially resulting in a hidden leak. Should you need to redo the seals, you don’t need to be a DIY expert – simply head to your most convenient DIY store and get something to remove the old seal and a new waterproof bathroom sealant.

Top tip: Seals are where water is most likely to sit, which could result in mould, so if you do get a new sealant, aim for an anti-mould/mould protection one.

Kitchen

Kitchens are not cheap to replace.From cabinets and countertops to white goods, this room of the house can arguably be one of the most expensive. If you need to replace kitchen cabinets because they may be dated or not to your liking anymore, you could easily find yourself spending upwards of £3,000 (and this doesn’t include countertops).

That being said, modernising a kitchen can potentially add at least £12.4k to the value of a home. So, done smartly, the time and money spent will be worth the return.

Top tip: Cabinets and tiles can be painted with the right products and don’t necessarily need replacing. Look through magazines and home websites to see what is on-trend at the moment for inspiration and plan around those styles.

Exterior/Garden

This isn’t typically an area to tackle in the wetter months, but we predict that once the seasons change, people will be spending more time in gardens once again, having found a new appreciation during lockdown.

Top tip: If you’re thinking about doing something such as putting up a new fence or laying decking, have a look at DIY hardware websites and YouTube (which has gained the title of second largest search engine) for tutorials and tools you may need. Also, make sure to ask friends and family if they know any tradespeople who could potentially get a trades discount on materials.

You may not notice any damage during the drier months, but during winter roofs can sustain damage from adverse weather conditions. Instead of waiting until things are really bad, have a visual inspection of the roof for any broken tiles or areas that could leak.

Top tip: If you are financially able, always try to put aside some money for emergency work – whether that’s needing to get some new roof tiles, or replacing a kitchen appliance. Last-minute fixes can be costly, so it’s always good to know you have the money to deal with this should you need it in an emergency.

Bedroom, Living Room, Dining Room

Tradesman fixing door

Aside from the kitchen, these rooms are likely where you spend the most time and want to change more regularly as a result. But, you don’t need to scrap the entire contents and start again.

Top tip: Think about changing soft furnishings, lighting and colour schemes before committing to something more drastic. Sometimes new wallpaper, refreshed paint or moving around the furniture can be just what you need to bring new character to a room.

Money-savvy ways to maintain your property in 2021:

Opening paint lid

Refreshing Paint - Saving: £196.48

Although it can be time-consuming, painting rooms and spaces - such as the hallways - yourself can save you nearly £200.

Blocking out the draughts - Saving: up to £4,500 (on average)

During the colder months, you’re bound to turn on the heating more often, and for a lot longer. Even if you have double glazing, there is still a chance that you may feel a draught around windows and doors.

Choosing to get new windows and doors fitted for the average house - with eight windows and two doors - can set you back in the neighbourhood of £4,500, but prices vary depending on your specific requirements. However, investing in some draught excluders in the form of draught-proofing strips/tape will cost a mere fraction of that, and mean you can reduce the amount of heat escaping your home by 15-20%.

Stripping, Prepping and Wallpapering - Saving: £736.80

Wallpapering isn’t always an easy task, especially if there are patterns that need to be aligned. If you have the time and patience, thoroughly preparing your walls and putting up wallpaper yourself can save you 30 hours of handyman labour and over £700 for a standard room.

Tiling - Saving: £147.36

As mentioned before, tiles can be painted to give them a new colour. But, for example, if you’re looking to have a bathroom retiled, it can be fiddly to do all the measuring, cutting, laying and grouting. However, it’s hugely satisfying when you know you’ve done it yourself (and saved almost £150 in the process!)

Clearing guttering and drains - Saving: £125 (on average)

Depending on the size and style of your property, prices may vary - this could also be the case if you have a recurring tradesperson coming every few weeks. However, there are tools that you can buy to clear the gutters yourself. Alternatively, you can invest in gutter brushes that help ensure there’s no build-up of leaves or debris, and water can freely flow for up to five years before needing to be replaced.


Methodology:

We used Google Search Trend data over the last year to analyse searches for DIY terms and locations.

To work out how much could be saved by undertaking jobs, we analysed the average a tradesperson could charge per hour and multiplied that by the average amount of hours spent.