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Should I refurbish my property?

Property refurbishments can be exciting, but they can also be time-consuming and expensive.

Whatever your reason for considering a refurbishment project, you’ll need to think about your motivations for doing the work and how much you want to spend.

In this guide, we’ll explore the difference between refurbishments and property renovations and highlight the advantages of refurbishments.

We’ll also showcase some great refurbishment ideas to inspire you…

What’s the difference between renovation and refurbishment?

The biggest difference between renovating a property and refurbishing one is the scale of work.

A renovation project usually involves structural changes, that could include completely stripping a property back to its bare bones, adding more space or reconfiguring the existing footprint.

A refurbishment, on the other hand, tends to be less intrusive and is more about replacing or upgrading things that are already in place, such as:

  • Repairing or replacing things like broken tiles, or scratched or scuffed flooring.
  • Redecorating, like plastering, painting, and wallpapering walls.
  • Cleaning, repairing, or replacing items of furniture or property fittings.

To find out more, read our guide to property renovation.

How much does it cost to refurbish a house?

Property refurbishment can be expensive but shouldn’t be as costly as a full renovation project.

A minor refurbishment project, which might be as simple as some painting and decorating, could cost just a few hundred pounds, or even less.

A larger refurbishment, however, which could include painting, decorating, repairing or replacing flooring, or tiles, and upgrading furnishings, is more likely to cost a few thousand pounds.

The advantages of refurbishing your house

There are a number of advantages to refurbishing your property, rather than undertaking a full-scale renovation project…

1. Fast improvements

If you’re looking to sell your house quickly, a refurbishment is a superb time-effective way to give your property a lift before it goes to market.

Most refurbishment tasks can be done quickly, meaning you won’t have to delay your sale and can capitalise if the market conditions are favourable.

If you’re a landlord, meanwhile, a quick refurbishment can keep your property looking attractive to tenants, while also keeping any void period to a minimum.

2. It’s cost-effective

A full renovation project, which could include adding square footage through an extension or conversion, can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Renovations also take time and can spring up a few costly surprises along the way, too.

A smaller-scale property refurbishment can be far more cost-effective if you’re happy with the layout and functionality of your property and simply want to improve it aesthetically.

3. Fewer rules and limitations

It’s unlikely you’ll need planning permission for any refurbishment work at your property.

Compared with larger renovations, which often require planning approval, there’s less red tape to cut through when undertaking a refurbishment.

However, if you’re undertaking major electrical or gas work during your refurbishment, you may need Building Regulations approval.

4. A more homely feel

Sometimes, a refurbishment is needed simply to make a property feel like a home.

The years hurtle by in the blink of an eye and before you know it, your property can start to look shabby or old fashioned.

By undertaking a refurbishment, you can bring it up to date and make it feel homely again.

5. It can add value

Although refurbishments often involve less work than full-scale renovations, it’s still possible to add value to your home.

Well cared-for period features are hugely popular with buyers and if the character in your home stands out from the competition, buyers may be willing to pay a premium.

You could also consider minor upgrades to key rooms like your kitchen, where replacing taps or light fixtures can make a huge difference for a minimal cost.

6. Attractive for buyers

Many buyers will decide whether to view your property based on its marketing photographs alone.

By refurbishing and upgrading your property’s décor, you can ensure it looks attractive to buyers and maximise your chances of a quick sale.

7. Exterior kerb appeal

It’s not just the interior of your home that you could consider refurbishing.

Your property’s exterior is the first thing buyers see when they arrive for a viewing, so a fresh lick of front door paint, jet-washed brickwork and a clean and tidy garden can all make a huge difference when it comes to those vital first impressions.

8. You could have fewer maintenance costs

By refurbishing your property, you may be able to reduce the amount of ongoing maintenance it requires.

The tap that needs tightening every month, or the tile that’s been replaced seven times but continues to fall off at regular intervals could become headaches of the past by refurbishing.

9. It can feel like a fresh start

An effective refurbishment can sometimes feel like you’re in a completely different property.

If your home is feeling stale and stagnant, a fresh coat of paint or a new carpet can add some brightness and give both the property, and those who live in it, a real lift.

Five great refurbishment ideas to improve your property

Sometimes, when it comes to refurbishments, we all need a little inspiration. Here are five great ideas you could consider for your own property…

1. Highlight your property’s charm

If you’re lucky enough to live in a period property, try refurbishing your entrance hall and adding some classic Victorian floor tiles to really make a bold statement.

2. Be consistent with your fittings

Refurbishments are a great opportunity to bring all your fittings in line and make your home feel consistent and ‘designed’. These gold kitchen fixtures are perfectly on trend.

3. Be bold with colour

Crisp, white walls still have their place, but homeowners are becoming bolder with their colour choices. Why not try a deep blue in your living room, paired with some bold, contrasting furniture?

4. Create an inspiring home office

Remote working is going nowhere, so your next refurbishment project could create a perfect home office. With some new flooring, some crisp painting and a new desk and chair, you could have the perfect work from home space.

5. An eye-catching front door

Your front door can set the tone for the rest of your home, particularly in the eyes of buyers, so consider a fresh coat of paint to bring yours to life. Pink and blue pastel colours are becoming hugely popular.

Further reading…

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