12 DIY projects you can do over the holidays to add value to your home

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and take care of the home improvement projects you’ve been putting off – and novices will be happy to know that not all home upgrades and repairs demand extensive time or money to complete.

Stephan Thomas, Secure Estate Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs, says that not only will some of these projects increase the overall value of your home, but a little upgrade here and there can also save you a lot of money down the line.

“If you let maintenance slide, when you do decide to sell, you could be in for a shock at the cost of making all the necessary repairs,” he said.

For many people, the mere mention of DIY is anathema. But, Thomas said, not all projects are equal – and while some will just add value, others will also be a source of great enjoyment once completed.

“There are many ways for you to improve your property without hiring a designer or doing major construction and your home improvement projects don’t have to be grand or expensive to make a strong impact.”

So, whether you just want to refresh your home, get it ready to sell, or improve your living space for your family’s enjoyment, Thomas said that the following upgrades will breathe new life into your home whilst adding value:


Spruce up the garden

Chances are you’ll be spending a lot more time outdoors to enjoy the beautiful summer weather – and it’s one of the very first things a potential buyer will notice.

If you aren’t blessed with green thumbs, you can make a big difference by getting rid of any overgrown or dead plants, cutting back shrubs and trees and trimming the edges of flower beds. And if you want to add a splash of colour, planting one or two, hardy but vibrant plants will do the trick.


Add a patio

A home with a patio will not only allow you to better enjoy spending time outdoors, it will also be more impressive to home buyers as it creates the impression of a bigger property.


Bump up your home’s kerb appeal

Many people don’t realise the importance of kerb appeal to the value of their properties – as well as their own appreciation of their homes. This can easily be done by tackling untidy vegetation and mowing lawns, clearing the cracks between driveway paving and refreshing gravelled areas.


Install an outdoor kitchen

If you’re feeling more ambitious — and you love South Africa’s national pastime — consider taking your kitchen outside. This way, you can prepare meals and be around your guests with minimal time spent running back and forth for plates and whatnot.

The internet has loads of great ideas, from lavish to basic and, if your skills and budget are on the modest side, you can go with a premade outdoor grill island or a more basic structure, such as a bar made from reclaimed wood or paving stones. Incorporate natural materials like stone and brick – it’s an outdoor kitchen, after all.


Build a fire pit

This is the perfect project for those who enjoy spending their summer evenings outdoors – and are looking to keep their weekend projects to a minimum. The three options are to buy an antique or salvaged fire pit, buy a freestanding fire pit, or build one.

Not only is it a cost-efficient project, but an outdoor fire pit is also the ideal way to entertain guests during the summer months.


Build a shed

If your garage is overflowing with kids’ toys, bicycles and boxes of goods in storage and the house is cluttered then a shed may be the best summer project for you. Summer is an excellent time to add a little extra space to your place and it will always be appreciated by the next homeowner.


Revive your deck or wooden door and window frames

Stripping and re-staining your deck and wooden frames is a job most people can easily handle on their own, and it will definitely enhance your home’s beauty. Because it’s a job that takes place entirely outdoors, it’s also among the summer home improvement projects you should have on your list.


Declutter the garage and give it a makeover

Start by going through all your items in the garage and decide what you want to keep and what can be sold or donated. Then once you have decided what needs to still be stored in the garage, create a dedicated storage area and install shelving and cupboards or cabinets if needed.


Install outdoor lighting

Outdoor lighting is one of the easiest ways to increase your property value because it shows that you care about safety and security and buyers will see that there’s no reason for them to worry whether they’re home or away from their house. Outdoor lighting also adds ambiance and makes summer evenings outdoors much more pleasant and practical.


Refresh your home with paint

Summer is the perfect season for bigger paint projects like your house’s exterior and perimeter walls – and a little paint can go a long way in transforming your property and making it far more attractive to prospective buyers.


Revamp your Front Door

First impressions really do count, and there’s no easier way to make a good first impression than a fabulous front door. Paint it in a welcoming colour that coordinates – or contrasts – with the home’s exterior and swap worn-out or dated door handles and hinges. If it’s really old and you have wiggle room in the budget, consider installing a new door.


Put down a fresh bead of bathroom caulk

Bathrooms top most people’s priority list when viewing property and ageing, stained or cracked sealant will be off-putting to most buyers. Fortunately, caulk is cheap and it’s relatively easy to apply. All you need is an hour or two, a few common tools, materials easily found at any hardware store – and a steady hand.

“A home is both a basic need and a sound long-term investment,” concludes Thomas, “and with just a few simple renovation projects, you can significantly increase your family’s enjoyment and comfort and, at the same time, see your home’s value increasing.”


Read: Top property and living trends to know about in Cape Town right now

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12 DIY projects you can do over the holidays to add value to your home