The choice of materials that you use when renovating a property can make a real difference to the resulting value of the property. As an investor, the number one rule for renovations is that you should never make a major or expensive change to a property if it will not increase the property’s worth. There are certain materials that can be used in visible part of a renovation that are proven to increase the sale-ability and value of a property far more than other choices.
Exterior / Cladding
The best choice for exterior walls on most property renovations. The material is tough and durable, requiring little to no maintenance. It is also fire-proof, adding to the overall safety of a property. The aspect that really makes it a good choice for investors though is the value it adds to the property. Up to 87% of the cost of fitting fibre cement cladding is recouped from the rise in market value it provides. This kind of cladding looks good and will likely attract buyers.
An alternative to fiber cement cladding is vinyl cladding. This can be simple vinyl cladding or foam-backed vinyl cladding. Both look great, offer easy maintenance and will increase the value of the property. Foam-backed vinyl cladding also adds extra insulation, something that many potential buyers will be looking out for due to ever-increasing energy costs.
More and more people are choosing to have wooden window frames fitted to their properties. Wooden windows may seem like a thing of the past, with many people remembering flaky, splintered or rotting frames of old. Wooden windows do require more maintenance than other materials, but statistics show that they are popular with buyers, adding a timeless look to a property. Modern treatment methods mean that wood is more durable and should not need replacing too often.
The quality of vinyl windows has increased greatly in recent years. Requiring little in the way of maintenance and lasting for uncountable years, this material is a great choice for lasting quality and will add real value to a renovation property.
The choice of flooring will depend on the overall value of the property and which sector it is being marketed to. High end properties aimed at attracting professional tenants or families will require higher quality flooring than student lets or mid-range properties. It is important not to overspend on flooring, as it will only add value to certain properties.
The best choice for flooring in high-end properties is hardwood floorboards, plush carpet or luxurious stone tiles. The quality of flooring will make a real difference to the impression of the property that high-end buyers or tenants receive. Buyers and tenants looking in this range of properties expect top quality in every aspect, particularly if a property has been recently refurbished. Anything but the best will have a significant negative effect on their chances of buying.
While the choice of flooring in these properties is of some importance, functionality rather than luxury is key. Generally bought by families and young professionals, flooring should be good quality, but not overly expensive. These sectors of the market typically do not have a lot of money to splash out on extra luxury. Wooden flooring, good quality laminate, good quality carpets and ceramic tiles are all good choices for a mid-range property.
Low-end properties tend to be student and local authority lets. Tenants are often unlikely to take good care of these properties. Investors buying such a property or tenants looking to rent one will usually have a limited budget and will not want to pay extra for good quality flooring. Durable or replaceable are good words to keep in mind when making your choice. Laminate or tiles are good for wet rooms, while wood effect flooring or cheap carpet is good for living areas.
There are many choices of material for counter-tops. Each has some advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right counter-top material for the look and feel of a room can really add value to a renovation property. Some of the most common choices are listed below.
Granite is available at a range of prices, so it may be possible to get a very good deal (although it can also be very expensive). It tends to be durable due to the hard stone being unlikely to get scratched or chipped. It is also resistant to heat, fire and mildew. Granite is available in many colours and patterns. So long as it is sealed roughly twice a year, it will not stain. Granite is relatively brittle and may crack if too much weight is put on it. Seams tend to be visible if multiple slabs of granite are used to make the counter-top.
A soft stone that is resistant to heat and water, marble offers functionality coupled with a beautiful, elegant and timeless look. The surface of marble remains cool, making an excellent choice for kitchen in which a lot of baking is done. Due to its porous nature, marble stains easily and must be sealed several times a year to prevent this. It is also an expensive material.
Stainless Steel / Chrome
Stainless steel is a popular choice for a modern, minimalist look, popular with young professionals. This material is heat and mildew resistant and does not harbor bacteria, meaning it is an excellent choice for kitchens. Stainless steel comes in a variety of prices, but good quality counter-tops in this material may prove expensive. Chrome plating is often a cheaper alternative, with a similar look and characteristics. Stainless steel can give a cold or clinical feel that may not be popular with families or high-end buyers. It can also scratch easily or dent if it is too thin.
The main advantage of laminate counter-tops is their affordability. These are ideal for lower end properties, as they are resistant to heat and stains – as well as being easy to clean. Available in a wide range of colours, these are great for student lets. Laminate is not heat or scratch resistant, so it may need replacing between lets – but the affordability makes this feasible.
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