Skip to content

Improving a home’s exterior can boost saleability, research says

Spending just a few hundred pounds can improve a home’s kerb appeal and positively influence a buyer’s first impression, according to new research.

Two thirds of home buyers are influenced by how a home looks from the outside and want to see well maintained windows and a roof in good condition, a survey from the HomeOwners Alliance has found.

It says that fixing broken tiles on a roof, tidying up the garden and improving the front drive or pathway to a house does not need to cost a fortune, with an estimate of costs from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) putting costs at just a few hundred pounds.

Overall some 68% of home owners say kerb appeal was important in their choice of home. As well as the roof and windows, they also look at pathways and fences and a well-painted frontage.

Other significant features included clean gutters, concealed wheelie bins and a brightly-lit exterior. An attractive front door featured lower down the list.

The FMB says tidying a front garden can cost from as little as £150, while fixing broken tiles on a roof at around £190 while repairing and improving a pathway or drive up to a house could typically cost between £100 and £500 depending on the extent of the damage and the surface.

But the cost of repairing and redecorating wooden windows that have not been touched for a decade would be steeper at between £1,000 and £2,000. For upstairs windows, scaffolding may be required instead of a ladder and, if so, it typically costs £400 a day to rent.

The FMB estimates it would cost around £550 to repaint the front of a house as scaffolding may be needed while redecorating a front door would typically cost £200, clearing and repairing gutters around £250 and adding an exterior light to a house between £250 and £750.

‘Kerb appeal creates a lasting first impression. Most buyers make up their minds in the first few minutes of arriving at a property. So if you’re about to put your home on the market this autumn or your house has been on sale for a while, it’s worth going through this list and seeing what improvements you can make,’ said Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance.

‘The good news is that a lot of solutions are simple and cost very little, from putting your wheelie bins out of sight, to repainting your front door and weeding your paths. Some jobs don’t even require a tradesperson. But where you do need a professional to help, make sure you get a few quotes before starting work,’ she added.

According to Brian Berry, FMB chief executive, small jobs can be completed in a matter of days and are guaranteed to help make a property stand out. ‘However, it’s essential that homeowners work with a reputable and experienced builder to make sure they don’t end up creating more work and expense for themselves in the long run,’ he said.

‘The last thing you want when trying to sell your home is a messy building site for weeks on end. Always ask around for a recommendation from a friend or family member. If that’s not possible, the Federation of Master Builders free ‘Find a Builder’ service locates independently vetted and inspected, professional builders in your local area,’ he added.