DIY-friendly tips for maximising a property's worth

For most people, their home will be the single biggest investment they make, so it follows that homeowners want to see a return on this investment when planning to sell. Orlando Luis, CEO of Brights Hardware, offers some top tips on DIY ways to add value to a home.  

Happy couple sitting on the floor, white background with black pen outline drawing of a clock on right side of the wall and a picture of a flower on the left side wall.
Home DiY (Image: Canva)

In addition to natural market value growth, increasing the worth of a home is usually achieved through home renovations and improvements.  

However, money is tight for many and hiring pricey contractors to do renovations may seem impossible right now. The good news is that there are a multitude of home improvements that can be done as DIY projects, which will increase the value of the property without breaking the bank.   

Smart Home system on an mobile tablet with various buttons for areas such as living room, kitchen, bedroom and settings for tempreture, lock doors and security camera.
Home automation (Image: Canva)

Smarten up  

Smart homes which are automated and controlled via the homeowners’ smart devices are a growing trend.  

“It’s straightforward to incorporate DIY smart home features such as voice-controlled assistants, smart lighting controls, or even a DIY home security system. Automated homes are also more environmentally friendly as lights and appliances can be programmed to switch off when not in use, saving on electricity and reducing the load on the grid.”  

“These upgrades not only add convenience and energy efficiency but also appeal to modern buyers who are increasingly looking for integrated smart home solutions.”  

Energy efficient home.
Energy efficient home (Image: Canva)

Improve energy efficiency  

Making your home more energy-efficient can increase its value while saving money on municipal bills.  

“Some DIY solutions include installing low-flow shower heads, replacing all your lightbulbs with LEDs, using timers or smart systems to turn off lights when not in use, installing a timer on your geyser and insulating it by wrapping it in a geyser blanket,” says Luis.  

“Other options include replacing or adding insulation in the roof, painting your roof with reflective paint to keep your home cooler in summer (thereby reducing the need for air conditioning and fans), converting your heating appliances to gas versions, and adding water tanks to your gutter systems to collect rainwater.  

Install alternative energy solutions  

Loadshedding is not going anywhere anytime soon, and having a home that is equipped to handle regular power outages adds value to the property while making your life easier.  

Luis advises that there are many products and solutions available on the market which depend on your budget, but some recommended options are: installing solar-powered lighting in the garden as well as solar-powered spotlights for security; installing solar panels on your home to power lights and core appliances; as well as installing an inverter and battery system that can keep lights and appliances on during power outages. “Rechargeable light bulbs are also always a good idea as they switch to battery energy during load shedding.”  

Outdoor kitchen and leisure area (Image: Canva)

Bring the inside out  

South Africans love entertaining and with our glorious climate, much of our leisure time is spent outdoors. A great DIY project that will extend your living space and increase your property’s value is to create an outdoor kitchen, braai and bar area.  

“Incorporate features such as a gas hob to cook on, countertop space to prepare food and drinks, some storage cabinets to keep glasses, plates etc., and comfortable seating for an inviting alfresco entertainment area.” 

Build an outdoor shower  

And, while you are bringing the inside out, another great idea to add functionality to your home and increase its value is to install an outdoor shower and wash trough in your garden.  

“You can use basic plumbing supplies and materials to create an outdoor shower where you can rinse off after swimming or gardening or cool off after a hot day. It’s also a good space to rinse off garden tools, dirty shoes and even muddy dogs,” says Luis.  

Create a vertical garden wall  

Having a home that is on trend immediately adds to its value. Vertical garden walls, both indoors and outdoors, are a wonderful on-trend addition to any home – and not only do they add visual interest and a unique focal point, but also improve the air quality.  

Use a vertical structure like a pallet, or trellis to make a DIY planter, or purchase a ready-made hanging planter and fill it with a variety of plants such as succulents, herbs, or trailing vines.  

Spruce up your driveway   

Updating your driveway can significantly enhance the curb appeal of your home.  

“Some ideas to improve this part of your property include repairing any cracks and uneven areas if you have a concrete surface. You can paint over old and stained concrete or bricks with road marking paint, roof paint, or stoep enamel,” says Luis. “If your driveway features a gravel surface you can add new gravel to get it looking fresh again – and pull out any weeds that may have established themselves.”  

“Adding a formal border along the edges of your driveway makes it look neater and more defined, and the addition of strategically placed decorative pots and planters will add some appealing landscaping. Finish it off aesthetically with some solar-powered lighting along the edges. Also, consider installing a motorised gate on your driveway and palisade fencing or Wendy plank fence panels at the entrance to your property, which will provide improved security and add value to your home.”  

Bonus tip: highlight your home’s potential   

A final bit of advice from Luis when looking at your home and ways to increase its value, is to assess if the property has scope to set up a separate room or flatlet that can be rented out through platforms such as Airbnb (think loft, garden Wendy house, garage or a spare room with its own entrance).  

“This is a big trend now as people seek alternative income sources, and so by having such a space your home can become instantly more valuable. You don’t necessarily have to create this space yourself, but by mentioning the opportunity to potential buyers you paint the picture of what they can do should they purchase the property.”   

“Upgrading your home doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult and it doesn’t have to involve contractors. Brights Hardware has on-site experts in all our stores to provide advice on products for your next project – whatever it may be. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you with all the insights and information that you need,” concludes Luis.  

Brights Hardware stores are in Boston, Blackheath, Langebaan, Mitchells Plain, Richmond Park, Plattekloof, Stonewood, Brackengate and Sunningdale. An online store shopping experience is available at which offers delivery to anywhere in South Africa. Brights also offers same-day delivery in the Western Cape for products purchased online.  

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