Making small tweaks around your home can substantially drive up the value of your property. These are 4 home improvements that will help you get the most out of your home

Making improvements to your home doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but if you’re clever, there are cost-effective tweaks that you can make around your house that can give you a 60% return on your investment.

Kitchen and bathroom upgrade

While these two components could potentially send bills running into the hundreds of thousands of rands (if you don’t pull the brakes on spending), interior designer Christo Koegelenberg says small changes like changing the colour of the cabinets, handles and doorknobs can go a long way further than you think, as far as upping the value of your house is concerned.

READ MORE: Is it worth investing in renovations when you’re selling your home?

“Upgrading your kitchen need not be an expensive overhaul and small changes can go a long way. For example, if your kitchen has your stock-standard Formica, replace it with granite tops to instantly give it a much better look and feel,” advises Koegelenberg.

Depending on the condition of your tiles in your bathroom, you might not need to have the floor retiled, but it’s important to ensure that the grouting is clean and fresh.

Go green

With the costs of solar and alternative energy decreasing and energy consumption a growing concern, now is a good time to get your home future-ready by making it more energy-efficient. “Green” homes are all the rage right now.

Make sure all your lights are fitted with energy-saving LED bulbs and put up motion- sensor lights outside. If the cost of installing a solar geyser is too high, you could also consider investing in a geyser blanket to drape over the water cylinder and hotter pipes. This will help retain the heat.

The more light, the better

Being clever with the lighting can make your home look bigger than it really is.

READ MORE: Improvements you should be making to up your home’s value

Koegelenberg’s nifty hack to create more light is by “hanging a large mirror directly opposite the biggest window in the room, which will instantly help brighten up the space”.

“A floor lamp is a great option to get upward light in those dark corners that the natural light can’t reach,” he says.

Also consider light-coloured curtains for the windows, as this will allow more sunlight into the room.

Pristine floors and walls

“First impressions count and if your walls aren’t looking great, it can give the impression that the house is shabby in other places too,” Koegelenberg says.

Replace any chipped tiles and deal with mould and damp. Wood laminate is a cost-effective option for floor areas that need attention.