Home renovating tips for anyone wanting to DIY on a tiny budget, or looking to find a tradie and add a whole new floor. Certain projects add more resale value than others. Here are some that generally have the best financial impact. Just keep in mind that HELOCs come with additional fees to open and close (called discharging) the loan, fees that can run as high as $1,000. Teaming up with property expert Henry Pryor who regularly graces UK radio shows such as BBC Breakfast and Radio 4’s Today programme, the report reveals what home improvements are actually worth your time and money.

A welcoming front yard and an inviting backyard can go a long way into increasing your property’s value. By adding a patio or a deck in the front or the back of your house can make it look a hundred times more livable. In the backyard, you can set up a grill station, picnic stations (if it’s big enough for more than one), or a tiny playground for children. Maintaining this backyard could be difficult, but you can replace a part of the grass on the outer area of the backyard with gravel. You can reduce the maintenance plus have a bit of a design to it too.

Adding these items to a home that lacks them doesn’t add value, exactly; it merely brings the property up to the standard level of the rest of the homes in the ‘hood, ensuring that you can ask a comparable price. But the reality is, there’s more to renovating a property than meets the eye: if you’re hoping to live in the house for years to come and make it a characterful home for your growing family, you’ll need to take the time to restore it properly.

There are two golden rules that you should remember when planning improvements. The first is not to spend more than you have to. Never improve a house to the point where its desired sale price would be more than, say, 20% higher than the most expensive of the other houses in the immediate neighborhood. This is because the value of your home will always be affected (except in rural areas) by the value of the surrounding properties. The second is to ensure that any work carried out is of a professional standard. This is not the time to try out your DIY skills for the first time. Also, don’t forget to keep all receipts and paperwork to show agents and prospective buyers.

There are always extra costs. That’s because home renovation planning takes a little bit of guess work. How do you know if you have lead pipes or that your oven in a potential fire hazard? To avoid blowing your household budget, due to unexpected reno costs, add a contingency fund. Most contractors suggest adding 10% but larger projects may need a 20% contingency fund. Talk to your contractor for a better understanding of what this extra money could potentially cover.