We all have our own bugbears when it comes to picking out a property, but there are some features that are universally disliked.
From Artex ceilings to avocado bathroom suites, here’s our rundown of five of the least desirable features a property can have - and what you can do to rectify them.
Coronation Street fans will know that the late Jack and Vera Duckworth were big fans of stone cladding, which didn’t go down well with the neighbours. Cladding is basically a layer of simulated or real stone applied to a building, supposedly to ’enhance’ the exterior.
What you can do: Removing stone cladding is a job for the experts. If the whole house is covered in it, expect to have to pay thousands if you want it gone. Be prepared for even steeper costs if the cladding is concealing anything nasty, such as structural defects, or problems with brickwork underneath.
Bathroom and kitchen carpets
It might sound strange to some, but a surprising number of homes in the UK have carpet in their bathrooms and kitchens.
What you can do: Fortunately, this one’s not too complicated or expensive to change. Rip ’em out and put in some tiles or lino that’s easy to clean and won’t hang on to bad smells, or attract mould when wet.
There’s nothing like an Artex ceiling to take you right back to the 1980s. Artex is a type of plaster applied to ceilings or walls – or both if you’re especially unlucky – to give a textured finish. Sometimes referred to as ’popcorn’ or ’cottage cheese’ ceilings, they fell out of favour years ago, not only because the look was no longer considered fashionable, but also because until the mid-80s Artex was made with white asbestos to make it stronger.
What you can do: Before you touch Artex, get an expert in to discover whether it has asbestos in it. If it does, check the Health and Safety Executive’s website (hse.gov.uk/asbestos) on how best to proceed. You don’t necessarily have to remove it if asbestos is present, as you may be able to skim over or plaster it - but always seek professional advice first.
A sink piled full of dirty washing up, nasty cooking smells and filthy floors can be a major turn off for visitors to your kitchen – especially if they’ve come round for dinner. If you’ve got guests, or if you’re trying to sell your home, make sure your kitchen is sparkling clean and doesn’t smell of old food.
What you can do: Getting things straight may involve a bit of elbow grease, but once you’ve cut through the grime, maintaining things shouldn’t be too difficult. Stop dirt building up again by giving your kitchen a thorough once-over at least every week.
An avocado bathroom suite
Few things can date a home as much as a delightful avocado bathroom suite – or one in any other pastel shade for that matter. They might have been popular back in the 1970s, but according to research by Barclays Mortgages, a green bathroom is the feature most likely to put off buyers if you’re trying to sell your home.
What you can do: Fortunately, bathroom suites don’t cost a fortune to replace, typically starting from around £300 for a basic white one. You will need a professional plumber to remove your old suite and install it. Use a member of the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC). You can find a reputable and qualified plumber here.
Check out our article on how to find a good plumber for more information.