Home improvements are top of everyone’s lists looking for more space or to maximise the value of your home. Springing up in every street are building projects, scaffolding, skips and garden renovations. In many cases, the work is to make the house more suited to the current owners needs, meaning they are less likely to need to move house but they are also increasing the future value of their property.
Whether you’re weighing up whether to move or improve, or investing in the long term, the value these improvements can add to your home is an important consideration. Our agents are experts in what adds value, and what is just for personal taste, and here are our top tips.
Creating more living space
Depending on your budget, there are many ways to add extra rooms to your home, all with their own pitfalls.
Although not the cheapest option, converting your loft is the often the best way to get an extra bedroom and bathroom, depending on your roof. It’s also the wisest investment, adding on average around 12% to a home’s value without losing any outside space. The conversion will need to fit in with the rest of the house however, meaning logical access, good design and plenty of head room. Bear in mind the balance of your house though – do you really need 5 bedrooms if your downstairs space or garden is cramped.
A conservatory is a great, cost effective way to make more living room in your home, providing you have enough garden to sacrifice. Conservatories are not subject to quite the same building regulations as a full extension, providing sufficient portions of it are glazed. For maximum effect, make sure it feels like part of the house, use similar flooring or colour schemes and try to create some flow through the rooms. Also give the room a proper use. All too often we see conservatories with no real purpose, used as extra storage space.
If your footprint can afford to lose the space, then an extension could be the way to go, especially if you can build across to floors. New Government legislation means that, providing your neighbours don’t object, you can build up to a depth of 6 metres for a single storey extension (attached property) and 8 metres (detached) before planning permission is required.
Converting the garage
9 out of 10 garages don’t contain a car. Whilst this may seem sacrilege to some, we are seeing an increasing number of homeowners finding their garage would be better used as living space, rather than somewhere to keep clutter.
Take into consideration your driveway space and also, think about making it as easy as possible for a potential buyer to convert back into a garage, should then wish.
Working with what you’ve got
Even houses with plenty of space can be improved, both to better fit your lifestyle and to make them attractive to potential buyers. Here are our top tips.
First impressions count
Appearances matter. If you are selling your home, getting buyers through the front door is the first hurdle. A fresh lick of paint on any rendering, a spruced up front door and a neat and tidy (but easy to maintain) front garden can transform the selling potential of a house, regardless of what it is like on the inside. Sort out your windows, chips, cracks and loose roof tiles. Many buyers will run a mile if they think the roof needs fixing.
The heart of the home
If you only have the budget to improve one room, the kitchen is your priority. The kitchen is no longer merely for cooking, it’s now a living space, for eating, homework, socializing, relaxing and much more. A well planned out, workable, neutral space will add far more value to your home than the latest trends. Use accessories to keep your kitchen up to date but make the investment pieces timeless. It’s also worth considering the price bracket of your home. There’s no point putting a handmade oak kitchen in a modest value house any more than a cheap kitchen in a country farmhouse. However, worktops, appliances and fittings have far more impact than the price of the cupboards.
Garden living is on the up, with an increase in the range of garden furniture, as well as garden design itself. Incorporating the garden into your home is a popular move. Glass doors, lighting and some design ideas can make the garden feel like and extra room.
A house has to be a home first and foremost, and must suit how you want to live now. However, making improvements with an eye to the future can pay dividends in the long run.
If you’re thinking of moving or extending, and would like a free valuation or planning advice, we are here to help you.
You can book a free home valuation here, or contact our planning team to arrange a free consultation here.