Since 2008 the housing market in the UK has been largely stagnant, with only minor increases in property values. With house sales taking longer, many are deciding to stay put, undertaking home improvements instead. Here are five ways you can add value to your home…
Adding a conservatory
A conservatory is one of the most cost effective ways of adding floor space to your home. Unlike traditional extensions, conservatories do not need to comply with building regulations – provided that the room is not heated by the central heating system and is separated internally from the house i.e. by French doors. Roughly speaking, a conservatory will add double the value to your property than it costs to build. Think carefully about heating and ventilation before going ahead; a south or west-facing conservatory will get very warm and a north-facing conservatory will be considerably cooler.
Creating off-road parking
One of the biggest deciding factors for house-buyers in built up areas is the provision of suitable parking. Unloading the kids from a car several streets away is a real turn off for prospective buyers, so transforming your unused garden forecourt into a handy parking space will add instant appeal, and value, to your home. You should speak to your planning office before calling in the contractors, however if there are other driveways on your street obtaining planning is likely to be straightforward.
Adding a loft conversion
Adding a further bedroom to your home is the easiest and fastest way to significantly increase the appeal, and value, of your home. Most properties built before the mid-70s are suitable for loft conversions, however more modern properties may need structural alterations before a conversion is possible, owing to modern roof construction techniques. Converting your loft space can be complete within a matter of weeks and mortgage lenders suggest that properties with loft conversions sell for approximately 20 per cent more than a similar property without a conversion. Always take professional advice before starting a conversion and remember that the conversion must conform to building and fire regulations.
Updating the kitchen
Modern family living demands open-plan layouts, with combined cooking and dining areas, and as it is, for most families, the hub of the home, the kitchen is the room which adds the most value. Knocking internal walls down to create a big, airy, open space can be done inexpensively, though it is important to check that the wall isn’t load-bearing. Turning your attention to kitchen units, make sure you choose a style which harmonises with the character of the house. Choose the right style and you will add instant appeal and value to your home. Cut costs of replacing appliances by purchasing replacements from direct sources, such as Appliances Online – rather than often over-inflated appliances offered by kitchen manufacturers.
Make your home eco-friendly
Potential energy bills are a major deciding factor when comparing similar style houses and with energy performance certificates highlighting a home’s energy running costs, the most efficient homes appeal. Top mortgage lenders suggest that the most efficient homes will sell for up to 5 per cent more than a standard home, by 2015.There are Government grants available to help with the costs of improving the efficiency of your home and if efficiency improvements increase the appeal, and value, of your home, it is well worth giving consideration.
Before commencing any improvements, research your local property market because there is a limit to any property’s development potential, in terms of financial return. Over developing your home may make it the best in the neighbourhood but you may not recoup your investment costs. Make your home improvements with due consideration and invest wisely.