Ren­o­va­tion game

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home -

Make your home more valu­able, sell­able and en­joy­able to live in by im­prov­ing it in the right way. JULIE GRAY has five top tips 1 En­sure you do the ba­sics first. With any ren­o­va­tion project, it pays to start with the es­sen­tials, such as rewiring, re­plac­ing the cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem, re­pair­ing the roof and ad­dress­ing any damp and struc­tural prob­lems.

Do­ing things in the wrong or­der, or try­ing to cut cor­ners, can soon cost you time and money, es­pe­cially if you have to redo what you’ve al­ready done.

If you re­plas­ter the walls with­out solv­ing a damp prob­lem, for ex­am­ple, the damp will sim­ply come through the new plas­ter. This will have to be hacked off so a wa­ter­proof ren­der can be ap­plied be­fore re­plas­ter­ing again.

2 Start at the top and work down, both with the house in general and each room in par­tic­u­lar.

Ide­ally, a loft con­ver­sion (which can greatly in­crease your home’s value) should be done be­fore ren­o­vat­ing the rooms be­low, as it’s much less painful to have a leak (from wa­ter get­ting in when the roof’s off) or a hole in a ceil­ing (from a builder slip­ping in the loft) in rooms that aren’t fin­ished.

If you’re re­dec­o­rat­ing a room, start by painting the ceil­ing be­cause the paint can splat­ter walls and the floor, and work down from there, with the floor last.

3 Con­sider ex­tend­ing into the side re­turn. Lots of prop­er­ties, usu­ally Vic­to­rian and Ed­war­dian ones, have a side re­turn – a nar­row strip of gar­den that usu­ally runs along­side the kitchen.

This isn’t much use as gar­den, be­cause it’s of­ten too nar­row to sit out in, but can make a big dif­fer­ence to the space in­doors.

By ex­tend­ing into the side re­turn, you can turn a nar­row kitchen into a good-sized kitchen- diner, which is a valu­able ad­di­tion to any home.

For houses with­out a side re­turn, a rear ex­ten­sion can turn a small kitchen into a big open-plan kitchen-diner/ fam­ily room ( see be­low) that’s a plea­sure to use day-to-day and will be a hit with buy­ers when you sell.

This is es­pe­cially the case with 1920s and 1930s houses, which of­ten have kitchens so small they’re im­prac­ti­cal for mod­ern fam­ily life.

4 Cre­ate open-plan liv­ing space, as this is high on the must-have list of many buy­ers, par­tic­u­larly fam­i­lies and peo­ple who like to en­ter­tain. Ex­tend­ing into the side re­turn, build­ing a rear ex­ten­sion and/ or knock­ing two rooms into one, typ­i­cally a sep­a­rate kitchen and din­ing room, is a good way to cre­ate the open-plan kitchen-diner/fam­ily room so many of us love.

5 Turn a one-bed­room prop­erty into a two bed. If you can add bed­rooms, you can usu­ally add value, al­though it can be a mis­take to make the prop­erty top heavy, with too many bed­rooms for the amount of liv­ing space down­stairs, or to have too many bed­rooms for the num­ber of bath­rooms. In some lo­ca­tions, es­pe­cially ex­pen­sive ur­ban ones, turn­ing a one-bed­room prop­erty into a two-bed can pro­pel it into a dif­fer­ent price bracket when you come to sell.

Adding a bed­room may in­volve ex­tend­ing, or con­vert­ing the loft, cel­lar or garage, but it can also be done with­out spend­ing a lot.

Open-plan liv­ing is high on the must- have

list of many­buy­ers

A rear ex­ten­sion can turn a small kitchen into some­thing that will be a hit with buy­ers

Chang­ing the lay­out may en­able you to di­vide one room into two (some main bed­rooms span the en­tire front of the house, for ex­am­ple) or if you have a large liv­ing room, you could put the kitchen in there and use the for­mer kitchen as a bed­room.

Start at the top... When re­dec­o­rat­ing a room, start by

painting the ceil­ing

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