Make the most of your in­ner space

Big home im­prove­ments are ex­pen­sive so get them right to add value to your home

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home - Ju­lia Gray

If YOU’VE out­grown your home and you can make it big­ger by build­ing an ex­ten­sion or con­vert­ing the loft, cel­lar or garage, do­ing the work is often more eco­nom­i­cal than mov­ing and gives you an op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate space tai­lored to your needs.

How­ever, you need to be care­ful not to en­large your home in the wrong way.

You’ll add most value if ev­ery­thing’s in pro­por­tion – for ex­am­ple, the right num­ber of bed­rooms to bath­rooms (aim for at least one bath­room to three bed­rooms) and enough liv­ing space for the num­ber of bed­rooms.

Lofts are often straight­for­ward to con­vert, es­pe­cially if the work can be done un­der your home’s per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment rights, mean­ing that plan­ning per­mis­sion isn’t re­quired.

Loft con­ver­sions usu­ally add most value when turned into a suite with a main bed­room, bath­room or shower room and even, if there’s enough space, a walkin wardrobe or dress­ing room.

If plan­ning laws al­low, max­imis­ing the space by adding a full­width dormer wi n d ow and al­ter­ing the side roof so it goes from sloped to ‘straight’ (when viewed from the front or back) makes for a larger and more valu­able loft con­ver­sion. Th­ese days, smaller, sep­a­rate rooms are out and larger, open­plan rooms are in – as far as most of us are con­cerned. How­ever, to­tally open-plan space isn’t nec­es­sar­ily the best way to add value, or live day to day, es­pe­cially if you have chil­dren. Open- plan kitchendin­ers/ fam­ily rooms are n ow ex­tremely pop­u­lar, but also hav­ing a sep­a­rate, more for­mal sit­ting room work s well for many fam­i­lies. Some fam­i­lies pre­fer to have a sep­a­rate play­room or den for the kids, so the mess is self-con­tained. One of the best ways to cre­ate an open-plan kitchen- diner/ fam­ily room is to add a ground­floor ex­ten­sion (which can also often be done un­der your home’s per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment rights) to en­large the ex­ist­ing kitchen and any rooms you’re com­bin­ing it with, such as a sep­a­rate din­ing room.

Add a wall of bi- fold doors lead­ing out to the gar­den to give a won­der­ful feel­ing of in­sid­e­out­side space and you have a valu­able ad­di­tion to your home.

If en­larg­ing the kitchen isn’t an op­tion, mod­ernising a dated kitchen is one of the best things you can do.

Kitchens and bath­rooms are the rooms that most sell homes be­cause re­plac­ing them is ex­pen­sive and dis­rup­tive and, while you don’t have to spend a for­tune to get a good look, any money spent is usu­ally a good in­vest­ment in th­ese key rooms.

Open-plan rooms are pop­u­lar, but they aren’t prac­ti­cal for ev­ery­one CRE­ATE in­side - out­side space for a valu­able ad­di­tion to your home

Ex­tend­ing the kitchen can help sell your home

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