Five top ways to add value to your home

Which im­prove­ments to your prop­erty will make it nicer to live in and more at­trac­tive to buy­ers when you come to sell?

Kentish Express Ashford & District - East Kent Property - - INDOOR LIVING -

1Ad­ding space is one of the best ways to im­prove your home and in­crease its value. If you’ve outgrown your home and can make it big­ger by build­ing an ex­ten­sion or con­vert­ing the loft, cel­lar or garage, do­ing the work is of­ten more eco­nom­i­cal than mov­ing to a larger prop­erty. Plus, it gives you a chance to create space tai­lored to your needs.

How­ever, be care­ful not to ex­tend your home in the wrong way.

For ex­am­ple, if you’re con­vert­ing the loft to create an ex­tra bed­room and there isn’t enough liv­ing space down­stairs for the to­tal num­ber of bed­rooms, you’ll be mak­ing the house too top-heavy.

If you’re con­cerned about re­sale, ask lo­cal es­tate agents whether the work you’re con­sid­er­ing is ad­vis­able.

2Modernising a home stuck in a dif­fer­ent decade is al­ways go­ing to add value and make it nicer to live in. Cen­tral heat­ing is a key home im­prove­ment be­cause most of us want it, but in­stalling it is ex­pen­sive and dis­rup­tive, so it’s some­thing to do at an early stage of a ren­o­va­tion.

The same ap­plies to rewiring – old wiring isn’t al­ways ob­vi­ous, but it can be dan­ger­ous.

But hav­ing a prop­erty rewired is also ex­pen­sive and dis­rup­tive, and can create more work and ex­pense be­cause you of­ten have to re­plas­ter after­wards.

3It’s of­ten said that kitchens and bath­rooms sell homes, mainly be­cause up­dat­ing them is costly and it’s not easy be­ing with­out ei­ther while the work’s be­ing done.

Day to day, re­plac­ing a dated kitchen or bath­room with a mod­ern one will make a big dif­fer­ence to your life, and you can fit a new one in­ex­pen­sively, al­though it’s not hard to spend a lot.

If you’re able to create one, an open-plan kitchen-diner/fam­ily room is the most pop­u­lar type of kitchen th­ese days, as it’s ideal for fam­ily life and en­ter­tain­ing.

4En suite bath­rooms and shower rooms are an­other good way to add value and make home life eas­ier. You should have at least one bath­room for ev­ery three bed­rooms, but when every­one’s get­ting ready in the morn­ing, there can be a lot of pres­sure on that bath­room. This is when an en suite is very handy. It’s also use­ful to have a bath­room or shower room on ev­ery floor with bed­rooms, so a loft-con­ver­sion bed­room with an en suite is usu­ally more valu­able than one with­out.

5In places where park­ing space is lim­ited, off­street park­ing is a big plus and most likely to add value in ex­pen­sive ur­ban ar­eas. You may need plan­ning per­mis­sion for off-street park­ing and for a dropped kerb (to ac­cess the off­street park­ing eas­ily), al­though the former can of­ten be done with­out plan­ning per­mis­sion if you use per­me­able ma­te­ri­als or have other drainage – see the in­ter­ac­tive house at www. plan­ning­por­ or ask your lo­cal coun­cil.

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