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?
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. planningportal.gov.uk or ask your local council.