New tricks to add ex­tra value to your bricks and mor­tar

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Michael Holmes

YOUR home is one of your big­gest in­vest­ments so why not look at im­prov­ing it?

Here are some of the best value-boost­ing projects you can un­der­take:

An is a great way to add value. Prices will vary de­pend­ing on the work you carry out, but as a guide, re­design­ing work is likely to cost £500-£800 per square me­tre; con­vert­ing a garage will cost £950-£1,250 per square me­tre; a ba­sic ex­ten­sion will cost from £1,050-£1,450 per square me­tre; a cel­lar con­ver­sion is likely to cost £950-£1,150 per square me­tre.

Most properties have the po­ten­tial to be im­proved by adding or re­mov­ing the par­ti­tion walls be­tween ex­ist­ing rooms to make bet­ter use of the space you al­ready have. Re­mod­elling can make your home seem much larger, es­pe­cially if you open the space up and cre­ate open-plan, multi-func­tion rooms that make the most of nat­u­ral light.

Pop­u­lar ideas in­clude reusing re­dun­dant or lesser used space such as a large hall­way and land­ing, un­nec­es­sary cor­ri­dor space, un­der­stairs space, a for­mer air­ing cup­board or coal store, the din­ing room or an overly large mas­ter or sec­ond bed­room.

The start­ing point for re­mod­elling is to get a floor­plan of your home so that you un­der­stand the lay­out and can see the po­ten­tial to com­bine space. This is typ­i­cally used to add a larger kitchen break­fast room, en-suite bath­rooms, ex­tra bed­rooms or a down­stairs cloak­room.

Re­mov­ing walls is of­ten in­ex­pen­sive and un­com­pli­cated, but you should al­ways con­sult an ar­chi­tect, builder or struc­tural en­gi­neer be­fore un­der­tak­ing any work. Load-bear­ing walls will re­quire struc­tural al­ter­ations and so need build­ing reg­u­la­tions con­sent (Build­ing Stan­dards in Scot­land).

One of the most cost-ef­fec­tive ways to add value is to con­vert a loft, garage or cel­lar. Pro­vid­ing the ex­ist­ing struc­ture is rea­son­ably sound and pro­por­tioned, adding space through con­ver­sion is usu­ally more cost-ef­fec­tive than adding an ex­ten­sion and has the added bonus of not sac­ri­fic­ing any gar­den space. In the loft, look for space with a ceil­ing height of at least 2.2m; if the space is limited it is of­ten pos­si­ble to enlarge it by chang­ing the shape of the roof at the back, or some­times the side or front, typ­i­cally with the ad­di­tion of a large dormer win­dow.

Typ­i­cal costs for con­ver­sion of ex­ist­ing space range from £9001,400 per square me­tre. Com­pare this cost with the aver­age value of prop­erty in your area to see if it’s a worth­while pro­ject.

Loft, garage and cel­lar con­ver­sions don’t usu­ally need plan­ning per­mis­sion, de­pend­ing on their de­sign, but there are re­stric­tions in Con­ser­va­tion Ar­eas and National Parks etc so al­ways make sure you con­tact the plan­ning depart­ment.

When look­ing at room lay­out op­tions most peo­ple only think of their space hor­i­zon­tally and ig­nore op­por­tu­ni­ties to do more with it by think­ing ver­ti­cally.

Sim­ple ideas like fit­ting high­level stor­age can make a big dif­fer­ence in free­ing up space else­where. A bed­room with a tall ceil­ing could ac­com­mo­date a desk with a raised sleep­ing plat­form above it, free­ing up valu­able floor space. Fold-down fur­ni­ture such as a desk or din­ing ta­ble or a bed is a great idea where space is re­ally tight; when not in use they fold up into a pocket on the wall.

Where a room has a loft space above it, re­mov­ing the ex­ist­ing ceil­ing and in­cor­po­rat­ing the roof space can cre­ate a dra­matic, dou­ble-height vaulted ceil­ing fea­ture. If the room is large enough, it could have a mez­za­nine gallery above part of it, reached by a space-ef­fi­cient spi­ral stair­case, ideal for an en­suite bath­room, home of­fice or sleep­ing plat­form.

Michael Holmes is spokesper­son for the National Home Im­prove­ment Show, Olympia, Lon­don, Septem­ber 27-29 , www. im­provey­ourhome­

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