New tricks to add extra value to your bricks and mortar
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. improveyourhomeshow.co.uk