Whatever your motivation for doing up the house, whether it’s because you want to sell your property after the work has been completed or simply want to upgrade your own living quarters, you’re sure to want to add value at the same time… especially if you do have plans to up sticks and move elsewhere.
But deciding where best to focus your efforts if the value is a top priority can be very tricky indeed. If you’re struggling in this regard, you might want to have a look at this infographic revealing the best and the worst home improvements, with estimated average percentage impacts on property values included.
The list was compiled by Jason Orme, content director for My Homebuilding, Real Homes and Period Living Magazine, along with Home Protect to help homeowners make educated decisions about what would represent a worthwhile investment.
It appears that redecorating the kitchen could yield particularly positive results since it’s one of the main considerations that buyers will weigh up when looking at a house. Apparently, it could cost you £6,300 on average but could add five per cent to the value of your property.
A cellar conversion, meanwhile, would be a much more significant outlay at the start (costing on average £20,000) but it could add 20 per cent to the value of your home. You could also increase the floor space of your house by up to 30 per cent so it would certainly also be worth doing if you have no plans to move elsewhere.
An extension might also be a good idea if you want to have more space at home – and this is generally a surefire way of giving your house a bit of a boost in value. You will need to take into account factors like the general planning of the structure, the building materials used and the positioning of the extension, as this can all have an influence as well.
Mr Orme said: “While conservatories remain popular, the peak of conservatory additions was in the 1980s and, almost 40 years on, these conservatories pose more problems than benefits. I see a lot of homeowners looking to replace their cold (or very hot, depending on the season) conservatory with a solid walled, but glass-rich, extension that can be used all year round.”
Interestingly, building a conservatory was advised against because they’re rather old-fashioned and it can be difficult to control the temperature. Consider the fact that building a sunroom might perhaps only generate half the value that an extra bedroom would, at just six per cent, then you might be put off the idea of a conservatory.
Double glazing was recommended, however, since it can boost the value of a property and also help improve its energy efficiency… so if you don’t want to move house, you’ll find you have lower energy bills and a warmer house into the bargain.
Depending on the size and number of windows that need glazing, the cost of the job will vary but the average price for double glazing is £5,000 and it can result in an average rise of ten per cent in property values.
For those seriously thinking of selling their house in the near future, making even the smallest interior improvements could make a difference to the value of the property, as well as making it more appealing to buyers.
If the fixtures are dated or look run down, you could put prospective house hunters off the property, as well as lowering its value. You don’t necessarily need to go all out with the redecorating but perhaps focus on key areas of the property like the bathroom or the kitchen.
Mr Orme noted that people will most certainly look at the general cleanliness of these rooms so if you can, try to update anything that needs it.
You might find that there are some changes you can make for relatively little money, such as replacing an old worktop with a more contemporary one, that will help to present the property in a more favourable light.
Whatever project you decide to undertake, it’s certainly good news that you no longer need full planning permission for extensions at home. The government recently introduced a package of reforms allowing people to erect single-storey rear extensions of up to six metres for terraced and semi-detached homes and up to eight metres for detached homes.
Home Improvement Tips
Do the most timely projects first
Depending on the time of year, do the most urgent tasks first as this could help save you money and also prevent damage to your home. The best time to sort the roof out, for example, is during the warmer months since this will prevent water leaks in winter.
Choose tradesmen carefully
No matter what job you need doing, choosing your contractor carefully is an absolute must. Always get at least three quotes from different sources so you have an idea of what constitutes a fair price. Ask for referrals from friends and family, and read reviews online so you can see how they are on a job.
You should never tackle any project without doing as much planning as you can to make sure that you stick to a budget and keep the project within its time frame. Decide upon materials and know how much they cost, working out how much you’ll need, and try to avoid changing your ideas halfway through the process.
Make use of online resources
The internet can be an incredible force for good, so make sure you use it to its full advantage, answering any questions you might have along the way. It can be useful to check out guides like this one on the Homebuilding & Renovating website, which covers everything you need for renovating an entire house.
It takes you right through finding a project, buying it, designing it, repairing original features, structural changes, making over the property exterior, extensions, heating and electrics, and eco-vation, all the way to finishing touches.
Work out how to finance it
First you need to work out the full cost of any borrowing you’ll need to do so you can see if you can actually afford what you want to achieve. You need to find the cheapest way of borrowing over the shortest amount of time possible, comparing the total cost of borrowing and not just the interest rate.
Before you borrow any money, ask yourself if you need to spend the money, if you have other ways of financing what you need and if you can afford to pay back what you intend to borrow.
Try some DIY
If you want to keep costs down, doing as much of the work yourself as you can is a great way of doing this.
But you should only ever tackle jobs that you know you have the skills and experience to complete without fail or you could find it ends up costing you a lot more to repair the damage than it would to have paid professionals to do the work in the first place.
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