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  • Writer's pictureLucy ay Winova

How To Add Value And Space To Your Home

Updated: Oct 31, 2021

How to add value and space to your home

Property is a great investment and whether it is your residential home or an investment purchase, adding value and space is often the goal when purchasing. It can often be the case that a property is purchased with a view to extend and add extra space, for a number of reasons. This can often mean a lucrative uplift in value of the property and ultimately, value added.

In the UK today, the housing market is very unpredictable and with demand far outstripping supply, most people often choose to “do-up” instead of “sell-up” –check our previous blog post where we discuss whether you should you extend your home or sell it.

Due to the pandemic, people have spent a lot more time at home; so much more time than ever before. Homeowners have realised how much they maybe like or dislike their homes in it’s current state and many have made plans to redecorate, build extensions and much more. This might be with a view to sell and move on or stay and enjoy the upgrade.

Before you carry out any improvements, here are some important aspects to consider when planning on having work done to your home:

· Check the current and ceiling price of your property

· Review the numbers thoroughly and work out what you can and cannot afford to do – your savings, mortgage or by re-mortgaging your property with a new lender

· Review property values in the area and see what your might sell or refinance for

· Consult your local building control office to see whether you require building regulations or planning permission for the works you are considering

Here are some ideas and suggestions to get you started:

1. Single storey rear extension

This is one of the most popular extensions here in the UK. It immediately adds extra space to your house and is one of the less expensive options when considering a variety of different extension types.

Many homeowners created a second living room by doing this, alternatively, it could be to extend the kitchen and create more of an open-plan living style downstairs. It could simple be the study and office you now need if you are working from home more regularly, if not permanently.

Adding space can often add value to the property. Be careful before you execute any works to have clear plans drawn up with an architect, consult a surveyor and builder and also a local estate agent. Many people will forget the estate agent however, it is crucial to know that the value of your property post-works supersedes the amount you have spent if you are look to sell, else there is no profit to be made. You might not be looking to make a profit so this last point may be less pertinent to you.

According to Love Renovate, over recent years, the requirements for planning permission for a single storey extension have been relaxed and you can often carry out a single storey extension within permitted development.

Some of the criteria specific for a single storey extension to be permitted development are as follows:

· Single storey extensions cannot extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 4 metres for a detached house or 3 metres for any other house

· If your home is not on designated land (such as a conservation area) or a site of Special Scientific Interest then you can extend up to 8 metres for a detached house and 6 metres for any other house

· Single storey extensions cannot be more than 4 metres in height

Your single storey extension must also satisfy the general extension criteria to be considered permitted development, including the materials must be a similar appearance to the original exterior and only half of the area around the original house can be extended on.

2. Loft conversion

Loft conversions can be fantastic ways to use space that already exists. While they are not the cheapest option, they can often add the most value in the long term. A good loft conversion can add up to 10% - 15% to the value of a home, says the Federation of Master Builders and as much as 20% according to Nationwide Building Society.

Loft conversions can be the ideal way to add space to a house without extending its footprint. Whether it is a growing family, a new hobby or the need for a dedicated home office space, a loft conversion is often the perfect solution for those wanting to squeeze the most space out of their existing homes.

Loft conversions are a particularly useful solution where planning permission for an extension is likely to be difficult, or in built-up urban areas where there simply isn’t the external space.

3. Garage conversion

Most people in the UK don't really use their garage for it's traditional use which was to shelter your car. Garages can often become dumping grounds for old items, dilapidated bikes and scooters and generally a waste if not used properly. For these reasons, converting your garage is always something to consider and it can significantly increase the value of your property.

As well as adding square footage to your home, a garage conversion has the potential to add value too — as much as 15%, according to Portico. Typically, a conversion can be completed in a shorter time frame than building an extension. Plus, the construction work involved doesn’t tend to be as intrusive on the rest of your living space.

Check first if your garage is suitable for conversion and whether you need planning permission. In many cases, the work involved in converting a garage will be classed as permitted development, so you won’t need planning permission.

4. Modernise your kitchen

Kitchen improvements such as replacing the flooring, counter tops and cabinet doors can revamp your existing kitchen. Kitchen upgrades to a high standard can add on average 10% to the price of your property.

Fitting a new kitchen is one of the biggest investments you'll make in your home, so it's important to choose something that's not only stylish and functional, but will also stand the test of the time. Kitchens are one of the hardest working spaces in our homes. This busy communal social hub also needs to provide a huge amount of concealed storage for our growing collections of gadgets, crockery, glassware - and pots and pans.

Practical and flexible design is key, but we also want our kitchens to be beautiful — and full-scale renovations can be expensive. The good news is, small changes can still have a huge impact.

Refacing your kitchen — with a little help from experts — means you can completely transform the space by simply replacing dated cupboard doors, handles, worktops — and even the sink in as little as a day.

5. Install a new bathroom

After the kitchen, your bathroom should be next on the list. It is common that people, especially families, like to have more than one bathroom. Adding an extra one can make a family’s life easier throughout the day and allow for a more practical and functional lifestyle at home.

By converting or installing a little space in your home, which are cheaper and easier, can potentially increase your property’s value by 3-5%. Even small changes such as new taps or fitting a heated towel rail can make a big difference, too.

A bathroom can be squeezed into an amazingly small space. An area 3 feet by 5 feet handles a sink and toilet; 3 feet by 8 feet is enough for a shower too, especially with today's stylish shower enclosures. Architects maintain that a second or third bathroom can be installed into almost any size home if you look carefully. Bath fixtures can be located in a much smaller area than you think. Into 25 square feet, you can fit a complete – if cramped – shower bathroom which would keep the cost to add an extra bathroom low.

When adding a bathroom, walk-in closets often can be turned into powder rooms or bathrooms without tearing down walls. If you have a large rooms, adding a bathroom to a bedroom by stealing three feet from the length can make sufficient space. Sometimes a pantry can be spared. A bathroom can also be put in a low-ceiling area. You can tuck one into the attic under the eaves. Just allow six feet six inches of head room for a shower; an even lower ceiling is okay for a tub.

6. Energy efficiency improvements

This option is often neglected and not often seriously considered by many home ownders. A good insulation is worth doing as most of the potential buyers are asking more about energy efficiency.

Some upgrades include:

Low-cost - improving loft insulation, adding cavity wall insulation and draught-proofing which can usually be done for under £1,000

High-cost - include external or internal wall insulation, double glazing, a high-performance boiler or renewable technologies. These costs can vary but are more expensive that simple solutions.

Making energy saving upgrades can add up the value of your property by 14% or up to 38%. Check out our recent post with more top tips on how to save on your energy Bills.

7. Paint and decorate

This is usually the cheapest improvement option a homeowner can chose that makes a big difference. Changing the design and the theme can enhance not just the look but also the feel of it.

Adding a simple lick of paint and modern styling will bring the parts of the house back to life and can possibly add 5-10% to the value of the property. While we practice social distancing, many of us are spending a whole lot of time staring at our houses and apartments… and very quickly becoming bored with what we see. One solution? A super-simple home makeover that doesn’t require leaving the house to pick up extra supplies. This can include upgrading lighting fixtures, changing shelves, rearranging furniture and upgrading old pieces of furniture with fresh paint and creativity.

8. Spruce up your garden

If you have a garden – don’t forget about it. A well-maintained one can add 20% to the value of your home and can be more attractive to potential buyers.

It is fair to say that many of us romanticise over the idea of having a garden where we can destress, chill out and escape the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.

During these unprecedented times - when a large proportion of the population has been forced to spend more time at home for much longer than they usually would – gardens have truly become real life sanctuaries for many of us. Whether you have been exercising in the outdoors, growing fresh produce, gardening, reading or sunbathing, 2020 has really made homeowners love and adore what garden they have more than ever before.

This year may have made many people realise that they want to spend more time in their garden, but the reality is that it has not been very well looked after and is in need of some TLC.

Making your garden or outdoor space into a beautiful oasis can be like another reception area which adds an appeal to your home, gain the right attention and a certain property sale. You can also check our blog on tips for turning your garden into a beautiful oasis.

9. Keep up with small repairs

Try not to let any small defects and repairs become a bigger problem in the future. Any leaks should be fixed before they get out of hand and totally ruin the ceiling and any woodworks.

Ensure you fix any problem before you put your house on the market. Buyers use the defects as their leverage to negotiate for a lower price and that is exactly what you don’t want. Look after your property and love it like it was your own for living in, if it is an investment property.

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