APT Renovation is Clapham’s Leading Home Renovation Builders
Flats, therefore, are also losers. Rightmove said that a studio flat was the most sought-after property type among renters in January, yet by May it had dropped out of the top five. A two-bedroom house is now the biggest attraction. PropCast, a housing market analyst, has revealed that only 27% of all flats listed for sale are finding buyers, compared with 44% of houses.
As many of us have reassessed what we want from our living space after spending months in our homes, it’s a good idea to think carefully about what home improvements to spend on. Whether you’ve got some free time to tackle DIY projects, or you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, here are eight ideas on how to add value to your property.
1. Think about kerb appeal
First impressions really do count, so give your house a new lick of paint on the outside, repaint your front door or install a new one, and put up hanging baskets. Definitely do a garden tidy-up. Research from Rightmove suggests many people are now open to the possibility of working from home and therefore looking to buy further away from the office in a location where a larger home with a garden is more affordable.
Leaving the exterior in a shabby condition will have potential buyers questioning the interior before they even step through the door! You may spend about £1,000, but a decent makeover sprucing up the front of your house will potentially add 2%-3% to your property price according to Tom Floyd of estate agent Winkworth. “I notice that properties that struggle to sell are those that need kerb appeal,” he says. “Refreshing your home’s look can make a big difference – remember, buyers are asking themselves if they can live there.”
2. Convert your Basement
If you live in London and are prepared to take on a big project, then converting a cellar into a living or storage space is an option. Space is at a premium in the capital so an extra storey, and therefore extra square footage, can boost a property’s value by up to 30%. Potential buyers might love the idea of an extra bedroom, or maybe a snug.
You need planning permission if you are thinking about increasing the usable square meterage of the basement. The rules may be different if you live in a conservation area, so speak to your local council.
Elsewhere in the UK, basement conversions have increased in their popularity and therefore their value, according to the estate agent Winkworth.
The price of a cellar conversion could be around £3,000 to £3,350 per square metre. If you want to lower the floor level to increase headroom, this will mean digging out the ground beneath the house and underpinning the foundations..
3. Create a home office.
A loft conversion or double height rear extension have increased in popularity over the lockdown as homeowners have noticed how beneficial it is to work at home. When you come to think about it, a double conversion over a traditional kitchen extension creates additional square footage which would have otherwise been open space in the garden above the kitchen roof. Of course it could also be made into a bedroom, or a teenage snug whatever you decide to do with the space, the space ultimately creates value.
For homeowners in rural areas, where space may be at less of a premium, the usefulness of an office or a study may outweigh the benefits of many other kinds of home modification. Speak to local estate agents for their views.
When it comes down to moving offices. PaperNest can make the whole process hassles and pain free. Dealing not only with the physical relocation of office materials & hardware, but also transitioning the energy, broadband, phones and other correspondence mechanism supply from the old location to the new.
4. Carry out a loft conversion
Moving on from the bottom and side of the house, let’s go to the top and consider a loft conversion. To add value, these must be done well. An extra bedroom or a fabulous view can give your home the wow factor while potentially adding up to 15% to its value, especially if you include an en suite bathroom. In a city, it is an obvious way of adding space and value. In some cases, high-quality work on a bungalow could add up to 30% to the value.
In a rural location with more space, making a house top-heavy is not necessarily attractive and may not add value. The next question is: what type of conversion do you want? A roof-light conversion – where you create a room within the existing roof space – needs the least amount of structural work, does not usually require planning permission and is the most cost-effective at a price of £15,00-£35,000. A mansard conversion involves extending out from one or both roof slopes to give you more headroom inside. This is more expensive, and generally needs planning permission. The cost is likely to be anywhere from £60,000 to £100,000. However, you should get your money back when you sell, and possibly make a good profit.
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5. Extend or improve the layout of your kitchen
We are obsessed with food as a nation. If you can’t actually sit down and eat in your kitchen, your home’s value may well be affected, according to Winkworth. So think about extending it, or at least improving the layout.
If your kitchen is at the back of your home, and there is a passage to the side of it – particularly common with terrace and semi-detached properties – you could extend the kitchen to the full width of the rest of the house. By adding a single storey side-return extension, you gain space and can improve a poor layout. This is usually classed as a permitted development and estate agents say this kind of work can, in some cases, add more value than a loft conversion.
A note of caution before you call in the builders: with this kind of extension, you could lose natural light from the centre of your home. Roof lights or a part-glazed roof should be factored in. Here you are looking at a cost of about £45,000, with 15% being added to the value of your home.
6. Replace your kitchen
If you can’t or don’t want to extend the kitchen or design a new open plan kitchen, is it worth replacing the one you have? Think carefully here. Experts say that simply replacing a kitchen rarely adds more than it costs. The average price is around £8,000, including VAT and fitting but excluding appliances and preparation work, such as ripping out the old units and plastering walls. So when you think about upgrading this room, it’s probably best not to overspend on new kitchen furniture; what is important is the layout.
One thing to remember if you’re planning to put up a “For Sale” sign when the work is done: take all those magnets off the fridge and pop them away in a box.
7. Put in a new bathroom
Next stop – the bathroom. Get it right, on a budget, and putting in a new one can really pay off. Tips for keeping costs down include sticking with your existing layout, choosing a shower that doesn’t require pipes to be chased into the wall, and picking floor-mounted cabinets rather than those that are hung on walls. Save even more money by buying a bathroom suite rather than individual pieces – and wait for the sales if you can.
Expect 2%-3% to be added to the value of your home. But bear in mind that if the rest of the house is not up to scratch, this work won’t have much impact.
8. Relocate your bathroom
You could add even more value – 8%-10% – if you relocate a bathroom in a clever way. A downstairs bathroom is a difficult sell. This is something to think about if you are planning major works.
Let’s say you’d like a bigger kitchen and are also thinking about a loft conversion. In this case, it might be a good idea to extend your kitchen into the downstairs bathroom and sacrifice the smallest bedroom on the first floor to make an upstairs bathroom. This will be expensive but if you are going to go for it, then taking the bathroom up a floor – minimum cost £10,000 – can add significant value overall.