If you want to improve your home and add value then follow these top tips from industry experts.
“Homeowners and potential buyers are often keen on getting more living space, such as better kitchen/dining areas, a home office, or to provide additional bedrooms,” says Opinder Liddar, director of lapd architects. If you add an extension ensure it is no bigger than 20-25% of the outside space so you don’t run the risk of the house becoming unbalanced.
According to Gary Webb from Whitenold Construction, homes with a large open plan kitchen/diner continue to appeal. “Everybody wants a big family room where people live and eat together,” he says. “But if you’re planning to take out existing load bearing walls, for peace of mind make sure that your builder works with a structural engineer.”
A large house with one family bathroom could benefit from an ensuite to the master bedroom. “Use efficient products to give access to water and energy rating certificates, which will improve the saleability of your home,” says Yvonne Orgill, CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA).
The old adage is never judge a book by its cover, but estate agents and prospective buyers will do just that. You need to boost your kerb appeal where possible, and one quick and easy way to do this is to tidy up poor-quality masonry with fresh render.
Staying on top of upkeep is important. Key areas include the roof (a quick check from ground level will reveal whether tiles need replacing) and timber window frames (refinish every few years to preserve them). Think about replacing your guttering, which is a quick, cost effective way to smarten up a home and add value.
As with your house, your garden needs to be well planned. “The design process can actually add more value than the materials you use, especially in small and front gardens,” says Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) member Mark Gregory.
Good insulation will improve your property’s thermal performance and reduce energy bills, so consider it before updates such as replacing your heating system. “Cavity walls and timber floors are easy to insulate; although concrete floors can be trickier and may involve losing some floor-to-ceiling height,” says Opinder.
Flooring makes a massive impact on the overall feel and value of a home. “Old tired laminates and worn, unattractive carpets are an instant sign that your home needs updating,” says Peter Keane, director at The Natural Wood Floor Company. There are various upgrade options, including going for new high-quality carpet or switching to tiles in rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. But one of the simplest and most instantly impactful choices can be a wood floor.
“Choosing suitable fenestration will add instant visual appeal, while bi-fold doors will give you the wow factor and great access to the garden,” says Tim Bolton from Passivlux. “The cost of triple glazing is really not a lot more than the cost of double and it will definitely add value as you will be saving energy.
Try to go into your project with a developer’s hat on. One of the first things you should do is to look at what the ultimate resale value of the property will be. “Every street has a ceiling price; find out what this is by getting valuations from local estate agents and get quotes on the work that needs to be done,” says Opinder.