Adding value to your home

The May bank holiday is historically that time of year when homeowners dig out their toolbox from the depths of the garage and start doing some home improvements.

With the news full of the current credit crunch and falling house prices what better way to maximise the value of your investment than with a little home improvement?

There are some home improvements that will add value and some that won’t.

We have listed 10 improvements which are most likely to add value:

  • Extensions
  • Loft conversion
  • Modern kitchen
  • Modern bathroom
  • Conservatory
  • Central heating
  • Insulation – loft, walls and double glazing
  • Internal decoration
  • Garden and outside
  • Off road parking

DIY or not to DIY, there are some you can do yourself and some that best left to the professionals.

Bring in the Professionals!

Extensions are definitely one for the professionals, with architects, planning officers, and builders all needed to make sure your investment pays in the future.

Loft conversions are not just vertical extensions, they are subject to a number of statutory obligations, including building regulations. And again will involve all the professionals above.

A modern, good quality kitchen tends to be an excellent selling point, and is often seen as a main feature that will improve the monetary value of a home.

As will a clean, smart, bathroom. For larger family homes installing a second bathroom is often a good move.

Bank Holidays are an ideal time to shop for a new kitchen or bathroom as many stores offer discounts and you can benefit from their free design services.

A conservatory gives you extra useful space and can be used for anything from a dining room to playroom, but you will need to check whether you require planning permission.

Central Heating is pretty much an essential these days and you will need a fully qualified CORGI registered plumber to do the job. If you already have central heating, then if your boiler is over 10 years old you might consider updating it to one of the new energy efficient boilers, not only a good selling point but it will reduce your fuel bills.

If you live in a town, then spending money turning part of a front garden into a parking space is an improvement you may wish to consider. You will need to get permission from the Local authority, but off street parking will reduce your car insurance and add to a property’s value.

Doing It Yourself

Doing it yourself is a British obsession, which shows itself in the success of all those TV makeover property developer programmes. However, if you are going to do it, then do it well! Poor DIY can actually reduce the value of your home.

Also be careful, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa), DIY enthusiasts are responsible for nearly 200,000 accidents a year.

The increasing cost of heating your home provides a strong case for checking and if necessary upgrading your roof insulation, hot water tank covers, pipe lagging, and draught excluders. It may not add a fortune to the value of your home but it will certainly make it cheaper to live there.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to give your home a new lease of life is to get out those brushes and give the whole house a lick of paint. It’s cheap and can dramatically increase your homes appeal and marketability. When looking to sell do as the ‘House Doctor’ says and keep it neutral.

The garden is usually the first thing that visitors see when they arrive, so a neat, well-maintained garden is essential to creating that first impression. It is also often marketed as the 5th room in the house and a place to entertain friends or children. A nice patio area with good quality garden furniture says this is a place to relax and enjoy.

PFI – Paying For It!

Doing up your home and garden can be expensive, so to get value for money it’s important to think about how you are going to finance it.

The best way to pay for any home improvements is to use any savings you may have.

If you’re going put up an extension, do up the bathroom or kitchen, then this won’t be cheap and there are many types of loan out there so it’s important to get the right one for you.

Smaller DIY jobs or garden furniture could be bought on a 0% credit-card deal.

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