Our home is our greatest asset, and according to a recent home improvement survey, 58 per cent of homeowners have undertaken work on their property in the past 12 months to capitalise on that investment.
Build It Live, a home renovation and self-build show which comes to EventCity in Manchester on February 23 and 24, shares 10 top tips for home improvement, with the recommendation that you always employ a professional to ensure work is carried out properly, adheres to planning and building legislation and is finished to the highest standard.
1. Extend your home. Increasing the square footage of your property is nearly always a money spinner and, according to the Nationwide Building Society, can add up to 12 per cent to market value. Ensure the extension is in keeping and proportion with the existing property.
2. Add a basement. This is another way of increasing square footage. Digging out a new basement will cost at least £80,000, but converting an existing cellar or basement can cost as little as £20,000. The key to sucess is to ensure that there is no damp ingress.
3. Convert your loft. According to Build It Live expert and award-winning architect, Opinder Liddar, loft conversions offer the best value for money - adding up to 15 per cent to the value of your home. The most successful appear to be an integral part of the existing property, inside and out.
4. Update your bathroom. A second bathroom can add between five and nine per cent to your home, according to Build It Live. Houses with four bedrooms or more should have a minimum of two bathrooms.
5. Revamp your kitchen. A modern and attractive fitted kitchen can add anywhere between four and 10 percent to the price of your home. Open-plan layouts are in vogue and knocking through to an adjoining room to create a large family room or kitchen-diner can prove more cost effective than extending.
6. Add a conservatory. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says a good conservatory will increase your property’s value by four or five per cent. But a poorly thought out one could actually devalue your property so choose carefully and make sure it can be used year-round. Garden buildings can also be an excellent investment if they are insulated and can be used as an office/hobby room/playroom. They are a big Independent garden structures complete with all mod-cons are popular.
7. Period features. Buyers are prepared to pay up to 30 percent for a character property with original features. How much you can benefit is dependent on the features you reinstate. Fireplaces are a good start. Specialists include Robert Aagaard in Harrogate and Knaresborough.
8. Spruce up the exterior. Buyers often decide whether they like a home before they reach the front door, so pay attention to the exterior. A smart front door is a must, while regular maintenance of the garden and paths and windows will save money in the long run.
9. Go green. Improvements from heat pumps, solar panels and wind turbines to double glazing, cavity wall insulation and condensing boilers all cut running costs.
10. Off-street parking. This is a must-have for many buyers, Build It Live estimates that building a garage can add at least 11 per cent to the value of your property
Build It Live, EventCity in Manchester, February 23 and 24, www.builditlive.co.uk