Adding that Extra Room
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Around 50 per cent said an extra bedroom - followed by an upgraded kitchen, extra bathroom and conservatory. These are some of the top home improvements, and how to ensure you get the best return on your investment. En suites are also very much in demand, as people are increasingly looking for comfort and simplicity. Go for affordable quality rather than OTT luxury unless you own a mansion and think about what might appeal to buyers looking in your area, rather than making decisions based on personal taste.
Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA says open-plan living is still very desirable for many house hunters, with simple, practical spaces at a premium. These glass houses are becoming cool again — so long as they are actually made of glass. Conservatories built on the cheap with uPVC can actually deter buyers, and can feel very dated. Remember that gardens also add significant value, so strike a balance between adding the extra room and minimising outdoor space.
What can I do to prevent this in the future?
The ideal is to have a conservatory or orangery which acts as a segue between indoors and outdoors. Experts agree that creating an extra bedroom, especially with a loft conversion, offers the best bang for your buck. Some homes may have space for repositioning without an extension, for example. You may also consider adding windows to increase the amount of incoming light, especially in north-facing rooms. Rooflights are especially effective for filling a space with natural light.
Check with the duty planner at your local council before proceeding with installation. Converting your loft will offer additional space for an extra bedroom , home office , or playroom. A dormer extension will give you extra headroom, but position these to the back of the property rather than the front or side, so that they are less visually intrusive. Installing efficient central heating reduces energy bills and is appealing to future buyers.
Cast iron radiators look attractive in a period home, but, to economise, you could reserve these for the ground-floor rooms that are on show, then use steel or aluminium models elsewhere. If you are investing in a new boiler, consider a combi option in houses of up to four bedrooms.
Does adding a bedroom really increase your property’s value?
A pressurised system is normally best in larger properties, or those with low incoming water pressure. Find out more about central heating in our dedicated feature. En-suite bathrooms are a desirable addition to any home, but be aware that for resale they do need to include a toilet, so you will need to consider the drainage. Be wary of compromising too much space in the bedroom or you will lose the impression of a luxury master suite.
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A garage conversion can be used to extend your kitchen into an open-plan kitchen-diner , or as a playroom or media room. A modern, spacious, and well-equipped kitchen is guaranteed to add value to your home. Open-plan kitchens are very popular, so consider knocking through to a smaller room to create a larger, more open space. Kitchen designers can advise on optimising your space and suggest integrated appliances and storage, such as a built-in larder cupboard, to make your kitchen more attractive to prospective buyers.
Ensure you site a downstairs toilet in a convenient place, ideally leading off the hallway and with an outward-opening door. Make sure that adequate space has been left for a hand basin in order to abide by building regulations. Any outside space comes at a premium, particularly in an urban area, and will add value to your home. Aim to provide outside space where the light is best — especially useful if your main garden faces north.
If nothing else, you need to ensure there is adequate insulation as this will improve your energy rating and reduce heating costs. If you have old concrete roof tiles, changing them to slate will add value and enhance the appearance of the exterior. Parking can be difficult, especially in large cities. If parking in your area comes at a premium, consider converting the front of your property into a driveway.
However, be careful about who will be building yours. As MyBuilder points out, 'a driveway needs to be built to last, so only hire an expert with a good track record. First impressions count, and your property is unlikely to be attractive to potential buyers if the first thing they see is a tired front path, or a front door that hasn't been painted for decades. Consider renovating or at least r epainting the porch, the front door , and the windows, or giving the brickwork a good clean. Find out everything you need to know about transforming your home's exterior.
If you had to choose between a property where the toilet flushed properly and one where it didn't, which one would you go for? Think like your prospective buyer and invest into fixing any small issues that just might make that difference when it comes to selling your home.
Melanie Clear is the founder and director of Clear Architects. Want to give your kitchen or dining room a new look without spending a fortune? Or perhaps those old dining chairs are falling apart or simply not comfortable?