Do's and Dont's when carrying out home improvements

Posted: 10/07/2012

With the current climate, selling your house is becoming increasingly difficult therefore, Pali has made a list of home improvement tips that won’t only help you add value to your home, but may even change your mind about erecting that ‘For Sale’ sign outside your rejuvenated house!

Do’s

Extend!

By increasing the square foot of your home, it will add value if the extra space can be used as an extra bedroom or office. The most popular and valuable extension is a loft conversion as they are relatively easy to carry out and don’t cause too much disturbance. However, loft conversions are costly and you may need planning permission if your conversion is complex. To get a rough estimate of how much a loft conversion would cost, you can multiply the area of you loft space by 1,200 for example, a 4msq loft would cost £19,200 to covert according to Loft Conversion UK. To test if the loft conversion will add value to your home you can compare the value of houses for sale in your local area that boast an extra bedroom. According to the HSBC Home Improvement Survey 2012, it states that a loft conversion will increase a homes value by £16,152 on average and is the best way to add value to your home.

Improve your kitchen

The kitchen is the best room to spend time and money on if you only have a small budget for improvements. You don’t necessarily have to have a full refit, you can simply paint doors, clean surfaces and replace old handles and your kitchen can look as good as new! The average amount of money people spend on their kitchen is £10,000 and the same amount is usually spent on a bathroom too however, making improvements to your kitchen doesn’t add much value to your home but it may be the special room which seals a sale. According to a HSBC survey, a new kitchen only adds an average of £4,577 to the value of the property.

Be your homes plastic surgeon

First impressions are so important when selling your home so maintain the outside of your property to give a welcoming, intriguing, clean appearance. Take any rubbish that may be cluttering your driveway to your local recycling centre, this will give the front of the building more of an open, spacious feel. Paint the outside walls of the property or paint the front door if you have a plain brick building that doesn’t require a lick of paint. Even replacing the door handle and cleaning the windows can make a huge difference. Now the outside of your home is looking fresh, concentrate on the inside by giving the walls a coat of neural paint. The cost of a coat of paint for the whole of the house is around £1,000 but this will make the place look brighter and help buyers visualise ways to stamp their personality on the property.

Modernise

If you own an older home, installing central heating will increase the appeal of the property and make it a lot more sellable, especially if you choose an energy efficient system. Replace your old windows with double or triple glazed windows but remember to keep to a similar style so your period property doesn’t loose a key feature.

Apply for planning permission

If you apply and secure planning permission, even if you don’t have plans to extend your property, it will become more appealing to buyers. It will cost around £300 but will make your home easier to sell and could be the one extra thing that gets your property chosen by a buyer.

Don’ts

Lose a room

Don’t lose a room by converting it into an extra bathroom or study. The more bedrooms you have in your home will work in your favour.

Convert the basement

Converting your basement is a very expensive process, costing around £300 per square foot. Specialists have to be hired and you will have to move out of your home. This is a very costly and disruptive conversion and it may not add enough value to your home to pay for the cost of the conversion.

Be tempted by a pool

A swimming pool will not add value to your home unless its part of the top end price bracket. The running costs of a pool will deter most buyers and you may never make the money back you spent on it. Outdoor swimming pools can even devalue your home due to the increased cost of energy bills.

Inappropriate changes

It is easy to take character out of your period home my making inappropriate changes. Don’t be tempted to replace an old fireplace for a modern one or paint exposed beams as an original feature can be an attractive selling point.

Forget your garden

Outside space is a huge selling point and if you keep your garden looking good, it is more likely to attract buyers so don’t build an extension at the expense of your garden. If you’re planning on converting your front garden into a driveway or garage, it may require planning permission and could cost more than £10,000. Don’t be tempted to add a pond, paving or decking as it won’t add much value to the property.

This concludes Pali’s do’s and don’ts when carrying out home improvements. We hope our advice has been helpful to you and don't forget to request your conveyancing searches from Pali when you sell your home and buy a new one! You can even receive free conveyancing quotes from four reputable, local solicitors by clicking HERE courtesy of Pali.

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
www.paliltd.com

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