Pretty Stone Cottage Could Be Your’s This Valentine’s

Move house or renovate? For an increasing number of house owners, the answer is definitely to renovate! In a recent survey, specialist insurers Hiscox, found that the percentage of house buyers that are plumping for renovation has increased in the last decade and is currently 15%. More and more people are deciding that it is cheaper and far less hassle to renovate than move.

The average length of time that house owners are staying in the same property in England is now 19 years, with Scotland having an average of 15 years and Wales, 25 years. It definitely makes financial sense to adapt your home to your growing family and also to keep it up-to-date and in good condition, as this will add financial value to the price tag when you decide to move.

If you are planning to make a renovation to your home, you do have to ask yourself the question – Is it for my benefit or the benefit of future buyers? If it is a mixture of the two, it is well worth planning the work carefully to ensure that it does increase the value of your property. Make sure that the job is done really well and don’t opt for the cheapest builders or the wrong materials. Very importantly, don’t even consider removing period details from your house as these are worth money.

General Updates for the Whole Property

High on everyone’s’ priority is energy efficiency. If the windows are old, it is well worth considering having double or even triple glazed windows installed. Not only will the new windows look stylish, they will give good insulation to your home and could make a saving on up to 30% on your fuel bills. When you come to sell, good double/triple glazing will increase the value of your home by 10%.

Likewise, if you do not have good loft insulation, it is really worth putting this right because as much as 20% of heat is lost through the roof. This is a job that can either be done by experts or DIY with a friend or willing partner to help! Insulating your loft will also increase value to your property.

Your front door and garage door may well need an update too as this will increase your property’s ‘kerb appeal’ Whilst wood is still the first choice for many people as it looks so good, but a wood composite will prove more durable.

If you feel that the whole exterior of your property is looking dated, a great way to enhance its appearance is with stone or wood effect cladding. The latest type of cladding is actually a stone veneer in a man-made composite and the idea is to make a feature section using it – not to clad the entire frontage. Housing experts reckon that doing this to your home could give you a 97% return on your money.

Out in the garden, the popular feature remains a decked area. Again wood looks good but needs maintenance and does not last for too many years, whereas a composite deck will look good for many years to come. If you have the space, a deck measuring 16 feet X 20 feet (4.87m X 6 metres) is the optimum size!

Another popular home improvement is having the garden transformed by a landscape gardener into an attractive, easy-to-maintain landscaped garden that is perfect for relaxing in with an al fresco dinner.

With efficiency in mind, smart home tech is increasing in popularity and can add 5% to the value of your home. House buyers love the idea of controlling the thermostat and lighting remotely and of course, home security too.

Need to Add a Bedroom?

The most important point is don’t lose a bedroom! It might seem a good idea to knock a wall through to create one larger room, but you could regret doing this as house values are calculated on the number of bedrooms they have. By losing a bedroom, you are likely downgrading your property.

If you would like a larger bedroom or need an extra one as your children are growing, consider a loft conversion or an extension. True a loft conversion can cost about £30,000, but if it is done well, it will increase the value of your property by 12-20%. Another area in your property to consider converting is the cellar – if you have one.

If you are adapting your home to create space, don’t think about building a conservatory! It is good that they usually do not need planning permission, but having said that, they are dated and it is very hard to control the temperature in them effectively so that they can be successfully used all year round.

Modernise Your Kitchen!

The kitchen is the focus for most households and it is the main room that bothers potential house buyers – they want a sleek, modern kitchen but without the hassle of having it renovated- or paying for it! Surprisingly, giving your kitchen a much needed makeover need not cost as much as you fear! High on the list is to give cupboards a fresh new look which can be as simple as a fresh lick of paint and new handles!

Work surfaces can often look tired and new ones in granite can completely alter the character of the room. Likewise a new kitchen sink will make the whole room feel like new! If the lighting is looking a little dated, there are some really snazzy fixtures on the market and if you are good at DIY, spotlights that are embedded in the ceiling can look particularly good.

If you are happy to spend more money and you have the space, creating a central kitchen island is definitely worth considering.

Give Your Bathroom a Makeover!

The bathroom is the one room that is often neglected and it can soon look tired and dated. Installing new counters to house the vanity basin, with cupboards underneath, is a great way to increase storage and hide clutter! Modernising the lighting can make a big difference too. Many families opt to remove the bath altogether and install a spacious walk-in shower. If you decide to renovate your bathroom, it could well be worth making it easy access for the future – either for yourselves or the next buyer. Generally speaking, upgrading the bathroom can add up to 5% to the value of your home.

Well, these have all been the good ways to renovate and improve your home and now for some of the main things NOT to do!

  • Stone cladding can look really good on the outside of the house but can look really bad on the inside so don’t even consider it!
  • Fitting carpet in your bathroom is not seen as a benefit at all as it is hard to keep really clean, an attractive tiled floor looks much better and will be more appealing when you decide to sell.
  • If you are planning a new look for your sitting room, rule out wood chip paper for the walls as it is not a popular choice.
  • Mirrored ceilings can be really off putting to anyone visiting your home.
  • Whilst real wooden beams in an old property are much sought after, mock beams are not and would not be considered a good improvement to make.

At the end of the day, if you are considering a home improvement that will benefit you and your family that is great. The big question to ask yourself before putting in time, effort and money, is what will it look like in five and ten years’ time? Will the changes you have made still look good and have added quality to your home or will it be a case of ‘back to the drawing board’?

Jonathan Rolande

Jonathan Rolande

Jonathan Rolande began in the property industry in 1987 and has extensive knowledge of the property buying sector. Jonathan is also an avid supporter of greater regulation in the industry. Founding the National Association of Property Buyers to offer essential information to property sellers.