It’s expensive to move house. There’s all the traipsing around estate agents looking for a better home to move to and then there are all the hidden expenses like the removals team, the stamp duty and conveyancing fees. No wonder more and more families in Oxfordshire are opting to build extensions or loft conversions.
Let’s face it, most of us just want a decade of peace in which to enjoy the house we live in and then to know that we have added value to it so we can scoop up the cash and retire to Spain (or not)!
Adding value to your home by adding on an extension or by creating more space with a loft conversion is a real step toward long term gain.
It’s also a way to get you closer to that dream home on the beach when you retire or, if you are a home body, closer to perfecting the home that you’re in.
The trick is to ensure you don’t fall into the trap of poor planning or bad building work which devour your budget. It’s really important that you research your build before you begin. Rather splash out on fees for professional advice before you begin losing that hard saved lump sum.
Building of any sort is disruptive and you really have to do your homework about planning permissions and get your neighbours on board too before you start especially if you intend to build up!
A lot of people automatically assume adding a conservatory will add value but does it? Rather opt for an additional bedroom over a single story garage or opening out your kitchen and dining area by removing walls.
Adding a bedroom
An extra bedroom is always a way of adding value as buyers tend to count bedrooms as a way of working out value of a property.
Converting a loft into office space or a full main bedroom en suite is one way to get that extra room. Loft conversions are also cost effective and do improve house value. They’re also quirky with odd shapes and character that a ground floor extension wouldn’t have.
Your loft has to be at least 2.5m in height though and have access space for stairs which will affect your landing area. In some cases a loft conversion may be covered under the houses permitted development rights and not need formal planning approval but check first.
Remember that the higher you are in the house, the hotter it gets. Ensuring air flow with sky light windows is essential as is good ventilation in a loft!
If your house has a basement or cellar you could convert it into a teenage pad but it is expensive and won’t necessarily add to the property’s value. It might pay more dividend to simply ‘open up’ the interior of your house by removing some of the walls and allowing light in.
Adding Heating and Cooling
In the United Kingdom we don’t often think about cooling but central heating can add to the value of your home without breaking the bank. As we move further and further toward eco living it becomes more popular with buyers to choose homes with reduced energy usage so updating your heating and cooling systems will definitely add value.
Women always look at the kitchen when choosing a house and research shows that an updated kitchen counts in purchase decision making this the second most popular way to add value to a home.
Bathrooms are not as important but clean lines and accessories are important. Showers and bathtubs have changed and so too have the flooring issues buyers find important.
Getting the Right Advice
No matter which route you decide to take to add value to your home, don’t forget to ask for professional advice first. Get quotes and advice from a recommended architect or engineer and ensure that you can actually go ahead. When you have the go ahead it may pay you to work with a reputable project management company who can keep budgets in line and deal with the day to day nitty gritty during what is a stressful time for any family.