8 ways to add value to your home
Top tips from TVs latest house expert
With the combination of rocketing property prices and expensive moving costs,
many UK homeowners are being forced to improve, rather than move home this
Indeed, a recent survey from Direct Line Financial Services showed that nine
million of us plan to make improvements to our own homes this spring. Not
surprisingly, it's becoming increasingly important that we make the right
improvement to our homes in order to get the best price if we do eventually
come to sell it.
The survey showed that 16% of us are carrying out improvements solely to
add value to our home. And with Bank Holidays approaching, it also highlighted
how we won't be skimping on spending for home improvements this spring; 19%
of us intending to spend up to £2,500, 11% spending between £2,500
- £5,000, 9% shelling out between £5,000 - £10,000 and 8%
splashing out over £10,000.
The firm, which sponsors Channel 4's Selling Houses, asked presenter, Andrew
Winter to give his expert tips on how to add the most value to our homes:
1. Kitchen and bathrooms
"Putting in a new kitchen or bathroom is always a safe and predictable way
to spend money," says Andrew. "Not only will you add considerably to the
value of your home - you will also get a lot of pleasure from it!"
2. Loft conversions
"These offer fantastic value for money, but don't be tempted to squeeze two
rooms into a loft space. Instead convert the loft into a master bedroom with
en-suite bathroom, a guest bedroom, a teenage bedroom or a family games room.
What's important is that you keep it as a large room, giving your home instant
"Many people spend thousands improving the inside of their property without
giving any thought to the exterior - big mistake! Spending money on replacing
windows and doors with sash uPVC or timber windows together with fixing any
loose guttering, down pipes and garden gates can have a big impact on the
value of your home."
"Neutrals always work best - they make your rooms appear bigger and brighter.
However, we are in danger of going overboard with the minimalist look. Put
neutral colours on walls, floor and fittings, but introduce some colour through
paintings, family photographs and soft furnishings to give your home warmth
"There is not a lot you can do with the size of your garden. However, if
you have an unsightly garden you need to spend money tidying it up. It will
increase the value of your property instantly. Make sure you include a deck
or patio area in your garden, smarten up the front garden and replace any
fallen boundary fencing."
"Nearly 6 out of 10 households now have a computer. This has created an essential
need for a study in many homes. Turning an under-stairs cupboard or a section
of a conservatory into a study can be a great asset. But make sure it is
away from the main living and sleeping areas."
7. Entertainment systems
"Most new homes are now pre-wired for surround sound and broadband points.
If you are thinking of having your house re-wired, remember to include this
at the same time. It will save you a lot of money in the long term."
8. Swimming pools
"If you have a detached house with a good plot of garden, swimming pools
have become in vogue as a major lifestyle enhancement to your home. Heated
pools are much cheaper nowadays and you will instantly get your money back
on your investment, with profit."
How to pay for it
When it comes to paying for the improvements to our homes, cash savings is
still the most popular way to pay. Taking out a personal loan is also a common
option (10% of deals use this method), especially if planning a large
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