Alterations and renovations not only add to the value of your property, but also improve your living environment. It is always a pleasure to improve one’s living conditions. People tend to move less since the property market dip. The author of “Location, Location, Location”, Phil Spencer, emphasized in his new book: “Adding Value to Your Home” the importance of “enhancing your property so it is a place to take pleasure from; it is not about simply turning a fast buck with some profit on top”. He said: “There is no point improving your home just before you sell. You might as well do the work straightaway if you can and get the benefit out of it yourself”. Most importantly, be smart on how you add value to your home.
The well-known Real Estate author suggests that you consider long-life ideas such as: adding an extension; converting the loft or basement; or knocking down a wall to gain more light and space. Space is cheaper to build than to buy. Phil says: “Square footage equals money”.
An extension can add what Phil calls “no-nonsense” space: a proper kitchen, extra bedroom, utility room, home office, garage or a bedroom if your family is bursting at the seams. But Phil also applauds “an extension that simply brings delight to your life”, a bonus room. “We work terribly hard and should remember that our homes are sanctuaries from the outside world.” Building yourself a new mini-gym, garden, steam or hobby room will give you pleasure and in many cases can add value later on when you sell. Make better use of your existing space, reorganize rooms and, if practical, knock down some internal walls to create flow. Phil has removed wood panels to open up a boxed-in staircase in his house, ending up with a smart first impression and focal point for the hallway. Once you’ve taken care of the basics, you may choose to install some breathtaking features. Phil’s top tips are:
- Invest in a superb sliding door system that takes up a large part of the back wall of your house and leads visitors out onto the terrace, patio or garden. For light and an all-year-round uninterrupted view of the garden it can be worth the money you spend. Add skylights for drama and much-needed light to dreary corners.
- Replace internal doors with floor-to-ceiling doors. This makes the house look bigger; the ceiling feels higher and gives a rather grand effect. Opt for smart wood in a period property.
- Layer blinds in natural fabrics – a developer’s trick. Use the same color as the walls to make the room look larger and more streamlined, or opt for rich colors to lift the room out of the ordinary. Good-quality shutters can add timeless elegance.
“Do the job properly,” Phil implores. “Spend money on a good boiler and quality taps, as there’s nothing worse than a leaky tap”. This way you will enjoy using them and future buyers will recognize what you’ve done. Simply maintaining your home regularly is another wise way to add to its worth.