Home improvements & house value: A practical guide

A person’s home is their sanctuary. It is a deeply personal place, decorated to reflect an individual’s tastes and preferences. During Covid, a lot of people spent more time at home, which led to an increase in DIY projects and home improvements. Carrying out some home improvements can not only revamp your home but also add value to your property, which puts extra money in your pocket when it comes to selling it on. Read on to learn more.

Which home improvements add the most value?

The Brits love their kitchens, so it should come as no surprise that a new kitchen comes top when it comes to adding value to a home. This is followed by a modern bathroom, a loft conversion, a new heating system, modern windows, a garage conversion, modern doors. And lastly, a well-done garden which includes landscaping or a structure like a conservatory or a cabin. In fact, cabins are increasingly popular; they can act as a space for entertaining or as a home office or even a home bar. BuyShedsDirect has a range of cabins and they offer a guarantee and installation, which makes it easier on you.

home improve painting

A word of warning

While it is undoubtedly true that home improvements do add value to your property, they may not add as much as they cost. Most of the time, you will only recoup part of the cost of your home improvements. However, this is not to say that they aren’t worth it because your house is a home as well as an investment, and these home improvements might make your home more enjoyable.

How do you decide which home improvements to do?

The question is, how do you decide which home improvements are right for you? For example, if you are planning to live somewhere for a while, then adding value is not the only factor to consider. There are several questions to ask yourself when it comes to planning your home improvements. Firstly, how do you use your home? For example, if you need more space, then adding an extra bedroom in a loft conversion might be a good idea; although it won’t add as much value as a new bathroom, it will be worth more to your family.

home improvement

Next, you need to ask yourself if you will enjoy your home more with this improvement, will it be worth the money you are going to spend on it. Speaking of money, can you afford it? Are there any cheaper alternatives, for example, a garden room is often cheaper than building an extension? How much of the work could you realistically carry out yourself? Doing some of the work yourself is a great way to keep costs down. Finally, when are you planning to move? If you are planning to move within a few short years, getting a bigger return on your investment might be more important, but if you are planning to stay there for ten years or more than home improvements that add more value to your family than the property is probably more important.

How can I fund my home improvements?

Working out a way to pay for your home improvements is an important consideration and one that should be made in the initial stages of the planning process. You need to think about how you can make this process as cost-effective as possible. Some people have the money in their savings to fund their projects. However, if you don’t have enough in your savings, then you might have to consider other options.

funding

You might want to consider taking out additional borrowing against your home with your current or a new mortgage provider. You will need to have enough equity stored in your home for this to be a viable option. While any work that you do will undoubtedly add value to your property, and your house should have increased in value since you last re-mortgaged, you will still need an assessment.

Alternatively, you could always consider taking out a personal loan, although this will likely come with higher interest fees; it is often a simpler and, frankly, quicker route to take. It may also end up being cheaper in the long run because the borrowing time frame is shorter when compared to a mortgage. You can usually borrow up to £25,000 in an unsecured loan which will cover most smaller projects.

How do I plan the home improvements?

First things first, you should set a budget; under-budgeting is one of the most common mistakes that people make when embarking on their home improvements. Unfortunately, it is common for obstacles to appear during the process, and they usually create more work which can quickly take the project over budget. Therefore, you should include a contingency fund in your budget. A good rule of thumb is to allow for an extra 10% on new builds and up to 30% on older properties. Once you have set the budget, you can use the above advice to think about how you are going to fund your project.

planning

You also will need to notify your home insurance provider. It is important to tell them about any renovations to ensure that the additional value and contents of your property will be covered under your policy. You can also make sure that you are covered for any mishaps if you notify your provider before the work is carried out. If not, it may nullify the policy. If the renovations to your home are substantial, you may have to move out while the work is carried out. If this is the case, then you should check with your provider because some policies do not cover an extended unoccupancy.

Once you have done this, you can begin to shop around for a trustworthy professional to carry out the work. Most of the time, a recommendation will be your best bet to find a good builder, although this is not always possible. You can use online review sites to see honest reviews left by other customers. Once you have settled on a builder, it may still be worth checking their licences and accreditations to make sure that they are, in fact, qualified to carry out the job. Remember, it is not unreasonable to withhold payment until the job is finished. Paying upfront can be risky, although sometimes you will be expected to pay as you go. Ask for quotes in writing so that you have a record to refer back to, should there be any discrepancies further down the line.

And lastly, one final consideration. You should never outprice your area. It is really easy to get carried away with adding value to your, but you should always try to keep the value of your neighbour’s properties in mind. It doesn’t make sense to spend more money adding value to your home if it is already worth substantially more than that of your neighbours. It will be harder to secure a sale in the end.

In conclusion

Committing to making home improvements is a big decision, and it requires a lot of thought. The best thing that you can do is to carry out your own research from the home improvements themselves to the professionals who are going to carry them out. Undergoing home improvements can be incredibly stressful, but keep your eye on the prize; you will have a lovely home to enjoy for years to come at the end of it.

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