This week, Matt Bott, the director of Essex Rooms, talks about how home improvements can be considered an investment. Matt specialises in extending and converting homes to add space and value, to build a brighter future for his customers. I did not use Matt for my extension, but if I do another, I will certainly be in touch – his work looks amazing.
If you have outgrown your home and want more space, moving house can seem like the obvious solution. However, when you take into account estate agent and surveyors’ fees, stamp duty, and removals costs, moving home can be a very costly affair, with the average house-buyer paying out almost £12,000.
With this in mind, it’s clear that buying a new property is not always the best option. Instead, it’s worth looking at how you can improve your current property by maximising and increasing the available space. Many estate agents determine valuations based on living area within the home, so as well as providing you with extra space, adding an extra room will also increase the value of your property.
Convert the loft
A loft conversion is one of the easiest ways of adding an extra rooms to your property. It usually doesn’t require planning permission (unless you are adding front-facing dormer windows) and the majority of the work can be done from the outside so the disruption is minimal. It’s also a really sound investment, with a recent survey by GE Money finding that a one bedroom loft conversion would add, on average, 12.5% to the house’s selling price.
Use the garage
If you have a garage that you don’t really use, why not consider converting it into an extra living space – for example, you could use the space for an extra bedroom, a family room, or even a home office or study. Planning permission is not usually needed as long you are not enlarging the garage or altering its structure, but it is worth checking before beginning work. This is another great way of adding value to your home – it costs around £10,000 on average, but a well-planned conversion could add up to 10% to your property’s value.
If a loft or garage conversion is not suitable for you, extending your property can help you get the living space you need. Depending on your requirements, you could add an extra ground floor room, or almost double the size of your property with a two storey extension. This option obviously entails more work, and cost, but the extra space you get can be a major selling point – adding an average of 11% to the value of your home. If you don’t want the disruption of a full extension, you might want to consider a conservatory, which can add up to 7% to the value of your home.
Adding rooms to your home can seem daunting and can be costly. However, in today’s market, you could expect money invested into a property to over double in value. As an example, a two bedroom loft conversion on top of a three bedroom bungalow in South London would cost around £50,000, but would add over £120,000 to the property’s value. With low interest rates and increasing inflation, this offers a much more profitable option than leaving the money in a savings account.
There are so many options for adding rooms to your house and it’s definitely worth exploring these before deciding to put your home on the market. As well as providing you and your family with the space you need, it’s also a solid financial investment, enabling you to reap the benefits if you do eventually decide to sell.