Adding value to your home

Thinking of moving house but can’t find the perfect property for your budget? Making some home improvements could be a great option, and could mean you don’t have to move at all.

Home improvements and projects have become increasingly popular. Let’s face it, buying a house is expensive: rising property prices and other associated costs – such as stamp duty, legal fees and removal costs - can mount up to a big bill. 

In fact, when you factor everything in, you’re likely to end up paying a hefty chunk aside from the investment in bricks and mortar. After that, of course, you have the stress of the house buying and moving process - sometimes it all goes smoothly, but at other times it can be lengthy and full of headaches.

All things considered, opting to improve your home instead of moving could be a smart choice. It can give you the extra space you need, if you’re a growing family, and it can also add value to your home, too. 

There are a range of projects you can undertake at your property - some of them could be relatively modest, while others may fall under the ‘renovation’ category.

At a basic level, changing the flooring in certain rooms in your home is a good starting point - thick new carpets in the living room or master bedroom, or smart wooden flooring in the hallway or in the kitchen. This is a swift way of freshening up a room, though it probably won’t make a significant difference to the value of your home. Maximising natural light, painting walls in lighter colour shades, and reducing clutter, all adds to the visual appeal of a property. If you do choose to sell it, however, attractive decor is sure to impress wannabe buyers.

To add genuine value to your property you’ll probably need to think bigger. Installing a brand new kitchen or bathroom can have a positive impact - these are said to be two of the most important rooms in a house.

But to add maximum value you should aim to create more space in your home. Some of the ways you can do that include:

A conservatory

Merge the indoors and the outdoors by adding a conservatory, which gives you an extra room full of light, as it’s constructed mainly of glass. A conservatory can be a versatile room for entertainment, dining, or just to relax in.

Kitchen extension

Want a bit more room in your kitchen? Why not extend it? Depending on the layout of your home, you may be able to extend your kitchen further outwards, into the rear garden, or to the side of the property. An extended kitchen gives you a large space to play with. As well as a bigger kitchen, you could find the room to create a dining area, or a larger and lighter living space. It could transform your home and add extra value.

A loft conversion

If you have a loft in your home but don’t really use the space effectively - and many homeowners would admit to just storing ‘stuff’ in theirs - a conversion could give you an extra bedroom, perhaps with an en suite bathroom, too.

A garage conversion

Similarly, if you have a garage that you don’t really maximise, consider converting it to another room. Whether your garage is built into your property or is a standalone building located close to the house, you could transform it into a gym/leisure area, a guest bedroom or even a self-contained apartment.

A garden renovation

If your garden looks a little tired, a makeover could work wonders. Having it redesigned by a professional - perhaps adding paved or decked areas to section off part of the garden - can create a peaceful oasis of calm and make the very most of your outdoor space.

If you’re strongly considering embarking on a DIY or renovation project and want to get a clearer idea of how much value such improvements would add to your property, first get a selection of quotes from professionals to do the work. Then, ask an estate agent to value your property before the work starts - and ask their opinion on how much value your plans could add. The chances are, they will know of properties in the same area that have had similar enhancements and improvements carried out and a have guide price in mind.

Will home improvements affect my home insurance?

Possibly, yes. If you’re planning to start a large scale home improvement project, you should inform your home insurance providers. 

If, for example, you’re having a two-storey extension built and the work is expected to take several months, your insurers will need to know there will be construction work taking place. As well as that, there will be builders and tradesmen entering and exiting your property regularly. If you’re not present throughout all of this, it means your property is unsecured and that more people than normal will have access to it. Your Insurer may also impose terms on your insurance policy during the work. For example, they may exclude claims caused by accidental damage while the work is ongoing.

After the work has been completed, you may need to update your home insurance provider, especially if the improvements have increased the number of bedrooms or bathrooms in your home. You’ll have a bigger property too, which may have an influence on the price of your policy.

The work may have changed the rebuild value of your property too, which could impact the cost of your buildings insurance.

Get a quote for RAC Home Insurance here

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