How can I add value to my home

An open plan living dining area. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

An open plan living dining area. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos - Credit: Archant

Whether you’re renovating your kitchen or updating the bathroom it pays to plan carefully and pick your projects to add as much value as possible to your home.

A kitchen in need of modernisation. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

A kitchen in need of modernisation. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos - Credit: Archant

1. If you’ve outgrown your home and you can make it bigger by building an extension or converting the loft, cellar or garage, doing the work is often more economical than moving and gives you an opportunity to create space tailored to your needs. However, you need to be careful not to enlarge your home in the wrong way. You’ll add most value if everything’s in proportion – for example, the right number of bedrooms to bathrooms (aim for at least one bathroom to three bedrooms) and enough living space for the number of bedrooms.

2. Lofts are often straightforward to convert, especially if the work can be done under your home’s permitted development rights, meaning that planning permission isn’t required. Loft conversions usually add most value when turned into a suite with a main bedroom, bathroom or shower room and even, if there’s enough space, a walk-in wardrobe or dressing room. If planning laws allow, maximising the space by adding a full-width dormer window and altering the side roof so it goes from sloped to ‘straight’ (when viewed from the front or back) makes for a larger and more valuable loft conversion.

3. These days, smaller, separate rooms are out and larger, open-plan rooms are in – as far as most of us are concerned. However, totally open-plan space isn’t necessarily the best way to add value, or live day to day, especially if you have children. Open-plan kitchen-diners/family rooms are now extremely popular, but also having a separate, more formal sitting room works well for many families. Some families prefer to have a separate playroom or den for the kids, so the mess is self-contained.

4. One of the best ways to create an open-plan kitchen-diner/family room is to add a ground-floor extension (which can also often be done under your home’s permitted development rights) to enlarge the existing kitchen and any rooms you’re combining it with, such as a separate dining room. Add a wall of bi-fold doors leading out to the garden to give a wonderful feeling of inside-outside space and you have a valuable addition to your home.

5. If enlarging the kitchen isn’t an option, modernising a dated kitchen is one of the best things you can do. Kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms that most sell homes because replacing them is expensive and disruptive, and while you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good look, any money spent is usually a good investment in these key rooms.