Putting off a move to a
bigger home? With uncertainty continuing to dominate the property
market, it could be the time to extend and stay put.
What could you add?
Adding floor space to your home can increase its
value and can also make it a much better place to live in. Even if you
don’t fancy going as far as building an extension, converting existing
space means you can add desirable features for both you and future
Here are a few ideas:
1. Get the builders in
If you have the external
space, a single-storey extension could give you a larger kitchen, a
dining and utility room or a downstairs bedroom. A two-storey version
could mean an extra bedroom, bathroom or study on top. Be careful to
ensure the style of the existing house is complemented, though, and
beware making your garden too small.
2. Kitchen dreams
If you pine for more worktop
or appliances, then a new kitchen should be in your plans. If you need a
bigger space and don't want to extend, consider removing a wall between
the kitchen and dining room and opting for an open plan affair. The
kitchen tends to be the most costly room to update, so set a realistic
budget and shop around first.
3. Washing Cycle
Increasingly popular with
buyers, a utility room can be a great way to contain large, noisy
appliances and it doesn't need to be huge. Some external buildings could
be modified to house a washing machine and tumble dryer, but if you're
placing a utility room indoors, easy access to outside is a good idea.
4. Lofty ideas
Converting an attic space
can be costly, but many houses have a big old space up there that could
be put to better use as a bedroom or two, or an extra bathroom and
playroom or study. It's a good idea to get quotes and layout ideas from
at least two architects or builders, though, and consider where you
could put the stairs.
5. Basement instinct
While basements are by no
means a standard in British homes, some lucky homeowners have a
below-ground area that could be developed. A bedroom or bathroom should
have proper ventilation, but if adding windows is not possible, there
could still be scope for a utility room, playroom or simply a good
6. En suite envy
The current trend,
particularly for homes with 4 or more bedrooms, is to have at least one
en suite. Walk-in showers and wet rooms are very popular and need few
square metres. If space is limited, consider adding a wash basin or
shower in the bedroom itself with just the wc behind closed doors.
Always keep a bath, though- families usually want at least one tub. A
downstairs cloakroom is highly desirable, too.
Ask any estate agent and they’re likely to tell you that 3 of the most sought-after features are:
- Home Office - A small box bedroom or spacious hallway can be
perfect as the designated area for surfing the net and sorting bills
- Dressing room - Consider partitioning a section of a large
bedroom or replacing a wall between two adjoining bedrooms with 2
walk-in wardrobes, one for each room
- Utility room - Relocating the laundry appliances frees up space in the kitchen
Maintain a balance
Balance is the keyword when
converting, so only add more bedrooms if the living space can
accommodate more people and always consider the average house prices in
your area for similar properties. Also, don’t assume you’ll get your
money back, especially in the short-term.
The great outdoors
If you are considering
putting your home on the market, remember that first impressions count,
so be smart in the front and back of the property. If you don’t have
time for gardening, slow-growing shrubs and gravel can be put to good
If you’re embarking on a big project at home, check
out our guide to remortgaging.