So what’s it to be: Renovation or no renovation? When you wish to put your house onto the market, this is very much a crucial question to be asking.
If, for example, you’re intent on working your way up the property ladder and you have a dream home in mind at the end of the journey, you’ll want to understand how you can go about maximising the value of your current pad.
Here are five of the best ways in which you can add to your property’s value in Leicester.
Convert the cellar
An existing cellar transformed into a living area or a storage space can boost the value of the property by as much as 30%.
The reality is that converting the cellar can prove to be among the least complex improvements you can make to your home. That’s because, for planning purposes, it qualifies under “change of use”. In other words, no planning permission is required.
If, on the other hand, it’s a listed building and you’re intent on making structural changes, your local planning officer should be among your first port of calls.
Make the garage a living space
Not making good use of your garage? No car in there? Why not think about converting it to living space. And you have more reason for doing that if there’s available parking space elsewhere.
There are two initial steps: Find out if your garage is suited to conversion; Find out if you are in need of planning permission.
For the most part, converting a garage and the work that’s involved will be considered a permissible development. That would mean no planning permission needed. Of course, you should make a point of checking with the local planning authority.
To ensure that a garage is structurally sound, a conversion will always be subject to local building regulations.
In this case, you have the choice of using an approved independent inspector or the building control service belonging to your local council. In either event, the inspector will visit on several occasions throughout the conversion process to check that the key aspects (inclusive of the walls, the roof, and the drainage, for example) are in compliance with regulations.
Convert the loft to add a bedroom
With an extra bedroom, your home can be valued at up to an extra 15% more than otherwise. That’s especially so if the bedroom is a loft conversion and it comes with an ensuite bathroom.
It’s true to say that the majority of U.K. lofts can be converted, but you should still have a builder or an architect to make sure of it before starting.
Once the decision has been made, you’ll want to get familiar with what’s available in terms of loft conversions.
The options available are a roof light conversion, that being the most cost-effective because it takes the least structural work, through to a mansard conversion which is the most expensive.
With a mansard conversion, the roof’s slope or slopes will be replaced with a flat, or almost flat roof, and steeper sides.
For mansard conversions, typically planning permission is required. But for other types of loft conversion, they are regarded as permissible developments.
Again, it’s advisable to check with the local planning authority. That’s because some of the rules are complex. As an example, if you wish to extend the roof space by upwards of 50m3 (for terraced housing, that figure drops to 40m3).
Add a conservatory to increase living space
As a way of feeling that much closer to nature, and to merge your indoor area with your outdoor space, a fully glazed conservatory is the way to go.
To get the project underway, consider how the space will be used. Think, too, if you would prefer a traditional or modern style to fit the styling of your home and to your lifestyle.
The greatest part of the conservatory will, of course, be the glass. Consider the options here with care.
By way of U.K. building regulations, for a conservatory, the minimum permissible standard is double glazing, but there is still an array of glazing options to choose from. That includes self-cleaning glass and solar control glass. Again, you should think about which type of glass will fit in with your home and your lifestyle.
For the conservatory frame, there are, likewise, options available.
Your choice of material will have a direct effect on the conservatory’s performance. Materials range from aluminium, through to timber, to uPVC, and all of them come with variable qualities. Carry out your own research and get advice from the experts as to which is best for you.
Providing your conservatory meets some limitations and certain conditions, adding a conservatory is seen as a permitted development. However, with respect to building regulations, that’s quite a different matter.
For most conservatories in the U.K., they are exempt from building regulations. Nevertheless, in some circumstances, an application must be made.
As an example, if you wish to remove the wall or doors that will link your home to the conservatory, proof will be required that the conservatory is the same (or better) as your home in terms of energy efficiency.
Already have a conservatory? Value can be added with the addition of a tiled roof to the conservatory. In this way, the conservatory is transformed into a room that may be used year-round.
Garden and kerb appeal
In Leicester, and in most parts of the U.K., garden space is pretty limited. Therefore, if you do have it, you should make the most of it, and even more so if you wish to sell.
A patio or a deck can work to transform any garden into a space for entertaining. A summer house, when designed to act as an additional room, can, likewise, add to the value of your property.
Even if you are not selling your home, first impressions are extremely important. Your home can enjoy some added kerb appeal simply through a lick of paint, some shining ironmongery, or a new door. Keep the garden tidy by maintaining a tightly-mowed lawn and sweeping up any fallen leaves.
Putting it All Together With Open House
At Open House we aim to help you as a first-time buyer by taking all the stress out of your home-buying experience. We do that through the provision of a personal, dedicated service.
When you buy a property with us at Open House, you get all the local property insights as well as property valuations in Leicester. This way, we’ll help you to find the home to fit your dreams. Or, skip straight to the ‘selling’ and download our free e-book on the latest tips to selling your property.
We have years of experience and have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge about the property market in and around Leicester. Get in touch with our friendly team and we’ll provide you with more information about how we can, in fact, help you.