It’s easy to spend money on your home. But knowing where to spend it to best improve its value is slightly trickier.

Of course, it would be silly to govern all your home-spending based on what sort of return on capital it will give you. After all, it’s your home and you live there, so if you have always dreamed of gold taps and painting the main bedroom lime green, knock yourself out - just don’t expect it to do anything positive to your home’s value!

Since Noah was a ship’s apprentice, the value of property has largely been governed by location. The best locations are most desirable and thus, more people will be interested in paying more to occupy it. With the modern home this is still the case, although it’s not the only factor.

When push comes to shove, we all need a place to sleep and the larger the property the more comfortable it is to live in. So the number of bedrooms and the floorspace available are also key to value. In fact, valuers compare house prices by considering the price paid per square metre, thus determining that in basic terms, the more floor space you have, the more value there is in the property.

Of course, there are other factors. Is the property well proportioned with the correct number of bedrooms for the floorspace? What condition is the property in? Does the property have good views, a pleasant garden and sufficient car parking and amenity space? All these things have a bearing on value.

So what then should we be looking to spend our money on if we want to help ensure we are adding value in the process? Here are a few ideas;

  1. Extensions to the existing building. This might be ground or single storey, although given that a about ⅔ of the cost of building new floor space is in the ground works and roof, it seems likely that a two storey extension will offer you twice the floor space for limited additional cost. In many cases, a larger breakfast kitchen and master bedroom with ensuite, will significantly add to the value of your home.
  2. Loft extensions. When you can’t build out, why not build up? If there is space in your loft consider using it for an additional bedroom.You will need to make sure that the roof joists can take the static and dynamic loads and you will need building regulation consent and possibly planning consent, for windows, etc.
  3. Improve your kitchen. Most of us spend a disproportionate amount of time in our kitchens, and not just at parties. The modern family home is vastly improved by a spacious, airy breakfast/kitchen. But kitchens aren’t cheap. So try to reign in the spending on trendy gadgets and concentrate on livability.
  4. First Impressions. If your budget is more limited, consider addressing details. The driveway, the front door, the garden or the decor. It’s easy to let decoration slip and because we live in our homes every day we sometimes learn to live with scuffed walls and broken light switches. If you are short on cash, some attention to detail can pay dividends. Repaint externally and redecorate inside. Fix or replace door furniture (to spruce up your home) or finally get around to re-tarmacing the driveway and giving the garden some TLC.
  5. Save energy! OK, so investing in extra loft insulation, new LED lights, double glazing or solar panels for your hot water might not be very visible - or very sexy, but investing in these things can produce a good return on investment through a marked reduction in energy consumption. Check for government funded schemes for loft insulation and the installation of solar panels.

Sometimes, adding an extra bedroom and some more living space can be a far better solution to a change in family circumstances. If the works add value too, raising the funds by way of a re-mortgage is not usually difficult. Contact Mortgage Required for an initial discussion with no obligation.

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