Future proof your Home Improvements

You may be looking to update your home in the near future to help improve the overall look and feel of the home as well as adding some value when it comes to selling.

Looking at home improvements as an investment rather than something to simply fulfil a need or desire will help you to prioritise and budget accordingly. Improvements which offer long term value and the most impact should be considered first.

It is no coincidence that the improvements which offer the most long term value will be most costly however if you can look into the future with a crystal ball you may find yourself quids in when it comes to cashing in on your investment.

Homebuyers are always drawn to homes which don’t require much updating apart from decorating and cosmetic changes. If you have invested well in your home you will find it will shift off the market much quicker compared to ones which need updating saving you money and time. Moving home is a stressful task, homebuyers will find no reluctancy if all the necessary improvements are already done without having to budget for further improvements which need to be carried out.

Top of all homeowners list of home improvements are Bathroom remodelling swiftly followed by Kitchen renovations so this would be a good place to start. However there are some other improvements to consider that can help add real value to your home.

1) Kitchen Renovation

Kitchens are now the showpiece of the home because we no longer just cook in the kitchen, this area is a hub for the family where we watch TV, socialise and the kids finish their homework, so time should be taken to plan accordingly .

Modern Kitchen

Creating an efficient work space is the first place to start ensuring the “triangle” of cooker, sink and fridge are within easy access of each other. Appliances and gadgets are very important so choose the latest models which are unlikely to be outdated within the next 10 years. According to this article from This is Money  a kitchen can add around 6% to the value of your home so set your budget accordingly. Overspending on the kitchen will likely mean you see no return on your investment, however under spending will not only make your house harder to sell, it may even bring the value down.

2) Bathroom Remodelling

This is probably the easiest of rooms to improve within the home and is fast becoming a popular area to renovate for DIY enthusiasts.

Bathroom

The average cost of a new bathroom, according to this infographic is around £4,000. Adding new taps and a modern shower head along with switching from traditional radiators to towel radiators will make an instant impact. Also, ditching the old shower curtains and opting for modern shower screens helps to bring the room up to date. More costlier improvements include re-tiling and buying a new bathroom suit, however bathrooms can add around 3% to the value of your home so it can pay to spend accordingly.

3) Install a new boiler/heating system

This one is often overlooked, however with current energy rates rising homeowners would be wise to invest in an efficient heating system which will not only save money on your current heating bills but will add some value to your home when you come to sell. The typical central heating system can cost around £2000 – £4000 (including fitting), however you can expect to see your property value rise by at least £5000 in return. New wireless systems to control the heating with mobile apps are fast becoming popular with homebuyers and are now available with most new heating systems. This is an area of the home which can fast become “Smart” with products such as the Nest Smart Thermostat allowing you to remotely control your heating and hot water. You can change the temperature, receive alerts and check your energy history all from your smart phone.

4) Update your Glazing

To carry on with the theme of energy saving, improving your current glazing can massively improve your current Energy Performance Rating (EPC). White double glazing is most common and the cheapest option, modern more expensive options include shades of grey to add a touch of character and kerb appeal. Be mindful to opt for colours and styles which match the age and character of the house. Also, changing your current patio doors to modern aluminium bi-fold doors is an effective way of extending your kitchen/diner for summer months. Bring the outdoors in by creating a large seamless opening into the garden space.

Installing double glazing can add around 10% to the value of your home so it is certainly one improvement that should be at the top of the priority list, however it is one of the most expensive so again consider the ceiling value of the home and invest accordingly. The cost of double glazing will vary depending on the number of windows, style and performance.

Triple glazing is a little controversial, the investment outweigh the benefits and future homebuyers will place little significance on the fact you have triple glazing. The small gains in energy efficiency are outweighed by the upfront costs and it is unlikely you will recover this in future.

5) Update your Fireplace

There are a vast array of gas and electric fires on the market so making the right choice in terms of quality and performance can be a difficult one.

Living Room

With modern flueless gas fires and electric fires available, the choices are limitless. These fires can be fitted almost anywhere including dining rooms, bedrooms, studies and even bathrooms. Fireplaces are the centrepiece of a room and help to add a warm homely feel for your guests and potential buyers alike. The energy performance is an important factor, some fires now offer 100% efficiency which means there is little or no heat loss and the fires can be fitted where no traditional chimney or flue is present. A perfect solution for saving on energy costs in the short term and adding real value to your property in the long term. Investing in the right fireplace can pay dividends with around a 5% increase in the property value. Modern gadgets including armchair remote control will give homebuyers the feel your home is up to date.

Avoid shopping at your local builders warehouse like Wickes and B&Q where the budget end of fireplaces are sold. Instead, make contact with a local fireplace retailer who specialise in the design, supply and installation to take you through the entire process. You also have an opportunity to negotiate the pricing if you are taking the fitting service too. Installing a working fireplace is certainly not a DIY job and buying from a specialist will ensure you have a product that will stand the test of time.

6) Opt for Faster Broadband

This one is already a major factor for consideration with homebuyers. Streaming music, videos and gaming take up the most bandwidth. With the advancements of the “Internet of Things” whereby most kitchen appliances, heating systems and lighting will be controlled via the web in future it would be wise to have a home ready to meet these demands.

If your current speeds are slow you may look to contact alternative suppliers to see if they can offer faster speeds. For example, if you are currently supplied by BT with a basic ADSL broadband connection and have exhausted the option of Fibre being made available to your street, you may look to suppliers who offer broadband independent of the BT network such as Virgin Media. Another option to explore if no fibre broadband is available via the street cables is to look toward satellite internet. This is now commonly used across the country where the broadband is limited or unreachable by beaming super fast internet data via a satellite dish installed on the outside of your home.

 

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