1 Loft conversion
The easiest way to get an extra bedroom and bathroom.
And as most of the work can be done from outside the remainder of the home can remain relatively untouched. The key thing is to make sure access to the loft is easy and that the conversion fits the rest of the house, rather than looking grafted on. You will have to strengthen the floor joists, which will raise the floor level, so make sure you leave yourself with sufficient ceiling height to stand up in. Mortgage lender GE Money concluded that a loft conversion adds an average 12.5 per cent to the selling price.
2 Build a conservatory
Extending your living space is always a good idea, but the danger is that your conservatory ends up looking like something just bolted on the back.
Make sure the conservatory fits the style of your house. Don’t make it seem as if it’s in any way separate, with its own entrance, for example. You can enhance the feeling of space and flow by installing the same flooring throughout your downstairs living area. It leads the eye on and ensures that the conservatory feels part of the rest of the house. A conservatory (cost £5,000-£30,000) can add around 7 per cent to the value, while a full-blown extension (£10,000-£30,000) adds 11 per cent.
3 Get rid of the garage
And turn it into living space. The fact is, 90 per cent of British garages don’t contain a car. They are a wasted asset. Cost: about £10,000. To calculate value added, multiply square footage gained by local price per square foot.
4 Take aim at your target
Work out who is your most likely type of buyer and present the property accordingly. This will determine whether you present a spare room as, say, an office, a play room, a gym or a study.
5 Pave over the front garden
If you live in the countryside, and garden aesthetics are an important feature of the property’s presentation, keep the flower beds. But if you want to add value in an area where parking is at a premium, then it is concrete every time. You may need planning permission, and may have to spend £10-£20,000, but added value could be £50,000 in an expensive urban location.
6 Paint the house
If you are selling, you have to get buyers through the front door, which means you need to have the outside as spick and span as possible (cost £100-£1,000, but could add £5,000). If nothing else, your house should at least look better than your neighbours’. Clean those dirty windows, clear the driveway, unblock the gutters.
7 Change the windows
But only if they don’t match the house as it is now. I am a big believer that whatever you decide to do should suit the age and style of the original property. If it was meant to have wooden windows, then put wooden windows in. If metal, then put in metal. Otherwise, leave well alone.
8 Refurbish the front door
Does it look smart? If not, buy a new doorknob (£35), brass letterbox (£25) or a stainless steel house number (£5-£25). When we were redesigning the front of our house, we cycled around the area and took photographs of other people’s front doors. You get some great ideas that way.
9 Hang mirrors in the hall
The hall is the first thing the buyer sees, yet it is often narrow, cramped and full of prams, bikes and trainers. A mirror on either side of the wall makes it seem magically bigger.
Source: Phil Spencer/Daily Telegraph