Many of us decide to move house because we just don’t have enough room in our current home. When moving into a new, larger house, quite often we start off relishing the extra space we have, maybe even wondering how we will fill it? It’s astounding how quickly all that extra space manages to become occupied, and in a few years, we may be ready once more to find somewhere larger.
For some of us, the realisation that we need more space may unfortunately not occur at a point in time when we can do anything about it. Maybe financially a few more years are required before a move can be made, or maybe the upheaval of moving is just not feasible with current personal circumstances.
So, what can you do to your property that will update it, possible give you some more space, and of course add value so the time and effort you’ve put in is not wasted when you do eventually move?
The following 5 conversions not only give you extra space, but also add value to your home making the money you’re spending a sound investment.
A loft conversion can give you one, or sometimes two extra rooms. Depending upon your needs and the layout available in your loft, this could provide you with an extra bedroom, playroom or office. It may sound like a huge job, but in the majority of cases you don’t have to move out whilst the building work is taking place.
Of course, there are important factors to take into consideration, firstly your loft space will need to be able to offer enough head height. Depending on the type of roof you want, the minimum height is between 2.2m and 2.6m.
Secondly you need to consider how you will access you new loft space. A staircase will mean that you lose space on the floor below, so this will need to be carefully considered to ensure that the space lost will still mean the loft conversion will be a worthwhile investment.
Many older houses have cellars and basements, many of which are used as storage space. A cellar conversion however can provide you with an extra room which could have numerous uses. Many are used as a utility room, especially if there is no natural light available, but with clever design ideas you can choose to use the room in whichever way that suits your needs.
There are many considerations when looking at converting cellars. As these areas were not always built with the intention of using them as a living space, there can be a lot of work involved in order to make it into a functional room.
With specific challenges and considerations associated with basements and cellars, it is worth taking the time to find the right companies to advise you. There are many reputable basement conversion companies who specialise in this area and will therefore be able to give you sound advice.
This is by no means a quick fix solution, and even though in many cases the money spent will be less than the value added to your home, due to the many considerations such as dampness, ceiling height and access to natural light, the work will need to be carefully considered to ensure it is a sound investment.
Open plan living is contemporary and highly desirable. It is a positive selling point for a home and attracts buyers and adds value. Another bonus is that generally, you don’t need planning permission for internal alterations.
Even though extra space is not provided in the same way as converting your loft or basement, having an open plan space gives the appearance of more room, and ingenious design ideas can make sure that there is ample storage space.
A consideration to bear in mind is that not all walls are equal. If you remove a load bearing wall without the correct structural precautions, you could end up with your house falling down around your ears. It’s always worth getting professional advice as even though generally you do not need planning permission for internal alterations, if you are removing a load bearing wall your local council will want to know that the necessary precautions are taking place.
Adapt your garage
Many garages are used mainly as a dumping ground for clutter, Christmas decorations, old school books and pieces of exercise equipment used twice in January only to never be seen again. If this sounds like your garage then maybe it’s time to clear it out and to start planning your construction project. Properties with converted garages can be worth up to 10% more than similar properties without the garage conversions.
Other advantages of converting your garage are that firstly much of the work is carried out inside the garage, so disruption to your day to day life should be kept to a minimum. Also, in comparison to carrying out a house extension, garden space will not need to be sacrificed and it’s unlikely that planning permission will be required.
Things to consider however, if you are using your garage as storage, is where is all the stuff that was stored there previously going to go? If your garden is not large enough for an additional shed then you may need to factor in a lot of storage into the garage conversion. Also, is there additional parking on your property? Off road parking is huge selling point so you may need to think twice if converting your garage means the only place left to park is on the road.
Add a downstairs loo
Having an additional bathroom, even if it’s just a WC and a small sink, adds value and functionality to a house. Many people looking to move have an additional bathroom on their wish-list.
You don’t need to sacrifice too much space either to install a small cloakroom. Ideally utilising underused spaces such as underneath the stairs is a perfect way to add value to your home without compromising on space.