We all love it when an ugly duckling turns into a swan. When it happens with property, it can bring a profit, too. Across London, homeowners are modernising, renovating or upgrading their homes. Here is our new mini guide for improving your house or flat to add value. You will find tips on “knocking through” and kitchen revamps to basement conversions and calling in the professionals.
In most homes, the stairs are the first things you see. A new set of banisters or even new stairs can make a big difference to the feel of the property. Sometimes, turning the staircase a different way can maximise internal space. Open treads can make it less imposing and open up the rest of the property.
A new conservatory
Extra space costs money, but perhaps one option is to add a conservatory. Glass walls bring lots of light into a house and the extra living space will always be welcome. Pick a style that will go with the property and match the flooring to the adjoining living area, it will enhance the flow. This house in Kinnerton Street, Belgravia, for sale at £2.95m, has a spectacular double-height conservatory. For more details, visit http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=5238649BF3C5C
Room for improvement: knocking through
Modern families like open-plan living, so you might choose to knock rooms through to make one larger room. This can work well, but remember there’s no hiding place for kitchen clutter, so think about your storage options. It’s important to talk to a professional for advice on knocking through for both safety and the best options before embarking on your project.
Spectacular kitchens can help sell houses. If you are lucky enough to have a big, square room with plenty of space for a table, you are already ahead of the pack. Otherwise consider an extension or knocking through to create a larger space. If there’s no opportunity to make the kitchen bigger, shiny cupboards, surfaces and the latest lighting can give the tiniest galley the wow factor.
Time to redecorate
The simplest way to give a house a whole new look is to whizz through it with a paintbrush. Choose colours that are the latest fashion and furnish the house to match. Neutral colours will freshen up every room, making the most of the light.
If you need more space for a growing family, the only way is up. A loft extension can add value to your home and add another dimension to your home. But don’t add too many bedrooms without extra bathrooms. A five-bedroom house with just one family bathroom isn’t going to appeal to many buyers. A four-bedroom home with two bathrooms is a much better balance.
A new bathroom
At the very least, if your bathroom looks like a well-used family bathroom, splash out on a new suite. You might be able to improve on the layout, too. If it is in good condition, consider changing the tiles or re-grouting, and buy fluffy, matching towels to give a fresh look and feel.
8 Basement extension
If you have a basement and can make it habitable, or even if there’s no basement, but there’s scope to burrow, then it is worth exploring this option. This house in Eccleston Mews, Belgravia comes with planning permission for a single storey basement. It’s on the market for £2.95m. For more details, visit www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=58C12403BB7BF
You may discover original floorboards under layers of linoleum or old carpets in some properties. Pine, oak or even elm, they will look beautiful if you give them enough care and attention. Sanding them down is a tough job, but the end result is often worth it
Call in the professionals – a sloppy job may devalue your home, rather than enhance it. Take care when choosing a tradesman and if you can get personal recommendations, it’s worth paying a little extra.
- Are you house-hunting or wondering how much your house is worth? Contact Henry & James for a free valuation or drop in to your local office at 1 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JX (0207235 8861; firstname.lastname@example.org).