Increasing the worth of your home is always a good idea, but be careful as some so-called improvements can actually bring the price down. Here’s a handy selection of dos and don’ts.

The dos and don'ts when adding value to yourhome

Do

Build a garage or off-street parking area -  Many families have more than one car, so any extra space to park is a real advantage. Garages are especially attractive as they have multiple uses.

Build a good extension - If you extend you can increase the square-footage of your home and, therefore, the price, but a bad extension can bring down the value of your home. Make sure you get planning permission from your local council, if necessary, or you may be forced to take it down and lose all your investment.

Loft conversion - If you haven’t done it already, getting your loft converted will add both space and value to your property. Check with your local planning office before you start the conversion—you’ll have to get building-regulations approval and conform to fire regulations (which might include installing a fire door and alarms). Again, make sure it’s done well, as a bad conversion could harm.

Sort out the garden - Don’t neglect any outdoor areas; a great garden will really add value. If your garden’s big enough, consider putting a summer house in it.

Do it yourself - If you’re on a tight budget, the best way to save is to do some of the work yourself, then get the professionals to finish it. For example, if you want to re-tile your bathroom, but you’re not confident enough, you could remove the old tiles and prepare the surface for the new ones. Then you’ll only have to pay someone to fit them.

Don’t

Add a swimming pool. This actually lowers the value of a property! People tend to see a pool as a high-maintenance addition that will drain them of time and money.

Install decking. Very popular a few years ago, this is now seen as old hat and those who don’t like it may not want the hassle or expense of ripping it up and replacing it.

Stone cladding. Quite simply, this is very unpopular. Just don’t do it.

Read more articles by Jasmine Birtles here

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