Improve not move may be the answer

If you’ve outgrown your home, building an extension or converting the loft, cellar or garage is often more economical than moving. It also gives you an opportunity to create space tailored exactly to your needs.

That said, be careful not to get carried away and enlarge your home in the wrong way. For example, if you convert the loft into an extra bedroom or bedrooms and there isn’t enough living space downstairs for the total number of bedrooms, you’ll have made the house too top-heavy.

It’s often said that the rooms that most sell homes are the kitchen and bathroom. Swapping a dated kitchen or bathroom for a modern one will make a big difference to your everyday life, too, and you really don’t have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.

A good way to get a bargain kitchen is to buy inexpensive units and even cupboard doors, then spend more on the worktops and a statement tap and/or sink.

Adding bathrooms, especially an en suite, is a brilliant way to up value and make your home life easier, especially if there are too many people using the family bathroom. This is when an en suite for the main bedroom is invaluable. People sometimes think that having as many bedrooms as possible adds value, but it’s usually more valuable to have enough bathrooms for the number of bedrooms.

It’s also useful to have a bathroom on every floor where there are bedrooms. Loft-conversion bedrooms with a bathroom or shower room are usually more valuable and useful than those without. In family homes, a downstairs toilet is a must, too, even if you have to squeeze it into a small space.

The trend is for open-plan kitchen-diners/family rooms but totally open-plan space isn’t necessarily the best way to add value, or live day to day. Having a more formal sitting room, as well as a more casual room, works well for many families.

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