Which Major Home Improvement Adds the Most Value to Your Home?

Most major home improvements add value to your home but do you know which one really add the most value irrespective of the housing market ups and downs? Read on and find out…

Loft Conversion
A few years ago it was only on rare occasions that you got your money back on a loft conversion let alone see a profit. In recent years however you were far more likely to get your money back and maybe even make a small profit. Whilst this is good news it is not the same everywhere so depending on where you live you may make money or lose money.

Home Extension
Adding on a home extension has traditionally been a winner in that you can add on up to 15% of the value of your home with a decent extension. The key to profitability here is to ensure that you don’t over spend or put too fine an extension on a small house. Clearly if your house is in a leafy superb and worth 500k then a 50k extension will give you a profit.

Again, a few years back you would be lucky to get back the cost of the materials let alone add value to your house. This is not surprising given that conservatories were of such poor quality and were too hot in the summer and freezing in the winter.

Nowadays the conservatory norm is of a much higher specification and with an endless range of designs they make a superb addition to your home. As for profitability it is still hit and miss given that the right house in the right area will see a profit whilst the wrong conservatory in the wrong area will see a loss.

Basement Conversion
I’ve heard it said a few times recently that within a few years we will all be digging out the underneath of our homes. With an increasing population, fewer home and not enough building land then they might be right but I seriously doubt it mainly because it costs a lot more to dig out and build downwards than it does to build upwards.

The average cost of a decent basement conversion will set up back upwards of 100k and you would only get your money back if your property was in prime areas such as central London. If you do a basement conversion, do it for the space as you will surely lose money on this one.

Garage Conversions
Traditionally, garage conversions were not a popular way of extending the home but in the past few years this form of conversion has risen dramatically. When you start to look at the numbers for a garage conversion it only takes a moment or two to see why it has become one of the most popular methods of enlarging your home.

Look at the cost of the average garage conversion which comes in around 10k and you can see that no matter which way you look at it you have added a room to your house for 10k. Now if you live in the south east you can add 30k to the price of your house if you add on an extra bedroom showing you a huge profit with very little outlay. This one is definitely a winner but it still not the best one.

Solar Panel Installation

You’re probably thinking why I have bothered to include solar panel installation as everybody knows you won’t get you money back. Whilst this was true in 1996 when the first UK solar panel installation was carried out a lot has changed since then. Yes, it’s true that solar panel installation got a lot of bad press because of long payback periods and expensive installations costs but times have changed.

In 1996 the average cost of a UK solar panel installation was 30/35k but due to technological advancement and mass production solar panels now cost only a fraction of what they once were whilst at the same time producing a lot more energy. Combine this situation with the huge rises in energy costs and we now have a totally different scenario.

The average cost of a UK solar panel installation now comes in at around 10k whilst the average cost for energy (gas & electric) comes in around 2.5k pr year. If energy prices remained the same – and they won’t – the average payback period for your solar panel installation would be 5 years.

We’re not finished just yet because the life expectancy of today’s pv (photovoltaic) solar panels is anywhere between 20 to 40 years. Again if we take an average lifespan of 30 years as the solar panel lifespan and then took into account the rising costs if energy over that 30 years the actual saving you are likely to make would be in excess of 80k which undoubtedly makes this form of home improvement an out and out winner.

Lets not forget that you are also contributing massively to reducing your carbon footprint and doing your bit for a greener planet in the process. Check it out for yourself and book a free solar survey at SolarPanelsSpermarket.Com.

Home Improvement – Creating Curb Appeal on a Small Budget

First impressions matter when it comes to the value of your home. Nowadays, 70 percent of home buyers get their first look at a house from a picture on the Internet. Most people won’t look any farther if the picture is unappealing. Even homeowners who aren’t selling should still care about keeping their biggest asset in top condition.

Curb appeal encompasses the front of your home that is visible from the street. Adding curb appeal can be an overwhelming undertaking, so consider starting with some key elements to boost the appeal of your entire home.

Following are ways create curb appeal on a small budget:

Front door. Choose an attractive screen or storm door that enhances the entire doorway. Many exterior doors are designed with energy-efficient windows that allow light in without letting hot or cool air escape.

Light fixtures. Find outdoor lighting to accent your entryway. It should match the architectural style of your home. This is particularly relevant for lights that mount to the house or underneath the portico. Be more simplistic with landscape lighting so it doesn’t detract from your front door.

Accessories. Remember the smaller items as well, such as doorbells, door knockers, house numbers and mailboxes. For example, sophisticated brass doorbells sell for as little as $10 and offer a more attractive solution than plastic. Choose accessories and lighting with the same finish.

Painting. View the front of your home from across the street. Would a fresh new coat of paint or an entirely new paint color on the front door create more of an inviting focal point? As an example, feng shui practitioners advocate painting front doors red because it creates a bold yet harmonious impression. Also, make sure your exterior house paint is not peeling or fading since it draws attention and creates a negative impression.

Landscaping. Overgrown shrubs destroy the architectural lines of a home. Be sure to prune your shrubs and consider adding mulch to retain moisture and prevent weed growth. For a formal look, consider adding stone mulch. For a more casual approach, organic mulch, like wood chips, is better. Experiment with contrast by using light mulch around dark plants and dark mulch around light plants.