UK homeowners are crying out for more space in their current homes, a recent survey conducted by Rated People has shown. The survey showed that one in six homeowners are dissatisfied with the size of their homes and especially the size of their rooms.
Newly built properties in the UK are the smallest in Western Europe, in fact the average new home in Britain is only 92 per cent of the recommended minimum size. As a result, new homes are not attracting prospective buyers who are looking for more space. People are choosing instead to extend their current properties instead of moving house.
Dermot Steedman, a member of RatedPeople, says, ‘Increasing the size of their current home, instead of moving, is often a financial and lifestyle choice. Conversions and extensions are usually cheaper and less risky than moving and a well planned project will nearly always add value to the property, which is why I chose to convert my own loft.’
Home upgrades are the way forward according to Jonnie Irwin, brand ambassador of RatedPeople, ‘Faced with a difficult housing market, homeowners should be looking at what they can be doing to improve their current home – and where they can add value – rather than moving on.’
Here are Jonnie’s top tips for making the most of your current space.
1. A well planned extension nearly always adds value, but look at house prices in your local area to gauge how much value another bedroom will add to your property, be careful not to over develop.
2. Conservatories are a great way to add space as they often don’t require planning permission, although always check with your local authority or planning dept. They can be a quick and cheap way to increase your living space.
3. Look at the other properties on your street, this will give you an idea of the type of projects that are likely to get planning permission as precedents may have been set by your neighbours’ developments.
4. Before planning an extension you should always look at the space you already have and consider how you are currently using it. Often simply changing the floor plan by removing or moving walls can change how you live.
5. Side extensions may not add much floor space, but they are one of the cheaper options. A small side extension can cost as little as £25,000, but it can make a huge difference to how you use your living space.
6. Building an extension at the expense of your garden can actually reduce the value of your house; outside space is always desirable for future buyers.