Big decisions to make change your home require extensive planning to ensure you get the added value you want with NO mistakes.
In a recently published survey by The Nationwide Building Society, the most common types of home improvement have been rated in terms of the percentage value they are likely to add to a property. The results are as follows:
Added Value to property %
Extension - large kitchen / family room into garden area 15%
Extension - adding floor space 12%
Extension - extra bedroom by adding floor space (2 bed to 3 bed) 12%
Extension - extra bedroom by adding floor space (3 bed to 4 bed) 8%
Alterations - extra bedroom without adding floor space 6%
Loft Conversion - extra bedroom and en-suite 21%
Adding an extra bathroom or en-suite 5%
Off-street parking space 6.5%
Garage - detached or integrated 7-14%
Double glazing 5%
Central heating value added 7%
Making the most of your home
Choose units that will not date and where-ever possible fit granite worktops. The kitchen should be of a generous size and preferably overlooking the rear garden.
White sanitary fittings are a must. A 4 bed house should have 1 bathroom and 1 ensuite, a 5/6 bedroom house should have 1 bathroom and 2/3 ensuites.
A downstairs toilet can be located almost anywhere. An external window and separate lobby are now not required. A downstairs WC is on most home-buyers wish-list.
Preferably a house of over 4 beds should have at least two separate reception rooms.
I remember once locking myself out of my flat and, being fairly new to the city, not having the faintest idea how to locate a locksmith in a massive metropolis where I knew no one. A lot of stress, several phone calls and a fair bit of money later I was back in the flat, but that day taught me two valuable lessons. Firstly, don't leave your keys in your work suit over the weekend. Secondly, when you live in a foreign city you can't rely on friends and family the way you can when you have lived in the same town all your life.
The general idea is that you register and post details of your work needing done at no cost. Then you receive quotes from London builders, plumbers, painters or whatever type of local tradesman you are looking for.