Due to soaring house prices, expanding families and grown-up kids staying at home for longer, up to £6 billion is projected to be spent on home improvements over the next few years.
New figures from the Federation of Master Builders* (FMB) have shown that nearly a third of UK homeowners are looking to carry out work on their properties in the next three years.
For a lot of homeowners, their expanding families are shown to be a strong motivational force in wanting to upgrade their properties. The study by the FMB revealed that a large number of homeowners want to make home improvements to accommodate their grown-up children who have yet to move out, or elderly relatives who have moved in. It is suggested by the study that more than a million homeowners across the UK want to expand their properties to accommodate their older kids. Other motivations include planning for a family and parents wanting to enhance their children’s future inheritance.
Increasingly, grown-up children are living with their parents for longer, with the primary reason for this being the cost of moving out and setting up home on their own. A study by the Office for National Statistics** publicised this year found that 3.3 million Brits between the ages of 18 and 34 are still living at home with their parents.
According to the data collected by the FMB, 40% of the refurbishments being planned annually include home extensions, new kitchens and new bathrooms. Other projects such as conservatories and loft conversions account for 38% of planned home improvements. Aside from this, the study also revealed that half of homeowners feel that their properties need modernising in order to increase their value.
If you are among those wanting to carry out home improvements, here are a few things that you could do to create some extra space:
If you want more living space but cannot afford to move house, extending the property that you already have could be a possible option for you. What you want to make sure before making any structural changes to your home is that such changes are going to be beneficial. An extension should provide you with much more living space and add value to your property. Be strategic when thinking of which areas of your home you would like to extend. Try to keep the addition similar to the property’s current style and only add the space that you need.
Conservatories can be a great way to create extra living space; they make good work spaces for individuals who work from home and can be used as somewhere for the family to relax together. They tend to work better when designed and built to fit in with a property’s existing layout. But conservatories can be expensive, so make sure that you can realistically afford one before you start the planning and building process.
A more affordable option than a new extension could be to convert some of the existing space you have in your home. Converting your loft can be a great way to utilise the space that you already have. If your loft is quite large, converting this space into a bedroom and en-suite for an older or grown-up child may help to give them the privacy they desire. Alternatively, you could convert your loft into a living room space for your family.
Like loft conversions, garage conversions can be one of the most affordable ways of adding additional living space to your home. A lot of what you need is already there, in the form of the foundations, walls and the roof. But you will need to think about how you are going to heat and cool your garage, as well as what you are going to do with any of the stuff that you currently store there.
As with any major home improvement project, it’s worthwhile speaking to a few builders with experience working on a similar extension or conversion to the one you want, so you can get a realistic idea of the cost and how much time it will take. Remember, these things don’t get built overnight and can cost more than you might think, so it’s best not to get an unpleasant surprise further down the line.