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A ‘Homeowners Conundrum’ – adding space & value to our home

Our homes are likely to be the biggest financial investment that we will make over our lifetime. Regardless of whether you are thinking of selling or just adding value to your home, it’s important to get the right advice and to spend any money wisely on home improvements.

All homes and even locations have a ceiling price. If you are considering selling, you don’t want to risk losing money by carrying out an improvement or renovation that will not alter the value of your home. However, if it’s your intention to live there long term, it is probably worth it, in order to make your home a more comfortable place to live.

When considering either, the best course of action would be to speak to your local auctioneer/estate agent about the sale price of your home and the proposed works. More importantly, as homeowners we can be led to believe that you need to build an extension to create more space in your home, but this is not always the case. By working with an architectural professional, they can strategically review your requirements, analyse your options and often make other suggestions such as improving the interior or changing a room layout to optimse the space better and increase spatial flow.

Some ways that you can add value and space to your home without building an extension include:

  • Installing New Windows: double glazing is a minimum requirement. Any windows in your home older than 20 years will not meet todays standards and should be changed out. Triple glazing can be considered too, but it depends on the type of wall and when it was built and whether you will you be insulating or re-insulating the external walls. There is no point is spending a great amount of money on triple glazing if the walls are poor.

  • Upgrade the Heating System: this will improve the warmth of your home and help reduce your heating bills. There are even grants available from the SEAI for improving your heating controls. Something like adding TRV’s to your radiators will give you a lot more control over your heating. If you are upgrading the insulation of your walls and in the attic/roof space and achieving good levels of airtightness, you could consider swapping your boiler for an air to water heat pump, but you will need to change your existing radiators to aluminum.

  • En-suite: an additional bathroom facility such as an en-suite to the master bedroom can add that bit of grandeur to your property. Points to watch and consider are your circulation space within the bedroom itself, you don’t want it to feel cramped.

  • Existing Garage: A lot of semi-detached houses from the 70’s and 80’s have an external garage and this space can be upgraded. You may already be using it as an overflow for your kitchen utilities, but there could be an opportunity to create an open plan kitchen/dining space, a larger utility or even turn the existing W.C into a shower room. If you have kids, a playroom is a good option or if you work from home, it could be a study/office. It could even be that peaceful space you require, as it is a bit separated from the rest of the house.

  • New Kitchen: If you are selling, a brand-new kitchen will certainly add value to your house, choose something neutral in colour. A modern feature such as a larder, will help with storage needs even in the smallest of kitchens. Storage is always a factor to consider for yourself and your needs or even a potential buyer.

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