Home improvements guide

Undertaking any home improvements, from redecoration through to building an extension, requires proper planning and preparation.

The bigger the project, the more there is to think about - especially if it needs a significant amount of funding.

Choosing the right home improvements

Renovating your home means more than just making it comfortable to live in. The right home improvements can also add thousands of pounds to its value and when done correctly adds more than the cost of the work itself. So when it comes to home improvements, it really is worth investing time as well as money.

It is also important however, not to forget about essential maintenance.

Maintenance is a good place to start when considering making home improvements. If your property is old or in need of a little love and attention, you could install a new, more efficient boiler that will not only make your home more comfortable, but reduce your energy bills too. You should also check that all electrical and gas appliances are regularly serviced and safe to use. Ensure any work carried out with gas is done so by a qualified technician on the Gas Safe register.

If you’re thinking of making more extensive home improvements, it’s useful to think like a buyer. Neutral colours and general maintenance can improve the value of your property by reducing the list of jobs that a potential buyer would need to do. An extension can add significant value to your property in the right market and gives you added space to enjoy.

Some of the most popular home improvement ideas include:

  • Double glazing - Not only does double glazing make your home more energy efficient by improving heat retention, but it also makes your property more secure. New windows can make a big difference to the look of your home too.
  • A new kitchen or bathroom - Kitchens and bathrooms are usually the first rooms to need maintenance. They’re key rooms for potential buyers, so upkeep is essential. New, energy efficient appliances help to make your home more comfortable and also give potential buyers confidence that everything will be working if they move in.
  • An extension - Extra rooms can help to increase your home’s value, whether it’s a conservatory, loft conversion, or an outward extension. Loft conversions in particular can be cost effective, with the potential to add a lot to the price of your property for a relatively low spend

Make your home more energy efficient

The right home improvements can help to make your property more energy efficient, reducing the amount you spend on your energy and heating bills in the process.

There are many simple but effective ways that you can make your home more energy efficient. In return for a one-off investment, you can enjoy a comfortable, cost efficient home whilst saving money in the long run

Insulation

If your home isn’t properly insulated, a quarter of heat simply leaks out through the roof. This isn’t helpful for your home or your bank account as you’ll end up paying for heat that isn’t being retained. Insulating your loft and cavity walls, as well as draught-proofing your property, will reduce heat loss and keep your heating bills down.

You might also be eligible for free insulation if your home qualifies. Energy providers often offer help with loft and cavity wall insulation and replacement boilers - find out more online or by contacting your energy supplier.

Heating and water

Your boiler accounts for over half of the money you spend on your energy bills every year. If you’ve got an old, worn out boiler, replacing it with a new, energy efficient one can make a big difference to both your bills and property value.

You will need to think about things like how much hot water you use, and how much space you have available for a new boiler system. A small household with low water usage might be better off with a combi boiler, which takes up far less space as well, whilst a larger family using more hot water would benefit from a regular boiler.