The number one reason why home owners want to move house is the desire for more room (64%), followed by the need for a more functional layout (18%), according to an analysis of Kirstie Allsop and Phil Spencer’s home renovation series Love It or List It, carried out by Insulation Express.
The results showed that despite spending £54,411 on average on refurb-ishment, more than one third (36%) still opted to move house. While spending so much money may seem a waste, the right improvements can make a home eminently sellable and make the owner a handsome profit.
While other reasons for wanting to move included the need to relocate or the wish to downsize, a sizeable majority (64%) of property owners decided to stay in their home after renovation work had been completed. One reason for this could have been the cost of moving, which is £22,084 on average, including stamp duty and estate agent fees.
Most popular alterations
Bearing in mind that a home owner should not spend more than the estimated added value created by the work, the most popular alterations included creating a large open kitchen diner in 86% of the homes, building an additional bathroom or refurbishing the existing bathroom (64%) and reconfiguring the layout of the house (46%).
An extension was added or a loft converted in 36% of properties, while 32% had a utility room added. One of the most efficient ways of creating more space is to build an extension or convert the loft. However, as these can be expensive solutions, it’s not surprising that they featured in a minority of homes.
The participants who added a utility room to their property made it the fifth most popular renovation, especially suitable for households with children and pets. A utility room can be fitted out as a laundry and storage area for muddy shoes and items such as children’s bikes, thereby freeing up valuable space in the kitchen.
Setting a budget
Of course home owners should set a budget when deciding on renovations to make a profit if and when they sell their home. But despite good intentions, unforeseen problems can arise during the work and cause owners to go over budget. Or households become over-ambitious and choose to extend their budget and make their house a dream home.
The research revealed that just over half (54%) of renovations went over budget, while 32% completed on budget and only 14% of participants managed to stay under budget. Furthermore, the average household spends £54,411 on refurbishment, which is 19% more than the average initial budget of £45,768.
Of the two properties that produced the highest return on investment, much of the profit came from reconfiguring the layout of the homes and altering rooms in order to utilise the space fully. If this is being considered, some thought should be given to how much time is spent in each room and what would-be buyers may want.
Ways to create more space
One of the least used rooms in British homes is the dining room, whereas a large open kitchen diner where people can eat and socialise is a highly desirable feature. One solution could be to swap the kitchen and living room round, or knock down a wall between the kitchen and dining room to create a larger space.
By contrast, 42% of households spend the most time in the living room and 33% in the kitchen. If you’re planning to sell up, you may focus on refurbishing your kitchen, although don’t have to spend a lot to make a profit. To sum up:
- Think about adding more space to your property by adding an extension or loft conversion
- Create an open kitchen diner by combining the kitchen with the dining room, either by knocking down a wall or swapping rooms
- If you can’t afford a brand new kitchen, you can freshen the look by painting cupboards and replacing taps and handles
- If you’re keen to avoid making a lot of changes, think about redecorating your home instead and buying some new furniture.