View Article

Current Articles | Categories | Search | Syndication

Make Your House a home

 sundya business post onlinetradesmen home extension

Making your house a home

Sunday, June 07, 2009 - By Alexander Fitzgerald

Remember not so very long ago, when lazy Sunday mornings were spent poring over page after page of extravagantly priced houses fitted out with every luxury gadget and appliance imaginable?

Back then, whether you were a first-time buyer, trading up or an investor looking to make a quick buck on a resale, the chances were that you had set your sights on a dream home with as many bells and whistles as possible.

The economic downturn may have altered all that, but our design ambitions - inflated by years of home improvement television shows and glossy interiors magazines - have not diminished. Finances permitting, there’s no need to deny ourselves, or our properties, the benefit of a few home improvements. If carried out correctly, improvements will not only enhance living standards, but also increase the value of a home.

‘‘We are finding that more and more home owners are deciding to improve their homes, rather than move,” said estate agent Felicity Fox. ‘‘This is quite often a direct reflection on the value of their home - people have realised that they may not have as much equity in their homes as they originally thought, and hence they may not be in a position financially to move.”

The ‘improve, don’t move’ mentality is reflected by figures released by, a website which connects homeowners to qualified trade professionals. According to Ted Laverty, of, the number of home improvement projects submitted to the website was up by 63 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, compared with the same period 12 months earlier.

Home improvements, as any estate agent, tradesman or DIY enthusiast will attest, are as varied as they are various. They can be merely aesthetic - such as a decorative makeover - or can be wholly functional - such as insulating a loft. The best ones, however, will add value to a property, while simultaneously enhancing the quality of life for its occupants.

So, where to start? The type and extent of home improvements an individual may decide to carry out will be determined primarily by their budget, but should also be influenced by the amount of time they envisage living in the property.

‘‘The amount of work a homeowner decides to do should not only reflect how much they can afford to spend, but also how long they plan to stay put,” said Felicity Fox.

‘‘If an owner is planning to stay for in excess of five years, then they should feel free to do as much as they want. They will not only get the use and pleasure of these works for themselves, but sufficient time should also have passed so that the costs of these works will hopefully be counter-balanced by the appreciation in house prices. Everything is cyclical, after all.” 

While the experts may squabble over the respective merits of the most popular home improvements, most agree that increasing the size of a property can be one of the best ways of increasing its value.

A recent study by Halifax found that a substantial extension could add more to a property’s value than any other home improvement.

Creating an extra room should be the objective, although extending a room such as the kitchen may alter the use of other rooms, thus having the same effect.

‘‘If a property is light on accommodation, whether it is living space or bedrooms, a good extension or attic conversion can add those all-important extra few metres, and always helps when a purchaser is calculating the price per square metre, hence, justifying the price,” said Fox.

Whether you’ve got designs on an extra bedroom or a larger kitchen, the most common type of home improvement is a rear or side extension. Should your property and its gardens have sufficient space, extending the overall footprint of the house in this way is often the simplest way of extending.

Furthermore, obtaining planning approval for an extension is relatively straightforward, as long as your plans are in keeping with the style of the building and your neighbours do not object.

The timeframe for a single storey extension is likely to be anywhere between 12 and 20 weeks, while a full-scale double storey extension could take several months.

Prices fluctuate significantly depending on the size and level of fit-out. According to Jim Lawler, of Melted Snow Architects, a single storey rear extension to an average three bed semi can cost anything upwards of €50,000, and could add anything from 10-15 per cent on to the value of a property.

It’s estimated that currently extensions are costing between €1,500 and €2,000 per square metre. Most importantly, home owners should ensure that their contractor is solvent, given the number of constuction companies going bust. If garden space is limited, consider extending up, rather than out.

People have been squeezing extra rooms into roof spaces since the invention of the ladder, but loft extensions, thanks to modern building techniques and new materials, have come a long way from the pokey models that characterised 1980s suburbia.

Planning permission is not normally required for a loft conversion, which should take between four and ten weeks for the average three-bed house, and can add about 5 per cent to the value of a property.

You can, of course, extend belowthe ground - atechnique that has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. A stylish basement will add a genuine ‘wow factor’ to any home - and is particularly suitable for Victorian or terraced residences which already have basement space.

However, it is usually the most expensive option and will require a wealth of professional help from an architect, a structural engineer and a specialist builder in order to sort out structural issues, avoid dampness and resolve party wall problems.

There’s also the significant costs and lengthy construction time to consider - depending on the efficiency or inefficiency of your builders, creating a basement is likely to take a minimum of four months. Expect to pay around €45,000 for converting an existing basement, or €70,000 plus to create one from scratch.

Home improvements do not need to be so drastic or expensive, however.

Improving a property’s insulation levels, for example, is neither sexy nor exciting, but will increase the energy efficiency of a property, with obvious subsequent savings on heating bills.

Draft proofing, wall insulation or loft insulation are unlikely to add to the aesthetic value of your home, but can result in a significant increases in comfort levels and, crucially, tend to have a ‘payback’ period of between two and six years.

Replacing old windows with energy-efficient designs can also bring about dramatic savings on heating bills, while simultaneously improving a property’s aesthetics.

If you’re not concerned with achieving greater living space, but are keen to give your home an aesthetic upgrade, consider remodelling certain areas.

Although the full cost of renovations is rarely recouped should you subsequently decide to put your home on the market, it is commonly acknowledged that improvements to the kitchen and bathroom rate as among the most cost-effective remodelling jobs.

Giving a fresh look to a kitchen or bathroom needn’t break the bank. Replacing something as seemingly insignificant as the taps in the bathroom can make a difference, while replacing doors and handles is an inexpensive way of creating a new look to dated kitchen units.

Employing the services of an interior designer may seem a frivolous extravagance in the current economic climate, but it can prove money well spent - something many budget conscious homeowners now recognise.

‘‘While house prices have dropped, clients now seem to be committing to ‘doing up’, rather then ‘selling up’,” said interior designer Gwen Kenny, of Divine Design, which offers an initial consultation for €200.

‘‘For the money they would spend on stamp duty, they can have a serious amount of work done - and if they spend wisely, it will increase the value of their property.”

Indicative of the economic climate, Kenny has observed that clients are now looking to feather their nests and create inviting homes, rather than merely create picture-perfect showpieces.

Decorative trends, she said, were also undergoing a notable shift.

‘‘People are now less likely to follow the crowd, but instead go with what they like themselves.

Whether it’s exotic shades and jewel colours, rather than the sea of taupe, sepia and charcoal that had saturated the market, or tactile fabrics, homeowners are now looking to satisfy their own tastes, rather then slavishly following trends,” Kenny said.

By fake rado @ Thursday, July 02, 2015 10:22 AM
Watch Source Guide is a comprehensive source of information about watches for enthusiasts, or for anyone planning to purchase a watch and wants to make an informed decision.

By Cheap Ray Ban @ Wednesday, May 18, 2016 8:23 AM
Accumulate in apperception achievement if impressing bodies is a activity the Ray Ban

By Oakley Sunglasses Outlet @ Wednesday, May 18, 2016 8:24 AM
sunlight at that was creating hindrances while aerial and causing headaches and abhorrence amidst them.

By breitling replica @ Monday, August 15, 2016 9:08 AM
Indicative of the economic climate, Kenny has observed that clients are now looking to feather their nests and create inviting homes, rather than merely create picture-perfect showpieces.

By Rolex Replica Watches @ Monday, October 10, 2016 10:15 AM
Home improvements, as any estate agent, tradesman or DIY enthusiast will attest, are as varied as they are various.

By Dissertation Wrtiing at Dissertation Help Deal @ Thursday, April 13, 2017 11:56 AM
I had some essential device aptitudes however could show myself most redesigning systems I expected to revamp my old houses (plumbing, wiring, drywall, carpentry, flooring) by purchasing and concentrate such books, The Readers Digest arrangement is especially valuable with bunches of photographs and delineations.

By high end dry cleaners @ Thursday, April 20, 2017 1:12 PM
Making a house is very simple as they need a good construction and all but to make it a home is very difficult. The instructions and discussions you have made here in this article is perfect and found to be very informative. Keep sharing more like this and thank you!

By website @ Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:29 PM
I demand this text to complete my task within the college, and it's equivalent topic with all your post. Considerably obliged, magnificent deliver.

By list of psn codes @ Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:31 PM
This write-up offers the sunshine where we can enjoy the truth. That is extremely enjoyable just one and gives indepth knowledge.

By playstation card generator @ Wednesday, April 26, 2017 3:36 PM
Testimoni Kesembuhan Sakit Obat Natural Kanker Serviks Amazon

By free 2 months xbox live @ Thursday, May 04, 2017 2:13 PM
I need this informative article to finish my process inside the school, and it's got exact same concept using your short article. A great deal obliged, magnificent deliver.

By free xbox 360 redeem codes @ Thursday, May 04, 2017 2:23 PM
Thank you for this online site. I launch browsing your own private document and in addition I relish this.

By essay writing service reviews @ Monday, May 29, 2017 8:27 AM
Very interesting post.I liked the way of presenting content. It will helpful for readers to catch up the ideas very clearly. Thanks for sharing.

By buy dissertation in uk @ Thursday, June 01, 2017 7:39 AM
No wonder many successful charter schools require parents to sign a promise that they will supervise their children's homework and encourage strong professional ethics.

By write my coursework for me @ Wednesday, July 05, 2017 9:20 AM
I have as of late experienced the privilege and clues that you have made your introduction. Presently for each occasion, and I will examine the typical recommendations on the blog.

By uk replica watches @ Wednesday, July 12, 2017 7:14 AM

By Case Studies Analysis @ Wednesday, July 19, 2017 12:14 PM
I personally like your post, you have shared good article. It will help me in great deal.

By help with programming homework @ Wednesday, July 19, 2017 12:14 PM
Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge. 

By Dissertation Writers UK @ Wednesday, August 02, 2017 10:32 AM
Make your home longer, not square. The vast majority need to make their homes all the more square in outline, in the assumption of sparing expenses. While this might be general valid, it additionally makes your home little looking (and exhausting). For a 2500 square foot house as opposed to planning it 50 foot by 50 foot, make your home longer like 75 foot long by 33 wide. You'd be shocked the amount more rich and more costly it searches for not substantially more cash. It likewise gives you a reward of giving windows into practically every room in your home, giving light and visual space to them.

By Write my Dissertation @ Saturday, August 12, 2017 8:15 AM
We can complete a house, however never a home. When you experience passionate feelings for a house, you find nonstop delights in setting it up and making advancements that fulfill your common luxuries'. Happiness is the reward of being thankful and appreciative. It goes that on the off chance that you are thankful in each circumstance, you will be content with everything and your satisfaction will be copious and limitless.

By Essay Writing Service UK @ Saturday, August 12, 2017 8:18 AM
Much obliged to you for this online webpage. Directly for each event, and I will look at the average proposals on the blog. Despite the fact that in the most recent decade or so sending cards has turned out to be to a greater degree a curious motion, a card is as yet a brilliant approach to express thankfulness to somebody.

By SG220-50P-K9-NA @ Monday, August 21, 2017 7:51 PM
Truly I appreciate the effort you done to share the information. The topic now I found keep on effective to the matter which I continued exploring for a long time you can also get help through ProcurePod . thanks for sharing that’s post.

By Coursework writing services @ Thursday, September 07, 2017 9:07 AM
This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.

By Essay Writing @ Friday, September 08, 2017 11:40 AM
We can finish a house, however never a home. When you encounter enthusiastic affections for a house, you discover relentless gets a kick out of setting it up and making progressions that satisfy your normal extravagances'. Satisfaction is the reward of being grateful and thankful. It goes that if you are appreciative in every situation, you will be content with everything and your fulfillment will be plentiful and boundless.

By essay writers uk help @ Tuesday, September 12, 2017 1:09 PM
Making a house is exceptionally basic as they require a decent development and everything except to make it a house is extremely hard. The guidelines and dialogs you have made here in this article is perfect and observed to be exceptionally useful.

By Dissertation Services @ Saturday, October 07, 2017 8:36 AM
It's perfectly clear that these issues will make such a large number of obstacles that you won't have the capacity to finish your thesis impeccably.

By writing help @ Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:33 AM
If you need help in writing your complex essays, lengthy research paper, tricky assignment or any other academic writings. We run a professional team of writers that offer comprehensive help to students in the shortest period of time.

Click here to post a comment