Many of us have been spending a lot more time at home due to lockdown. Lots of people have also found themselves with more spare time as a result of being furloughed, having their hours reduced or not having to commute to and from the office.
If you’re one of these people, you might have turned your attention to your humble abode and what you can do to make it better!
A study from Aldermore Bank, shared by Property Wire
, found that two in five (38%) Brits have carried out DIY or larger renovations during the lockdown.
Gardening topped the list of most popular DIY activities among the respondents, cited by 57% of those polled. Other popular DIY tasks included painting or wallpapering rooms, which 34% of respondents reported doing during lockdown.
Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, commented: “This period of lockdown means we are all re-evaluating what our homes can be. It now functions as a place to work, a place to exercise and a place to socialise, albeit digitally, with friends and family.”
Aldermore added: “Now is a good time to consider home plans, such as building an extension or overhauling the kitchen […] so long term a home can be reshaped to everything it needs to be.”
Transforming your home
There could be a number of reasons why you’re considering renovating your home. It might be that you’ve managed to save some money from being at home more during the lockdown. Or perhaps you were thinking of moving but uncertainty in the property market caused by the pandemic means you’ve decided to stay put for now.
Whatever your reason, and whatever type of property you live in, there are a range of renovations that can help to completely transform your home. What will be important for most homeowners is to think about renovations that won’t just enhance the home, but also add the most value to it, if and when you come to sell.
You’ll also need to consider if your current home insurance will offer sufficient cover while the works are taking place or if you’ll need specialist home renovation insurance.
A blog from estate agent Strutt and Parker
discusses some home renovations and their value added potential. They include:
A garage or loft conversion
If your garage is sitting unused, why not transform it into a space that will be better utilised – like a bedroom or study?
Creating additional living space could boost the value of your home by up to 20%. Though, if you’re going to do this with the goal of putting your property up for sale in the near future, bear in mind that buyers might appreciate somewhere to store their car. This won’t be a problem if you have a spacious driveway.
Similarly, a loft conversion can add 15% to your home’s value. While converting a garage costs around £5,000 and up, basic loft conversions are considerably pricier, starting at around £15,000. For a double bedroom dormer loft conversion with a bathroom you’re looking at around £35,000 – £45,000.
Open-plan living is favoured by many modern homeowners as it can help to create a more practical and multi-functional space. It can also be a great solution if your kitchen is on the small side and you want to open it up and let more natural light flow through the downstairs.
Knocking down an internal wall for an open-plan living and dining space is actually one of the most cost-effective ways to increase the value of your home. Doing it will cost around £3,000 but it could add significant value to your home – in London, the average is a whopping £48,417!
Just make sure you get a professional builder to assess the structure before you start knocking down walls and get the appropriate home renovation insurance in place.
A new en-suite
If you’ve got a bit of ‘dead space’ in the master bedroom, and it’s a decent size, then why not get an en-suite installed?
The good news is that a new en-suite could add 5% of value to your property, as could a new bathroom (say, if you were to build a WC under the stairs).
Add a touch of luxury with a rain shower and underfloor heating and the added value could be even more.
What to consider ahead of the renovation work
Chances are you’ll need to enlist the help of professionals to undertake major renovation work beyond basic DIY. Don’t settle for the first company or labourer you see – instead, take the time to research your options, read through reviews and ask family or friends if they have any recommendations.
As the Strutt and Parker blog explains, if you’re looking to renovate as a way of adding value to your home then you need to consider what’s known as the ‘ceiling price’ of the property.
This is the maximum price a buyer is likely to pay for a property on your street, before they can find a similar home for the same price but in a better area. If your property is already valued at or near the ceiling price, then you can’t expect renovations to add significant value.
Also, location plays a huge part when it comes to potential increases. Research from the Federation of Master Builders and the Home Owners Alliance estimates that adding an en-suite to a master bedroom could add £10,437 of value to the average home in Dorset, but in North East England it will only increase value by an average of £1,963.
The importance of home renovation insurance
Any renovation work is likely to impact your insurance cover. Firstly, if the works add value to your home then your insurer will need to take this into account and adjust your policy so that you don’t end up underinsured.
You are also likely to need specialist home renovation insurance, seeing as properties under renovation are exposed to unique risks like damage, theft or personal accident.
That’s why it’s important to speak to a specialist like our experts at Insurance Choice, who can arrange a home renovation insurance policy to suit your unique needs.Get a quote today.Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.