Just How Far Can You Go To Improve Your Home?

by Daniel Bell

Most homeowners have some great ideas to improve their homes. There may be many barriers and obstacles to doing it, though! It’s nice to consider the potential of the property we live in. After all, our lives will change as the years go by. We will have different needs and desires as our families grow. And our lifestyle will change too. It’s important to be able to have the home that affords us the lifestyle we want. That’s why we’ll always be dreaming of those home improvements!

Just how far can you go, though? At what point do you say it’s time to move? Or maybe you would have to build a home from the ground up to create the property you desire? There are many reasons why we would want to change our homes and improve them. Here are just a few of the ways you might do it:

Disability Friendly

Accidents and illnesses can occur out of the blue. When a family member is hurt or unwell, the last thing you need is to sell your house and find a more suitable property. Instead, you may need to make a few adaptions to your family home to help make life easier for someone who may need a little help around the house.

Slopes instead of steps outside your home are one of the most important changes you can make for someone who relies on a wheelchair. They’re pretty handy for parents using pushchairs and buggies too! Slopes can provide independence that might be stripped from them if they weren’t in place. Gradients shouldn’t be too steep though. It can be really hard work navigating a steep hill.

Image by Flickr

Image by Flickr

Single level living can be a major project to take on. Most houses have plumbing downstairs, but few offer showers as well as a toilet on the ground floor. Dining rooms can be converted quite easily into a comfortable bedroom, but you may struggle for enough living space if you do this.

Many people extend their home on the ground floor to afford them extra living space. If you are considering this for someone who needs single level living, why not consider an annex? This provides more privacy and independence. You can include a low level kitchenette as well as a  private bathroom, bedroom and sitting area. If you have children in your home, an elderly relative may appreciate being able to shut the door at times!

More Babies

Growing a family is a lot of hard work. But housing everyone in the family home can be even harder! Most kids prefer their own bedrooms when they reach a certain age. This isn’t always easy to provide when you have a large family. However, conversions and extensions can provide the extra bedrooms you need.

The loft or attic may be quite a large area. A surveyor or builder may be able to identify if the head space and access are adequate for a conversion. You may need to redo the roof. You can read about Ferguson Roofing and how they tackle roofing projects online. Most homes can facilitate two bedrooms and a shower room in the attic space if the roof is high enough.

You can decide if you want your master suite at the top, or if you are comfortable with two of the kids being up there.

You’ll need natural light from windows that can be opened safely for ventilation. The stairs will also need to be of a regulation standard. Any balustrade or balcony will need to be at regulation height. You may also have restrictions imposed on the materials used.

Some attic floors are not fireproof by today’s standards. You may need to enforce and insulate the floor further for the area to be suitable for a bedroom. Consider the escape routes in an emergency too. Finally, think about the level of insulation you need to protect your kids from the cold up in the roof space.

Some bedrooms are just about big enough to be converted into two smaller rooms. This can give growing kids a bit more privacy. You may need to come up with some clever storage solutions though! Remember, the number and size of the bedrooms in your home may affect its value. It could be best to speak to a property agent before you go ahead with the works so you understand what it might fully cost you.

Building out or building up could also afford you more bedrooms. This may be the most expensive way to gain the extra space you need. As with all home improvements, it may be worth considering if the cost can be reaped from the increase in value to your home.

Hobbies And Interests

Sometimes we need to make space for our hobbies and interests. A sewing room, a library, a music room or even a cinema room might be on your to-build list. Some of them could be created from a spare bedroom. But others may need a little more consideration for the size, humidity, light and other environmental factors.

Creating a special room, like a gym, cinema, or sauna can require a lot more planning than other projects. You need to protect the rest of the house from damp, noise, weight, or other intrusions that could occur when you repurpose the room. You’ll also need to contain the environment you create within the room. Saunas need to stay hot, libraries need to stay dry, and so on.

Light and ventilation may be part of the special requirements for a particular hobby or interest. Consider the direction of the light. Is there a window that has the sun all day? Is there a vent you can open up to keep fresh air coming in? Will you need to install any lighting or ventilation? What about temperature and humidity control? There is a lot to factor in when you cost up the project.

Gyms are very popular at the moment. Many people convert the garage, because the floor is already adequate to take heavy equipment. If you would like your gym in the main house, you may need to reinforce the floor to take the weight. Music rooms are also popular. But the noise from acoustic and electronic instruments can be excessive throughout the house. You might need to install extra walls that contain sound proofing. This will make the room a little smaller too.

Bigger And Better?

Most of us would love a bigger, better kitchen. Perhaps you would like a walk-in dressing area? And who wouldn’t love a bathroom big enough for a free-standing tub and a couple’s shower enclosure too? We all dream of having more than we’ve already got. There’s nothing wrong with that. But can your house be improved this way?

Some projects can seem excessive. We build and improve to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle. But we need to be sure the property value increases enough to cover those costs too. So when it comes to boosting the square footage of your home, is there really enough scope for the value to increase too? It depends on your neighborhood.

Many streets will have a ceiling price for a property. That’s the highest price you can reasonably expect to receive from a buyer wanting to live in that particular neighborhood. It may be unwise to see if you could push your home over that barrier. If you believe a bigger, better house has a place on your street, why not speak to a property expert for some more advice.

There are some things that you may want to do that could impact negatively on the value of your home. Usually, reducing the number of bedrooms in the house will reduce the value of the property. People wanting larger bedrooms can remove the dividing wall between two smaller rooms to make one super sized bedroom. You may enjoy the benefits, but it may hurt your wallet when it comes to selling.

Building out will create a lot more living space. But if you’re in a family house in a neighborhood full of other family houses, you may regret losing all your yard and garden space. Families need outdoor space for the kids to play. The dog needs an outdoor area for exercise. And dining outside on a nice day is a favorite pastime for many families. If you build out to provide more leisure space, such as a swimming pool, this may not be as negatively impactful.

Many people in built-up neighborhoods have added extra off road parking to the front of their homes. This means that planting, trees, shrubs and flowers have been removed to make way for driveways. Sadly, this can look quite unattractive. The view from your window may be impaired as well. And if the driveway is not correctly installed, your home could even be susceptible to flooding as the water has nowhere to drain too.

Improving your home is a great way to enjoy being a homeowner. There are many projects you can take on, from decorating to building an extension. But there are also projects that could cost you more than you’ll make. Consider your next home improvement carefully. Love the home you’re in.

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