Purchasing your dream home in your ideal neighbourhood can be an expensive affair. For those who are regularly browsing Rightmove and wincing at the cost of a home located next to good schools and amenities, the prospect of a huge mortgage may seem inevitable. That is, of course, if a suitable house in the area becomes available.
Family homes in attractive neighbourhoods can be snapped up quickly, which is why many people look out for any home that comes available in a certain location, choosing to remodel it into their perfect home. But how much goes into redesigning a home to meet your family’s needs?
Let’s look at the basics:
Add it on
Is the house you are considering purchasing just a teensy bit small? Buying a house and adding an extension could get you the house you need in the right area and add value to the property too. However, whether you plan to add a new bedroom above a garage, convert a loft room or even extend the kitchen area, you shouldn’t assume that you’ll be able to do the same. Before you make an offer it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with basic planning rules, which you’ll find on the government planning portal.
It’s a good idea to take a builder with you to view the property so you can have an expert opinion on how easy it would be to build additional space. You can also contact your local council in advance to talk about the application process for gaining planning permission, though you should be aware that this advice can’t be taken as a guarantee that work will be given the go ahead. As well as meeting planning rules you may find your suggested building alterations are not met with approval by neighbours, so consider all angles and potential costs of improvements before hedging your bets and bidding on a doer-upper.
Open it up
One of the most common home alterations is to open up a space to make it larger. More often than not this usually involves changing things on the ground floor. This could be a case of turning a kitchen and dining room into a kitchen diner or perhaps opening up a lounge and dining room. This can help you make room more suitable for family activities, give you more options when it comes to decorating and furniture and generally give the impression of having more space.
Introducing an element of open plan living is a great way to give an older style property a modern update. However, if you are making major changes to the space you should be mindful as to whether the new design ethos can be balanced throughout the home. Another key consideration is the importance of the walls you are working with. If the wall between the rooms you wish to merge is a load-bearing wall, removing it will become far more difficult. Even if it’s not, you’ll need to think about the potential impact of its removal on future sales. Would you be better off faking open plan living by installing some internal bi-fold doors instead? Vufold’s allow you to flit between cosy and spacious as you see fit.
Switch it round
Perhaps the property you have your eye on has plenty of room but it’s not laid out quite as you’d like it? Switching rooms is a lot of effort in some cases but it shouldn’t be ruled out, particularly if it’s simply a case of changing use without altering key components such as plumbing and electrics. Depending on your family circumstances you may want to turn a dining room into a study or even another bedroom. Where you do need to be more wary is if you make structural changes to enable you to live in a home more comfortable that may not be so appealing to others. While garage conversions can usually be carried out on older properties without planning permission, forgoing valuable storage and parking space may mean the house is trickier to sell in the future. Similarly, installing downstairs bathrooms is often an unpopular conversion because of the inconvenience of trekking down the stairs through the night.
Homeowners frequently talk about experiencing a feeling of belonging when they viewed their home for the first time. It’s often this sensation coupled with good visualisation skills that lead people to embark on the most rewarding home remodelling projects – whether they stick to the rules, or not.
Are you looking for your dream home? Would you consider remodelling a new or existing property? Do you agree with these rules? Do you have some tips to add?
*Disclosure: Collaborative Post
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