A kitchen extension?could add ?150,000 to?your house price

Which home?improvements?are?most likely?to add value?to your?property???However?pressing you might find the need?to replace your curtains or create?a home cinema, hard facts dictate?higher priorities for those intending?to sell in the next few years.? Surprisingly, given the modest?cost of the change, moving an?internal wall to create the kind of spacious open-plan kitchen-diner?which is now a staple of modern living?can add nearly ?50,000 to your?home?s value, according to the Federation?of Master Builders and the?HomeOwners Alliance.? Amazing, because the cost of? demolition and making good could?amount to no more than ?3,500,?with work completed in less than?a week by a conscientious builder.? Brian Berry, CEO of the FMB, says?householders in the capital could?add ?48,417 to the average price of?a house by knocking down a wall to?expand a kitchen.

James Bernard, director of Plus?Rooms, thinks this can be tripled?by thinking bigger: ?A wraparound?kitchen extension in a London?zone three terraced house can add??150,000 to the value of a property,??he says.??Bernard believes kitchen extensions,?although more costly than?expanding the heart of the home?with internal demolition alone,?tend to add more value than loft?conversions, but north London?estate agent Jeremy Leaf disagrees.??He points out that creating an extra?bedroom is justified by the premium?a four-bedroom house commands?over one with only three.? But gaining permission for windows?or skylights and avoiding a?house which then looks top-heavy?are important planning and design?considerations.??One reason open-plan kitchenliving?spaces are so popular is they?let in the light ? and bright homes?are considered the most saleable, especially when they meld seamlessly?with an adjacent garden.

HSBC has cited bringing the outside?in via glass doors as adding five?to 10 per cent value to a home. Check?out the options from Centor, which?specialises in patio doors with minimal?frames and built-in screens and?shades. These allow you to control?sunlight and privacy more efficiently?than curtains which, as well as?looking extraneous in a contemporary?setting, can obscure that allimportant?garden view.??Other value-adding improvements?include introducing extra?living space intro the garden itself?? this could be a shed-type building?modified with windows, attractive?flooring and an outside deck or the?ever-more-popular shepherd?s hut.

Large doors?slide away?from the?corner of?a room to?create an?impressive?garden vista

Living spaces?leading?seamlessly?outdoors?are high?on househunters??wish lists

These now come with plumbing?and wiring options, to make selfcontained?additional accommodation?? but adding sleepover space?could render you liable for additional?council tax.??An outdoor living room ? for?which read a deck or arbour equipped with an al fresco sofa and chairs ? is also a desirable feature.? You might even consider adding just the illusion of extra space, if you?have a bedroom big enough to section?off a tranche to create a walk-in wardrobe.???Effective storage options like this?can make a huge difference to the?functionality of a home,? says Will?Gough, commercial manager of?Spaceslide, who says walk-in wardrobes?or separate dressing rooms,?carry a high perceived value.?Even in bedrooms too small for?this treatment, you could consider?fitting out cupboards or building?some shelves wherever possible,?as two-thirds of those surveyed by?Spaceslide said they would pay more?for a house offering good storage?solutions.??As well as creating usable space,?not only in lofts but any other?square footage over 6ft in height,?Trevor Abrahmson, managing director?of Glentree International, recommends?replacing bathroom fixtures?and kitchen units and appliances?which are more than 15 years old.???Improving the d?cor of a property?has a great emotional effect on a prospective?purchaser,? he says.??Finally, remember not all?improvements involve building.? Reuben John at Fine & Country Finsbury Park says keeping the exterior of your home looking clean and welcoming is a key way to add value.???Many exterior paint jobs can be?done very reasonably ? and a front?and rear garden spruce-up can do?wonders,? he says. ?A little landscaping?can go a long way when you?re?trying to add value to your home.?

Enhancing the d?cor?has a great emotional?effect on a purchaser

This?extension?(exterior is?shown below?right) has a vaulted?ceiling for?extra height Below left: Staggered-wall extension melds with garden. Centre: Art Deco-style French doors create cosiness but give a clear view of scenery beyond. All projects by Plus Rooms.