If you are lucky enough to own a property that you’re paying a mortgage on, it’s likely you have a list of jobs and improvements you need to do on your home in the near future. Bricks and mortar properties require plenty of upkeep throughout their lifetimes, not only to help retain their value, but also to keep them in comfortable, liveable condition.
We’re all guilty of letting larger, more important jobs to become delayed due to our everyday obligations and other expenses. If you are in a financial position to borrow moneyin order to undertake required home improvements, this can be preferable to letting the issue develop further. This can save you money in the long run; but for a loan to be worth it, it must provide you with more benefit than the cost of the loan itself.
Thankfully, spending money on your property can often work in your favour as small improvements can add more than their own value to your home. If you are planning to sell your property in the near future, there are a number of jobs which would pay for themselves and more upon sale. If you’re planning to stay in your property, then other improvements can make your life more comfortable and lower your utility bills, thus paying for themselves over time. Check out our top 5 home improvements that would be worth taking out a loan to pay for.
A bathroom remodel
Making improvements to your bathroom can do wonders for the value of your property, with industry experts estimating that it can add 5% to the value of your home. This may not seem like much on paper, but if your home is worth £200,000, then an increase of 5% would bring you an extra £10,000 – certainly not an amount to be sniffed at!
Replacing the toilet just before you put the home on the market is a good way to attract buyers, and replacing any cracked or chipped tiling is also a good idea. The cleaner and more up-to-date a bathroom looks, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to sell your home quickly.
If you don’t want to sell your property, remodelling a bathroom can ensure that certain issues are addressed that could cost you more money in the long run, such as damp, wood rot or mould – all common problems which could cause structural or health dangers if left unchecked.
Windows and doors
Updating your windows and doors is one of the most important home improvements you can undertake, as it benefits your property in three different ways:
- It makes your property safer and more secure
- It improves the thermal efficiency of your home
- It makes your home look better, and therefore raises its value
You don’t have to do every window and door at once – instead just focus on the areas which are the oldest, or which have been damaged at some point. For instance, if you have an old, draughty front door which is getting harder to lock and unlock, it’s certainly worth replacing with a newer model. Cracked or broken windows should also be replaced as soon as possible, as any visible weak point in your home’s security can leave you susceptible to burglary.
The importance of ensuring that your home is adequately insulated is something you’ve probably heard a lot about over the years, but may not have got around to. The Energy Saving Trust says that you can make some significant savings if you have the proper insulation installed in each part of your home – here’s the savings you could make on your energy bills over the course of 1 year (based on a semi-detached, 3 bedroom, gas-fuelled property):
- Simply draught-proofing windows & doors - £20 per year
- Draught-proofing open chimney flue - £15 per year
- Adding an insulating jacket to your hot water tank - £80 per year
- Adding loft insulation - £130 per year
- Adding cavity wall insulation - £145 per year
- Adding solid wall insulation - £245 per year
This is the kind of home improvement which will benefit you whether you’re planning to stay in your home for years to come or if you’re planning to sell in the near future, as buyers will no doubt be attracted by low utility bills and high thermal efficiency ratings.
If your roof has not had much attention over the years then you may have tiles which need replacing or gutters which need unclogging in order to expand the lifetime of the roof itself. Your home’s roof protects your property from all weathers and extremes of temperatures, and should be looked after to minimise the risk of leaks which can cause damp, mould and even structural issues if not addressed promptly.
As soon as you see a problem with your roof, it’s wise to get it fixed. This can save you much more money in the future and will prevent further damage happening to the inside of your property. If you have climbing plants or moss taking hold, this can accelerate the wear on your roof and could encourage wildlife – such as birds, squirrels, bats and wasps – to move in and cause further expensive damage.
Creating a parking space
If you have room on your property to create a safe, off-road parking space, this could pay for itself many times over when it comes to selling on your property. Even if you’re planning to stay, creating a parking space may well lower your insurance premiums if you usually park on the road. You could also make money from your parking space if you are located near transport links, business centres, or sports/music arenas and you’d be happy to rent it out at certain times.
You may need planning permission if you are creating a driveway from an A or B road, and you’ll need to contact your local authority for information about their Highway restrictions and guidelines if you’re planning to create a new access point. With any kind of home improvement, it’s always sensible to check if you’ll need planning permission – particularly if your property is listed, or if you live in a conservation area.