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It’s all about Space and Light in 2015

The latest trends in modern British living embrace space and light according to new research, which also shows extensions as the most popular projects with homeowners today.

June 4, 2015

Bi-Folding doors space and light

We had an inkling that our dark, wooden clad kitchen and and 80’s yellow fleck bathroom was not “on trend”. Now, new research by Direct Line Home Insurance confirms this by revealing the key trends for home improvement:

  • Extensions are the most popular trends for home improvements

  • With an average London asking price difference between two and three bed properties of £157,202, while the average bedroom extension cost is £35,000, home owners could make a hefty profit by expanding and selling

  • Most common home improvements likely to go wrong are loft conversions and bathroom replacements

  • Builders’ advice to homeowners: plan, plan, plan

Nearly half (47 per cent) of builders reported extensions as being the most popular trend for home improvements.  With the average difference in asking price between a two and three bedroom home in London of £157,202, while the average bedroom extension cost is £35,000, it is no wonder people want to expand and add value to their properties.  The asking price difference in Scotland between two and three bed properties is still £45,949, reinforcing that home owners can potentially make a hefty profit by extending their existing property.

With one in seven (15 per cent) builders reporting access to light as the most common current trend in home remodelling, householders are continuing to install large bi-folding doors, replacing exterior brickwork or fitting new skylights to make rooms appear more spacious.

Homeowners looking to create space by converting their lofts should be wary, however, as builders reported this as the type of home improvement is most likely to go wrong (36 per cent). Changing bathrooms (26 per cent) and kitchens (19 per cent) are also likely to cause problems.

 

Kitchen extension space and light

 

It is good news for homeowners though as the majority (70 per cent) of property improvements tend to be completed within the budget and timeframe originally quoted. Builders estimate that only a quarter (26 per cent) of projects tend to run beyond the original budget quoted and a third (35 per cent) run over the originally quoted timeframe.

When asked what advice they would give homeowners, builders stressed the importance of taking the time to plan exactly what they want to achieve, to thoroughly research the builders they plan to use beforehand and get a minimum of three quotes.

Other useful top tips from builders include:

  • Agree a quote beforehand – set aside a strict budget but allow a contingency in case of overspend to mitigate financial strain
  • Agree on a realistic timeframe upfront and remember to allow for contingencies i.e. weather
  • Make sure you understand what the project involves and be completely honest about previous work done to the house so builders can be prepared
  • Keep up regular communication with the builders
  • Have a contract in place to cover both parties and never hand over payment upfront
  • Use the same labourers from start to finish to ensure consistency
  • Make sure the builders are only working on your job and commit to working on it every day, rather than turning up as and when they decide to
  • Check your builder has the right insurance in place before any work begin

Network of builders space and light

 

Home improvements can transform your home and save you money in the long run. Converting your empty attic space or extending your kitchen can be one of the most cost effective way of adding value to your home and increasing your living space. However, improvement projects can also turn into a money pit of epic proportions. We advise that you stay protected with a building contract, find a local trusted tradesman using TrustMark and make sure you’re on top of budgeting, quotes and specifications.

 

Starting a home improvement project?

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Use a RIBA Buildings Contract with your builder to:

✓ Stay in control of your project

✓ Agree scope of work

✓ Set completion dates

✓ Have clear payment schedules

✓ Reduce the risks to your project

 

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