Adding value to a property can be done in a multitude of ways! Converting your property is an increasingly popular option, and we’ll be looking at how to do it in today’s article – and how to save along the way.
Requiring a lot of work but often with phenomenal results, such a procedure can add significant value to a site if done properly. The concept of property conversion really took off in the 1970s as a cost-effective way of using industrial buildings for another purpose.
Major cities across the UK benefitted from such work but now the levels of opportunity for property conversion are not as forthcoming. Those looking to convert the odd building have to give lots of thought to what represents a good, and affordable, opportunity.
Problems to be aware of
Some buildings can be very difficult to convert effectively as they are simply not suited to large scale construction plans. This is especially the case with older buildings which can be less stable, feature uneven walls or floors or even have limited headroom.
This can prove to be a problem when installing additional floors or supporting beams which themselves need to be well supported. In the case of very old buildings, there may even be restrictions on what types of materials can be used – conservation offices should be able to advise on this.
Inadequate space or buildings that are close to others can carry negative impacts towards resale price too, as people are not willing to pay as much for those properties. Asbestos must also be considered as any work with asbestos based materials can only be carried out by licensed contractors.
The importance of location
Hidden costs relating to repairs to the exterior of a property or the use of certain materials could push costs up, so these should always be closely monitored.
Finding a balance between the older and more contemporary parts of a building can add to its resale potential as well giving a design extra character.
Tips to consider
So, what can we do even better?
Introducing traditional features such as exposed brickwork or flooring can help to build the character of a property. Finding the middle ground between new and old is difficult and traditional features that are not in keeping with the original building should be avoided.
Having clear ideas from the start is essential as projects can easily go wrong if too many different shapes and styles are incorporated into the design. Using the existing structure can provide the property with personality and can save dramatically on costs too.
Some of the original qualities of the building such as large open spaces can also be incorporated into designs while the positioning of the staircase requires plenty of thought.
Unless it is planned to be the centre of attention, a staircase should be situated in a position where it least alters the structure.
Some materials are renowned for needing more care and attention too, so avoiding ones that need regular maintenance will make a property a lot more attractive to a potential buyer.
Smaller scale conversion work
While converting an entire property can yield fantastic results, it is the smaller levels of conversion that are more popular.
Converting a garage into additional living space or even opening up the loft of a property can drastically increase the floor space. Such procedures are relatively simple although supporting walls and beams are the key elements that require consideration.
In the case of loft conversions, much of the original flooring can require strengthening while the supports may not be designed to take a lot of weight. The original plans for a home will reveal what needs to be done in terms of any major structural work.
According to a study from Nationwide Building Society, a roof conversion can add about 20% to the value of a property. Many conversions may not require planning permission if they fall with the category of Permitted Development Rights – although it is always worth checking.
Food for thought
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