Improve the value of your home

We have all seen the programmes and read the articles, so you would think it would be fairly straightforward to add some value to your home. Decorating, laying wooden flooring and adding new carpets may be improvements that spring to mind but they aren't always as financially beneficial as you think. So how can you improve on your asset? Here is some advice on the right way to make a profit.

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Building an extra bedroom or reception room is a sure fire way to add value to your home. This doesn't necessarily mean extending in to the loft. A well planned conservatory can be profitable, particularly as the cost is often low in comparison to other extensions. Too many bedrooms can make a property top heavy, especially if sacrificing a reception area. Make sure your extension is proportionate and in keeping with the size of your home.

Changing your kitchen or bathroom can add thousands on to the value of your home. These rooms are considered to be priority rooms for buyers and a tasteful, modern bathroom or kitchen can reap dividends, particularly if you can carry out the work yourself rather than paying for labour costs. Think clean, modern, white and fresh. Wet rooms are very trendy but make sure you involve a professional if you want this finish. For kitchens think of updating tired sink units and faded cupboards with a new suite. Just adding some new doors and handles could make all the difference.

A fairly simple, yet profitable improvement is to make your home lighter. The entrance area in particular should make an impact. Try using warm colours, mirrors and a chandelier for a welcoming effect. See if there is an area suitable for a skylight. Try installing patio doors and solar tubes. More glass adds to the feeling of space.

Get rid of clutter. The chances are if you have lived in your property for a number of years you will have accumulated a lot of stuff. It's very important potential buyers can see the rooms. You need to develop a ruthless streak. Hire a mini skip and de-clutter, the chances are if you haven't used something for more than a year or so you may not need it at all.

Convert an outbuilding. You may have a garage you don't use or an outbuilding that's fallen into disrepair. Converting this is a sure way to add profit to your home. More and more people work from home these days and adding an office will be an attractive asset.

Add central heating and double-glazing to your property. Look at installing an energy efficient heating system; otherwise it could have a negative impact on the price of your home. Add double-glazing, this will be a bonus in most buyers' eyes. However, if you have sash windows beware. Many people like these original fittings and replacing them with PVC can have a negative impact on the price.

Add a garage. This is an increasingly desirable feature when purchasing a property. The cost of building a new one can rise to as much as £40,000 but this outlay should be recouped when it comes to selling