On the back of a global recession, carrying out home improvements has taken on added importance. Whether you’re looking to increase the value of your home ahead of a sale or simply looking to improve the property as you plan to stay put, completing major home improvements to a kitchen or bathroom can add value and make the property a more attractive proposition should it be sold.

How can refitting a bathroom or kitchen help secure a sale?

According to CNN Money, the best home renovation is to upgrade an old bathroom with kitchens coming in second. It suggests that a return on investment on a mid-range bathroom modernisation is 102 per cent, while upgraded kitchens add about 90 per cent of their costs to a home’s value. It suggests that whereas home extensions cost a lot more than they return when the home is sold, bathroom and kitchen improvements help secure a more complete return on investment.

Should you plan to remodel a bathroom then determine your exact needs. Gather design ideas and then establish a realistic budget. One of the latest trends in bathroom design is a wet room that has an open shower area; while this can be a stunning modern addition to a home and increase saleability, you must ensure it is fully water tight.

Major kitchen home improvement projects typically have a lower return on investment than more minor ones with the higher cost the prime factor – however as the kitchen is often one of the biggest influences on a decision to buy a home investing more in this area can result your property being more attractive to potential purchasers. An experienced estate agent can be a good source of knowledge as they should be aware of your area and the difference in value and saleability of a home with a remodelled kitchen compared to one without.

Who should you hire?

According to figures from Lloyds TSB Insurance in May 2009, the total number of ill-fated home improvements carried out by rogue traders cost UK homeowners £4.6million over the previous 12 months. This equates to one in 10 Brits having to correct work on their property with the average cost of a ‘botched’ job at £460.

The Office of Fair Trading receives more than 100,000 complaints a year from people unhappy with work they have received from a tradesman which is why it developed the TrustMark Scheme, a government backed association between consumer protection groups and construction industry bodies, which vetoes and checks workmen. Other legal schemes include Part P, for electrical installations; and the Gas Safe register if you require gas work at home. One of the most relevant organisations is the Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bath Installers (KBBI) – it supports reputable fitters and traders of kitchen and bathroom products, while raising installation standards. GD Evans is an official member of the KBBI and guarantees its workmanship.

Is there anything else to remember?

If you decide that a home improvement project is right for you then don’t overlook home insurance. Changes you make to your property will affect your premiums as you will be adjusting the rebuild value or the home and/or the value of the contents that you keep within the property. So consult your home insurance provider before any work is carried out and ensure you have suitable protection.

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