It really is better to improve, than move

As soon as UK property owners look seriously into the costs of moving, such as the combined costs of hiring an estate agent, a buildings surveyor, mortgage arrangement fees, removal company fees, plus various legal fees, including solicitors fees and stamp duty tax, these huge outlays add up to make already massive costs even more expensive.

Lloyds Bank research from 2014 found that over 14 million people in the United Kingdom have undertaken major work on their current property, or planned to do so within the next calendar year in order to improve or add value to their home.

Independent newspapers home improvement commentators seem to have a very clear opinion on the matter, concluding “Improving your home rather than trading it in for another can be a very good investment. It’s cheaper to make space than buy it.”

Past research published by the Halifax Building Society showed that almost 20% of those questioned desire to move into a property that requires no home improvements. If this is true, a staggering 1 in 5 of the population would prefer to buy a house that needs nothing doing to it, which if they can afford to throw money away like that well, fair enough, but is it surely more sensible not to waste hard-earned  cash?

Buying a “ready made” home is more often than not a very expensive option, as you either pay a premium to the property developer who built and/or renovated the property, or alternatively you hand over a handsome profit to the home owner who did up the property in order to gain a substantial return on their relatively modest outlay.

As a result, is it not far more sensible for anyone considering buying a house to instead actually be the property owner who carries out the home improvements, thereby being the ones to benefit from any subsequent increase in property value?

With the pace of recovery in the UK from the recession being rather slow, and many property owners having less and less disposable income, it is no wonder that UK homeowners continue to improve rather than move. Independent double glazing manufacturers and installers, Hazlemere Window Company have seen an increasing number of property owners enquiring about replacement double glazed windows and doors for their extension and/or loft conversion. In addition, ever growing families are looking into the feasibility of adding a conservatory or orangery onto their house to provide much needed extra high quality living space that can be used 24/7, be it a kitchen/diner, gym, home office, play room, dining room, extra or enlarged living room.

A modern double glazed hybrid orangery extension
A modern thermally efficient white UPVC double glazed brick built hybrid orangery extension

Constructing a bespoke conservatory or hybrid orangery can be more visually pleasing than a traditional brick built or rendered extension with a tiled or flat roof. Changes to the Building Regulations that came into effect on 1st October 2010, make it a legal requirement that all UK property owners (replacing any existing window(s) and/or door(s), or indeed building an extension) must fit compliant higher performing thermally efficient fenestration products. Consequently, it is easier and less costly to obtain the necessary permissions to build a conservatory, as if designed correctly Building Regulations are not required, plus it is usually far quicker to obtain all appropriate legal approvals to add a conservatory to your property.

Also a modern tailor-made UPVC or aluminium double glazed conservatory is much less expensive to build and available for home owners to utilise as additional living space a lot sooner than an actual full blown extension, which requires both time consuming planning permission and Building Regulatory Approval, plus signing off by a Building Control Officer from your local planning department when finished.

Whether you decide to build an extension that matches in, convert the loft and/or add a conservatory, all these home improvements will add value to your home; whilst at the same time provide invaluable extra living space. Improvement done to a high standard are far less costly than the massive expense of moving house, so is it no surprise that so many UK property owners decide to improve rather than move.


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