As much as you love your home now, circumstances change and there may be a time in the future at which you want to sell up and move to new pastures. At best, the housing market is uncertain so taking steps to add value to your home can benefit you now and make your home easier to sell in the future.

Times have changed. Where buyers may once have been impressed by the addition of a swimming pool, tennis court or jacuzzi to a house, you would be unwise nowadays to invest good money in any of these in the hope that they will increase the value of your home.

According to a recent study, in financially challenging times the primary motivator for the modern house buyer is space; we want as much useable living-space for our money as possible. Additionally, the best space will be naturally light, uncluttered and practical. Next most important on the list of house-buying criteria after living spaces is the quality of the kitchen and bathroom; getting these right will add both value and appeal to your home.

Increased space adds value to your home

There are a number of ways to increase the floor space and add value to your home. A separate kitchen and dining room no longer hold the appeal that they once did. Safely removing an internal and non-supporting wall between the two rooms to create an airy, light and open-plan kitchen-diner is a relatively inexpensive way to add practical living space.

If your loft is of an adequate size and height, the creation of an additional bedroom (and en-suite bathroom if possible) following a loft conversion is one of the best ways of adding value to your home. A survey of more than one hundred estate agents concluded that a sympathetic and practical loft conversion can increase the value of your home by an average of around 12%.

Even if a loft conversion cannot be achieved, increasing the number of bedrooms can add enormous value to your home with the conversion of a three-bedroomed home into four bedrooms adding the most value. Since adding space is the key objective here, avoid at all costs the temptation to convert a single large bedroom into two smaller ones by installing a partition wall. Consider instead adding an extension to your home; you may be able to build over an existing garage, for example. Whilst this may appear an expensive option, the opinion of estate agents is that an additional bedroom will more than recoup its building costs in terms of the increased value of your home.

Conservatories still add value to your home

If adding bedrooms is not possible, consider adding a conservatory to your home. In many cases a conservatory does not require planning permission as long as it is internally separate from the rest of the house and is not connected to your home’s central heating (these factors distinguish a conservatory from a ‘glazed extension’ which would require planning permission and must adhere to building regulations). A conservatory will undoubtedly add value to your home and can provide an attractive extra reception room. A conservatory that is well-constructed and integrates well with the style of your home could potentially double your investment in it.

Does your garage really add value to your home?

Finally, if your home features an attached or integrated garage and you already have a driveway, think about converting your garage into living space. It’s estimated that only 10% of garages are actually used regularly for housing a car. If your garage is merely a storeroom for junk, it’s not adding value to your home. Since it’s already pre-built, transforming your garage into a new kitchen or living area is a cost-effective way of adding desireable and practical floor space and significantly increasing the value of your home.

If all else fails, renovate and update

If you’ve maximised every inch of available space in your home, take a look at your kitchen and bathroom. These areas are of primary interest to prospective house buyers. Cracked and dirty bathroom tiles and a scratched plastic bathroom suite in avocado do you no favours in terms of house value. The same applies to dated kitchens with worn work surfaces and inlaid grime. The modern kitchen has become more than somewhere simply used for cooking. Turning your kitchen into an attractive, functional, modern and light living space can add an estimated 5% to the value of your home. Similarly, refurbishing your bathroom doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but the choice of a light suite, fresh tiles and gleaming chrome fittings can increase the value of your home by up to a further 3%.

John is a guest blogger from SkipandBin.com which provides a skip hire comparison service to help you find the cheapest skip hire in your area. Also use their handy free tool to find out the cost of skip permits in your town.