Home improvements ‘are in vogue’

While the difficult economic situation and stalling UK housing market may be causes for concern in the wider picture, it seems they have actually boosted the home improvements market significantly.

That is the view of Anna-Marie DeSouza, editor of Build It + Home Improvement magazine, who said the problems associated with moving to a new home are leading many people to enhance their existing one. Not only is the property market particularly stagnant at the moment, the costs attached to becoming a part of it are large and could be putting many people off.

“The marked difference is that people are staying in their homes and improving them – enlarging them or renovating them in some way to make them more modern,” Ms DeSouza stated.

Of course, this can take many different forms. People have the opportunity to call on a variety of tradesmen – from builders to carpenters and electricians – to give their property a huge boost in terms of quality and amenities, in the process increasing its appeal on the market.

“A very popular thing is people doing big extension works in the kitchen, having a large kitchen diner that opens out into the garden. That can add a lot of money onto your house,” Ms DeSouza said, noting another idea is to have a loft conversion completed.

The expert recommended calling upon a professional to do the “hard work”, before homeowners take over in the final stages in order to add the finishing touches and personal effects. Some people may find that home improvements are actually far more cost-effective than moving to a new property, in terms of the value they can add.

Ms DeSouza went on to back the idea of carrying out work with the environment in mind. For instance, adding insulation to an abode is a great move, as it can make a building more attractive to prospective buyers and also drive down energy costs with immediate effect. In fact, she urged people to pack as much insulation as possible into their houses, whether in the roof or the cavity walls.

Gordon Miller, co-founder and sustainability and communications director of Sustain Worldwide, recently told of the importance of eco-friendly home improvements, labelling insulation the obvious starting place. It is said that buildings with inadequate insulation lose 25 per cent of their heat through the roof and 35 per cent through the walls, emphasising just how vital it is to tackle these areas.

There is simply no reason to put off the idea of insulation any longer, with Ms DeSouza suggesting those who make the effort to have it installed will find their home runs “a lot more efficiently. Gone are the days of being able to afford to waste energy. With fuel bills rising, even the smallest consumers of gas and electricity count and tackling the issue is the only way forward.

Britons can do so immediately by contacting a professional builder or other expert who is capable of carrying out the work to a high standard.

Post your eco-enhancing job on and wait for local tradesmen to get in touch with their ideas and quotes on how to make your home better for its surroundings.

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