There are three main factors that people consider when assessing whether it makes sense to renovate their home or move home entirely. These factors are:
- Money: weighing up the costs of home improvements against the costs of moving ie. stamp duty, solicitors fees, new mortgage etc
- Timing: does it make sense to move now in terms of the property market, and would you get value for money?
- Energy: it is much easier to renovate a home than move home, and whilst both can be quite stressful, moving home is the most stressful thing you will ever do.
Over the last few years the trend has moved towards people staying put rather than upping sticks to move. This is partly due to the economic climate and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, but also the months of isolation during COVID when people were stuck in the home with nothing better to do than start some projects to improve it.
If the main problem you have with your home is its location, then of course the best option is to move. No amount of home improvement will solve that problem for you, but there are many ways to improve the home with a renovation or refurbishment and get what you were after without the expense and hassle of moving home.
So what is the problem with your home?
More and more people are working from home now, or maybe your family is growing and you have a new baby due? The obvious answer to creating more space in the home is to build outwards, with extensions, loft conversions and conservatories still very popular.
These can be expensive, and whilst nothing like the cost of moving home, there are more creative and cheaper ways to find space. Simply installing a pocket door can create space in a smaller room compared to having a traditional hinged door. This might allow you to convert a spare bedroom into an office, or to build an en-suite or to make a room multi-purpose. You could also knock a wall down internally to create open-plan living, which is becoming increasingly fashionable and is much cheaper than creating space externally.
You could also, quite simply, have a clearout and take a few car loads of old and never-used belongings to the local tip. This can create space and is extremely therapeutic too.
If you don’t need to create space, the other major reason for renovating is to upgrade what you already have. This could be a new kitchen or bathroom, which again can be expensive, and might not add much value to the home, but will be great for your quality of life and might mean this turns out to be your forever home, so value isn’t too important anyway.
Refurbishing your home with an all-over decoration can be the cheapest and easiest option, and can have just as dramatic an effect. Everyone knows what standard decorating means, but here we are also talking about restoring or uncovering period features, such as a fireplace, flooring or a staircase and bannister. You can also install new or replacement period features to change the style and design of the home. Fitting replacement period doors, architrave, ceiling coving or skirting can change the character of a home and breathe new life into it. And all these features can be painted or varnished to suit your new décor.
Renovating your home can save you money in the long run, not just on moving costs and adding value, but also in creating a more energy-efficient home, if, for example, you have new windows fitted or a new boiler. But ultimately, renovating your home is a way to make it more practical and appealing to you, without the expense of moving home and without the possible feelings of regret, because if the move doesn’t work out and it doesn’t feel like ‘home’, then there is no going back. And in that sense, it is no surprise that renovating rather than relocating is growing in popularity, because it puts you firmly in control.