If you can't move, improve…

Which way is consumer spending going? Will the home improvement market expand or contract in the months to come?

One school of thought believes that DIY might get a shot in the arm from uncertainty about the housing market, saying that householders are choosing to improve when they can’t move.

If this sounds appealing, then what’s the best approach to take to maximising the value and enjoyment you get from your living space? Here are Times writer Kasia Maciejowska’s tips for 10 great ways to add value to your home:

Top ten: Home improvements

MOVE or improve? A familiar question if you’re faced with lack of space, a growing family or itchy feet. With 58 per cent of us improving our homes over the past year (12 per cent more than the year before), we prefer making do to moving out.

Faced with high house prices, the popular solution is to expand or improve with the aim of adding value – and now younger people are getting involved, with 68 per cent of people between 18 and 34 investing time and money in doing up their home.

So how to achieve that extra £100,000? A fifth of improvers think a kitchen extension will add the most value, although the most common project is redecoration, making up two thirds of all home improvements. Here we give ten of the best projects to make the most of your home.

Valuers at Halifax say an extension is the top option for adding value, as long as work is properly carried out. For structural projects employ a professional to ensure you comply with planning regulations. A good extension should create at least one extra room and be used to bring light into the house.

A loft conversion is the second most profitable option. While maximising existing space, it can increase the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, two key valuation factors. Read full article here…