Building work – is it worth it?
After almost finishing the last bit of DIY and decorating after all of last month’s building work, I’m asking myself ‘was it truly worth it?’ Also , does it always add value to your home?
In our case, it was the sort of situation where if you left it much longer then it was going to take far more time and money to fix it in the long run, so it was an investment in real terms. Some things just need doing, such as the roof replacement, the damp course, oh, and the bracing the house on three sides with giant metal girders thing that we did last year.
Anyway, it’s no secret that living in your home while building work’s going on can be stressful, but that’s also tied to your life stage as well. It’s fine for a younger, more resilient (or hopelessly naive) couple to be in a fixer-upper, but if you’re retirement age then you’re much more likely to want something that’s already fully refurbished or a McCarthy & Stone new build.
What is interesting, especially in the area we live in, is that where couples with growing families used to trade up and move to bigger houses they’re now building extensions out the back, or converting their lofts. One crazy local is even allegedly doing some kind of underground extension, and I’m so glad that isn’t happening on this street…
People seem to be staying put instead of moving on. After talking with a few people about their loft conversions, it seems to be cheaper than moving to a bigger home once you’ve taken taken Stamp Duty and related moving costs such as paying two mortgages at the same time into consideration. Provided you can find a reliable building firm who won’t over-charge you, that is, and who’ll create you the extra space in a stylish way that adds the most value to your property.
After two lots of major building work in the last two years, I can solemnly promise you that we will never, ever do a loft conversion here. Or any more building work, ever. Well, we might do a small cosmetic nip and tuck in the dining area next summer, but I can totally put up with it until then. Even the hideous Artex in the corner. Artex? What Artex? Not looking, and can’t hear you. La la la la la.
More seriously though, once the builders have departed, finishing the decorating and changing your homewares to suit a new look can be very pricey. It adds up in dribs and drabs, and it’s dangerously easy to spend more that you realised. I’m keeping a close eye on everything from the paint costs to the new cushions, and I’ll let you know next week about a few of the bargains, offers and budget gems I’ve uncovered so far.