Thinking about moving in 2019? Or is moving home a few years away yet and you’re in a place where you want to start improving your home so that you can enjoy it even more than you do now but you have one firm eye on putting it up for sale a bit later on down the line?
In this article, the CompareCompanies team gives you our top three tips on the home improvements you should consider making before you put your property on the market. Follow the tips we have in this article and, by shopping around, you could save up to £10,000 on:
- conservatory installation/conservatory replacement
- central heating/boiler installation/replacement
- double glazing installation/replacement
Two words – space and style. A conservatory gives you and your family extra room to enjoy but it’s a different type of enjoyment to that which you’d get from an extension. The best conservatories are flooded with natural light and they keep their temperature and ambience very well whether it’s sunny or snowing outside. It’s part of your house but it has a separateness to it as well – it’s a refuge where you can go for some much needed peace and quiet or somewhere where the kids can play out of the way of everyone else if you’ve got a load of guests around.
Style-wise, there may be over 10m installed conservatories in the UK but they are still considered to be so special that people, when visiting your home for the first time or the one hundredth time, make a beeline for this stylish exclave to your living space.
There are lots of factors which determine how much you pay for your conservatory. One thing you should note is that you can pay substantially more for the same conservatory is you don’t shop around. In a 2016 survey by consumer champions Which?, they discovered there can be as much as a £4,000 mark-up with some installers. That £4,000 is definitely better in your pocket than someone else’s.
The most popular types of conservatory in the UK are lean-to conservatories, Victorian conservatories, Edwardian conservatories, gable-fronted conservatories, and P-shaped conservatories. How much will you need to budget?
|Style||Building features||Cheapest quote||Most expensive quote|
|Lean-to conservatory||With a dwarf wall||£4,700||£10,750|
|Lean-to conservatory||Floor-to-ceiling glazing||£6,700||£9,250|
|Victorian conservatory||With a dwarf wall||£10,560||£15,750|
|Victorian conservatory||Floor-to-ceiling glazing||£9,150||£13,750|
|Edwardian conservatory||With a dwarf wall||£8,750||£16,250|
|Edwardian conservatory||Floor-to-ceiling glazing||£7,550||£14,250|
|Gable-fronted conservatory||With a dwarf wall||£11,050||£16,250|
|P-shaped conservatory||With a dwarf wall||£12,050||£16,750|
One of the reasons there is such a difference in the prices we list above is because of the size of the conservatory you install. The £10,750 quote for a lean-to conservatory with a dwarf wall is going to be much bigger in size than the £4,700 cheapest quote.
But that’s not the only reason for the difference in price – other reasons include the type of frame, the type of roof, and the style of your conservatory
There are three main types of frame used in UK conservatory installations. The most popular and affordable type of frame is uPVC framing – they now last longer than ever, look really good, have superb insulation properties, and are extremely low maintenance.
Aluminimum frames are currently the type of frame most commonly seen in home styling magazines because of their thin profile (meaning you see more of the outside), their low maintenance, their superior resistance to rust and weathering, and their extended lifespan. Wooden frames are beautiful to look at – they very much hark back to traditional British building techniques and styles. Aluminimum frames cost more than uPVC frames and wooden frames even more.
The next big determinant on the price you pay is the type of roof you choose for your conservatory. Double-glazed roofs are superb at insulating and look superb. There is a cheaper option available which offers much of the same type of protection called polycarbonate conservatory roofing. Finally, and the type of roof growing fastest in popularity, are tiled roofs because of their enhanced ability to control temperature changes within your conservatory and to control noise pollution from the outside.
The style of conservatory you choose is also a significant influencing factor on the price of your conservatory. The most popular type of conservatory style in the UK is the “lean-to” conservatory – they look superb and offer big savings over more ornate and complex-to-install styles like Victorian conservatories, Edwardian conservatories, gable-fronted conservatories, and P-shaped conservatories.
According to property guru Phil Spencer, host of Location Location Location, a “well-built conservatory can add 5% to the value of your home” (source: Telegraph). He recommends that you choose a style that makes it look like the conservatory was built at the same time as your home.
Your central heating system is certainly more than just your boiler. It’s your piping, it’s your radiators, and it’s the control you have over the heating in each room. Your central heating system boiler also provides you with hot water when you need it for doing the washing up or having a relaxing bath.
When it starts to go wrong, you and your family feel it immediately. The hot water you rely on may, over time, start to get less and less hot when you turn the tap on. Some rooms may never seem to reach the temperature you like and you were used to over time.
You may not need a brand new central heating system, however – it’s always best to speak with a qualified installer to advise on which areas of your central heating system you need to improve and which areas are fine as they are.
The very heart of your central heating system is your boiler. If that needs replacing then, in nearly all cases, it’s going to be the biggest part of any quote you get from a professional installer.
What would the typical cost be of replacing a boiler (supply and installation), swapping a few radiators which are beginning to fail for new ones, and a mechanical flush? Boilers vary greatly in price so, as you can see from the table below, the choice you make will be the overriding factor determining the amount you need to budget for the work.
|What might appear on your quote from an installer||Estimates|
|Boiler supply costs||£615-£6,200|
|Boiler installation costs||£610-£785|
|Radiators supply and installation costs||£185-£315|
|Mechanical flush costs||£435-£540|
What is a mechanical flush and why would you need one? When radiators and piping have been installed for many years, quite often debris and dirt can build up in certain spots. When it does, that affects the amount of hot water that can actually get through to the areas where it’s needed. If you’ve noticed that your hot water is not as hot as it used to be, certain parts of certain radiators are colder than others, or if, sometimes, you detect a funny smell, you should get an installer around to get a professional opinion on whether you need a mechanical flush.
The mechanical flush “power flushes” all of the dirt and the debris out of your pipes and radiators – this helps your system work properly. Installers will generally recommend them if your system is ten years or more old.
There are three main types of boiler in the UK – combi, system, and regular boilers. In most cases, your installer will recommend that you replace your boiler like-for-like and keep it in the same position in your home as it is now. Changing your type of boiler or its location will significantly increase the price your installer will charge.
You may wish to go for more modern and energy-efficient radiators. If your installer can replace the radiators you want to upgrade without extra pipework, that’ll keep your costs down. Without the extra pipework, you should budget between £300 and £400 per radiator and around two hours’ installation time per radiator.
You should also ask your installer about other ways to increase the output from your central heating and your level of control over it while preserving energy efficiency. Thermostatic radiator valves are popular as they give you control over the level of heat provided by the radiator in each room by changing the amount of hot water which flows to each radiator.
According to the Daily Mail, a new central heating and boiler system can add as much as £8,000 to the value of your property. This £8,000 uptick in value was one of the most impressive returns discovered in a survey carried out by BBC property guru Henry Pryor and insurance company GoCompare.
Although modern double glazing is incredibly long-lasting and durable, you will eventually need to replace it. If your windows are looking tired or there are cracks in the pane, someone visiting your home with a view to making an offer on it will almost definitely notice. New windows improve the look of your home as well as its energy efficient properties – if your old and worn-out windows have not been replaced, you can almost certainly guarantee that a buyer will ask you to knock off the price of replacing them from the asking price.
If you have no intention of moving soon, double-glazing is a good long-term investment in the look of your property. They not only reduce your energy bills but modern windows are also great for security.
It depends on how many windows you’re having replaced and the difficulty in installing them. As a general rule of thumb, expect to pay more for windows installed not on the ground floor. Budget-wise, this is what you will likely need to find for uPVC casement windows:
|Type of property||Average number of windows that need replacing||Range of costs|
As with conservatories, you can choose from uPVC, wooden, or aluminium frames. They offer the same set of advantages when used for double glazing as they do when used for conservatories.
The type of window you select also makes a difference in the price you pay – the four main types offered by installers are casement windows, sash windows, tilt & turn windows, and dual turn windows.
Casement windows are the simplest type of design offering homeowner one hinged opening situated at either the top or the side of the frame. Sash windows are similar to the sliding bottom panel windows you see in older properties. Tilt and turn windows allow you to open the window inwardly – they have a hinge at the bottom of the frame which allows you to do that. And dual turn windows combine the best of sash windows and tilt and turn windows.
Double glazing may not add much value to your home because buyers will expect you to have modern double-glazing in your home. However, the biggest advantage to replacing your double glazing with new windows is that it will give your home more kerb appeal on the market and it will make potential buyers who want somewhere to move into straight away with the minimal level of work more open to the idea of buying your property.
It always pays to get multiple quotes before you agree to have any work done to your home. CompareCompanies can put you in touch with 3-4 installers working locally to you – ask them all the questions you need to ask and get them to compete on price without sacrificing quality.