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Whenever you’re deciding on an upgrade, you need to think of the bigger picture, not the immediate solution to your family’s lifestyle and needs.

Some upgrades will add value to your home, whereas others, are not worthy contenders.

This time of year, if you only have an open balcony, you’re probably struggling to find somewhere warm to sit during the day, especially if you don’t want to turn on any heaters inside the home. A great addition to your property, would be to add on a Sun Room. This is usually created by installing windows to an existing balcony. As this is what is categorized as a “removable” type of construction, planning permission shouldn’t be required*. This is a worthy upgrade, so it gets a thumbs up from me!

Ladders versus stairs. You may think this is a no brainer, and that stairs of course are an added value feature. “Who wants to go up ladders to get to the first floor?” I hear you ask. Well, I thought that too, but I have also seen a home with some beautiful upgrades on the ground floor, but when I had to go “upstairs” to see the rest of the home, I thought I was going to go “up some stairs.” Never assume! I turned down their hallway and there, right in front of me, was a ladder! That was the access to the first floor. If you are going to the effort of upgrading the entire home by adding more bedrooms and bathrooms, instead of installing a ladder for access, please build a full staircase! Ladders, instead of a staircase as part of an upgrade, gets a thumbs down from me!

You need another bedroom, but the only access would be through one of the existing bedrooms. This may seem like no big deal for your family dynamics, but for any potential buyer, this could be the deal breaker. If you are going for an upgrade by building on an additional bedroom, having to pass through one bedroom to get to the other is not practical. If this room doesn’t have a window, it can’t even be classed as a bedroom when the time comes to sell. This is not a worthy upgrade, and gets a thumbs down from me!

Bathrooms and kitchens. These are the most popular upgrades any homeowner can make. But be careful, not to get “carried away” with going for the most elaborate style. If your upgrade is a large investment, it could take quite some time to recuperate that money. I did see a house the other day that had a high end kitchen imported from Holland. This cost more than the whole house altogether, making it practically impossible to ever recuperate the money invested! Be careful not to overspend. Buyers love updated kitchens and bathrooms, so as long as they are a sensible upgrade, they get a thumbs up from me!

Some upgrades do add value, but not guaranteed! Sometimes the best upgrades are to sell and buy a home with an extra bedroom already built, or at least with enough room to build a bedroom with its own access!

So when you’re planning on any upgrades, take a minute to answer my question to you. “Is your project not only going to make your home more comfortable, but will it add value to your investment too?”

*Always check with the relevant Town Hall, Architect or President of your community, on any possible planning restrictions in your area.


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