With interest rates rising, house prices falling and a general squeeze on the cost of living, many people are choosing to put a planned house move on ice.
But while that can be frustrating for some, others are seeing it as an opportunity to focus on what they have - and what their current house could become.
And according to Hannah Thatcher, architect at Altrincham-based PreArc, making small changes to your home could actually negate the need to move house at all.
If you've been forced to reconsider a move to a new house, or even if you are still undecided about whether you should move or stay, I would ask yourself the following question: have you unlocked your house's full potential?
Even if the conclusion validates your initial decision to list, the knowledge and plans gained along the way will help significantly with the marketing of your property.
Here are a few things you should bear in mind:
You don’t always need to extend your property to gain new rooms
Internal layout changes can help to utilise existing spaces better, improve the flow through your home and generally make your space work more efficiently for a fraction of the price of an extension.
A small change can have a big effect
Sometimes a seemingly minor adjustment, such as replacing internal double doors with bifolds, can make a world of difference. Not only does this give the illusion of more space, but it also aids the flow through spaces, optimising your home's functionality.
Open up and let the light in
Removing walls to create an open-plan living space is a fantastic way to introduce extra natural light into your home, as well as making a space feel bigger. Open-plan living spaces - often merging a kitchen and dining area - are great multi-purpose spaces, ideal for family life or entertaining.
Don't be daunted
While a more minor rethink is often the best approach, you should equally not be too daunted by the prospect of an extension. Many smaller extensions and loft conversions today can be created without the need for planning approval, reducing the time and cost associated with your project.
Sketch it out first
When appointing an architect, the process can be time-consuming and with high fees attached. That's often because the assumption is that the project will go from idea through to planning and completion.
With Pre Arc, however, we come in a step before this process, providing a quick, flat-rate, rough sketch design to help clients visualise what they could achieve with their home. This can quickly help them to decide whether or not to continue with a project.
My sketches will help you to decide whether your aspirations are practical and provide a starting point to begin cost discussions with builders and tradesmen. Even if you decide to sell, sketch designs can help to secure the highest offer for your home - prospective buyers are often attracted to homes that come with renovation plans, allowing them to envisage the potential of their future residence.
Hannah’s fixed-rate and affordable sketch designs represent a low-risk strategy for home improvement projects. For a free 30-minute online consultation, book online at pre-arc.com or contact Hannah direct on firstname.lastname@example.org