Home improvements for the 22nd Century

The current economic climate has led to all of us having to tighten our belts, including how we spend money on home improvements.

These days, it’s not enough that it looks pretty – many homeowners are addressing home improvements with a serious eye on the future.

With another energy company recently announcing price rises above 8%, solar panels are being seen by many homeowners as a way of future proofing their energy bills – by generating a good proportion of the energy their homes use themselves.

The Governments solar subsidy and payback tariff scheme has done much to promote the early uptake of solar energy by many homeowners – particularly solar panels that generate electricity. That’ll change even further with the forthcoming introduction of a similar subsidy scheme for renewable hot water generation, which it’s hoped will stimulate a similar interest in this area of renewable energy.

Another way you can ‘future-proof’ your home is to think about your needs when you’re older. If stairs are going to make your home difficult to live in, why not consider a ground floor extension? An extra bedroom and/or bathroom will always add value to your home, whilst making your home suitable for someone who’s going to struggle with stairs.

To this end, garage conversions are a popular choice as much of the structural work will already be in place, reducing overall conversion costs and time to completion.

Of course it doesn’t have to be a bedroom straight away. The extra downstairs space can be anything from a purpose cinema room to an office.

Take a look around your home and see if you can identify any areas that you could start future proofing now, and remember home improvement quotes is on hand to give you an instant online expectation of costs without having to suffer endless salesman visits late into the night.

*This article first appeared in our weekly homeowner newsletter dated 4th May 2011. Click here to read the full newsletter.

photo credit: robin zebrowski

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