How to add value to your home
Significant home improvements are expensive, so it’s important to consider how your plans will add value to your home. More and more of us are choosing to improve rather than move. So, here are 10 ways to make your property better to live in, in a way that can also add value to your home.
If you have lots of plans for home improvements, it makes sense to focus on projects that will also add value. That way what you spend now will be reflected in the price of your property when you sell. But what adds value to a house?
We asked over 300 members of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and estate agent members of the Guild of Property Professionals which projects will add value to your house. Here’s what they said.
1. Knock down a wall for open plan living – Spend £3,500, add £48,000
Our research found that removing an internal wall to create an open plan kitchen and diner was the best way to add value to your home. It could cost around £3,500 but add £48,000 to the average London property or £27,000 to the average home in Dorset.
Not only will this add value to your home, it should also make it more pleasant to live in, with more and more of us opting for open-plan living. Knocking down walls means more communal spaces where families can enjoy quality time together, whether that’s chatting while dinner is cooked or keeping an eye on kids while they do their homework.
Best of all, this is a relatively simple project that most builders can complete in under a week. Meaning you could make almost £50k in just 7 days!
2. Build a garden room – Spend £6,700, add £10,000
Another option is to add another living space outside. Building a garden room adds around £36,000 to an averagely valued home in Surrey, or £10,000 in London, according to our research in partnership with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and The Guild of Property Professionals.
For more advice, ideas and costs, see our guide Garden Rooms: Where do I start?
3. Spruce up your kitchen – Spend £4,000, add £15,000
A new kitchen isn’t just a treat for you, it can also significantly boost the value of your home. Putting in a new worktop, cabinet doors or floor doesn’t have to break the bank – it costs around £4,000 on average. But, it could add £17,000 to the value of a London property, or the FMB and The Guild of Property Professionals found it could add around £15,000 to the average home in Cambridgeshire.
4. Create a downstairs loo – Spend £1,500, add £26,000
A downstairs toilet is a big attraction to a variety of different buyers. Adding one will make your home attractive to young families with children, those that like entertaining and don’t want guests wandering upstairs, to older buyers who might be looking to future proof their homes.
So, turning wasted space, such as an understairs cupboard into a loo can add value to your home. This is a great project if you have a limited budget because for only a relatively small outlay of around £1,500 you could add around £26,000 to your home’s value, according to our research.
5. Make way for an ensuite – Spend £5,000, add £15,000
Another way to add extra bathroom space is to carve some space out of your master bedroom to create an ensuite. The job should take around 11 days but could add £14,525 to the value of the average London home.
6. Create a parking space – Spend £2,000, add £13,000
We love green front gardens but if parking is at a premium in your neighbourhood, then paving over part of your front garden to create space for off road parking could significantly boost your home’s value. A parking space can add as much as 13% to the value of your home according to Direct Line.
Our research found that a new driveway would add £13,354 to the value of the average Surrey property.
You’ll need to check with your local council to see if you need planning permission to do this. Usually, if your home isn’t on an A or B road you won’t need permission, but you will have to comply with your local authority’s regulations on dropping the kerb.
7. Spruce up your back garden – Spend £4,000, add £9,000
Gardens are often overlooked when property projects are concerned but ploughing some money into your green space can be rewarding. Our analysis found that adding decking and lighting to your back garden can really boost the asking price when a property goes on the market. For example, a property in Dorset would be worth £8,946 more after the job was done but would only require an outlay of £3,971.
8. Decorate – Spend £1,000, add £5,000
If you are planning to put your property on the market make sure you give it a fresh lick of paint first. Don’t understand the importance of kerb appeal by updating the exterior of your home. Getting professionals in could set you back around £1,000, but it could add £5,000 to your home’s value, according to property expert Phil Spencer.
9. Convert your loft – Spend £20,000, add £40,000
Homeowners looking to add floor space could significantly add value to their home. Loft conversions cost around £20,000 on average but they could boost your home’s value by £40,000, according to Spencer.
10. Get planning permission – Spend £400, add £20,000
If you are preparing to sell your home and can’t afford a big project to boost the value, you could consider just getting the planning permission. Buyers are prepared to pay quite a premium to avoid the paperwork involved in an extension and to know red tape won’t stand in the way of their plans and allowing them to start works the minute they pick up the keys.
Submitting a basic planning application costs up to £400 but could add as much as 10% to the value of your home, according to insurance firm Hamilton Fraser.
And finally, before you start, ask the experts
Improving your home to make it more enjoyable is a benefit for you and your family today. Opting for a project that will also give you a big financial boost when you sell only adds to the benefits. However, if your primary aim is to add value to your home then you should consult an expert first to make sure you’ll get a return on your investment.
Invite a few estate agents to value your property and ask them what they think will add the most value. The best local agents will be able to tell you what refurbishment projects other homes on your road have benefited from and how much value those projects added. You can find your best local estate agent by using our EstateAgent4Me tool now
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