Whether you’ve just bought a property, are blissfully settled or are looking to sell, there are many ways to breathe life into your property, add a bit of extra space and ultimately add value when the time comes to sell.
If you want to work your way up the property ladder to your dream home, you need to know how to maximise the value of where you live now.
There are plenty of ways to increase the value of your home – from renovations, extensions and big decorating jobs, to smaller, more budget-conscious updates that will help boost your homes selling power.
We would always advise that before you bring in the builders and the scaffolding, it’s a good idea to check with a trusted local estate agent like Redbrik as to whether a significant home improvement will add value to your property, and if there are any particular areas of the property worth focusing on.
All homes have a ceiling price so it’s vital to make sure that any renovation costs do not outweigh the potential profit or value you may add.
Take a look at this guide to the most to most popular, and proven, ways to increase your property’s value and ultimately boost its selling power.
- Plan a loft conversion
A loft conversion is the most cost-effective way to gain extra living space, and you should be able to do it if your home was built before 1975 and/or the loft has a maximum headroom of 2.3m. Most lofts can be converted, but it’s worth getting an architect or builder to double check before you start.
Once you start planning, you’ll need to get to grips with the types of conversions available. Options range from a roof light conversion, which requires the least amount of structural work and so is the most cost-effective, to a more expensive mansard conversion. Here, one or both slopes of the roof are replaced with a new structure, with steeper sides and an almost flat roof.
Work on converting an attic usually costs from around £20,000 – although on average a dormer loft conversion with a double bedroom and en-suite bathroom is more likely to be in the region of £35-60k – and takes about six to 12 weeks to complete. Remember, seek professional advice before you start to plan your loft conversion because it must meet building and fire regulations.
- Increase living space with a conservatory
Adding a conservatory can raise your house’s value, especially if it’s part of a full-blown extension. It is a cost-effective and relatively simple method to provide a space-enhancing option.
Choose a design that complements the style of your home and make sure it doesn’t dominate your garden – a small conservatory can still add value and space! Also, think about its position: a south-facing conservatory needs ventilation and shade, while a north-facing room requires good heating.
The most significant part of your conservatory will be the glass, so explore your options carefully. While double glazing is the minimum standard permitted by building regulations, there is a whole host of glazing options available, including solar control glass and self-cleaning glass. Again, think about which will suit your lifestyle and your home.
Check with your local planning department whether you need permission to build. If you’re within your home’s permitted development allowance (your local planning department can advise on this) and your conservatory is separated from your house by patio doors, you may be exempt.
- Build an extension
Whether it’s a side return or a ‘glass-box’, adding a single-storey extension can start at around £30,000, while two storeys are about 50 percent more expensive – so from approximately £45,000 (before VAT) depending on size and location. Remember to add in the cost of fitting these rooms out to budget too!
A modern extension on the ground floor can increase your property’s value by anywhere from five to 15 percent while adding a bedroom to create a three-bed house can add ten to 20 percent to the potential asking price.
When planning an extension, design rooms to be as big as possible, but without sacrificing too much of the garden or outdoor area – this can make a property feel out of balance and deter buyers.
Check with the local planning office to see if you need permission to carry out building work. All home improvements on this scale must also comply with Building Regulations and be inspected and passed at key stages.
- Upgrade your kitchen
Storage is always a key factor for buyers, and the practicalities of a kitchen, in particular, can have an impact on how favourably potential buyers view a house. A new kitchen will make your property more appealing to buyers and, can add as much as five to 15 percent to its value.
To appeal to all buyers, opt for clean, neutral kitchen designs and always keep expense in proportion to the size and current value of your property. There is little chance of adding value (or even recouping costs) if you add a £25,000 kitchen to a semi that’s only worth £170,000. As a good rule of thumb, you should spend approximately five to ten percent of the value of your home on a new kitchen.
- Add value with a bathroom
After the kitchen, the next option is to spruce up the bathroom. A new en-suite or second bathroom can add approximately five percent to your home’s value.
Simply renewing a bathroom suite, with fresh taps, a new shower screen and sparkling towel rails, will also make your home more saleable.
- Go for eco-friendly elements
Making your home energy efficient saves you money, as well as adding value to your home in the long run; Some sources estimate that an eco-friendly house can fetch up to 6 percent more than a standard one. Many of the eco-friendly home improvements you can make, such as adding insulation and fitting solar-panel heating, make a big difference to your annual energy bills.
The Energy Saving Trust says that in an average home, laying DIY loft insulation can save you up to £145 per year. Elsewhere, a solar water heater, which starts at around £1,500 for a solar water heater, can provide up to 70 percent of your hot water free!
Additionally, Government grants are available as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive, to help you make some of these eco-improvements.
- Create curb appeal
You can also add value in simple ways; make a good first impression with your front door and hallway, and buyers feel more positive about the value of the property itself!
If your front door is looking like it needs a scrub down, a fresh lick of paint or some new door furniture, give it a little overhaul. A new letterbox, door knocker or house number can revive your home’s exterior. It is the first thing a potential buyer might touch, so make sure it is tactile and sets the tone for your home.
Also, make sure pathways, and windows are in good repair, excellent curb appeal can positively impact a buyer’s opinion before they’ve even entered the property.