How to add value to your house
The home-improvement boom of the past two years is by no means over: the latest research from Direct Line suggests that 19 per cent of British homeowners plan to renovate their properties over the next two years, at an average cost of £32,000.
The question is, if you have money to spend, how can you make it go further by adding value, as well as style, to your home? MSN published a great article from The Telegraph with some advice to help you do just that. They said:
Caroline Milns, of the interior design and architecture firm Zulufish, has noted a shift in the way people see their homes in recent years, and a shift in what can add real value to an interior.
“Expectations have changed in terms of how we live,” she says, “so homes need to work harder. In the past, an upstairs utility room or an en-suite bathroom might have been the easy routes to adding value to your property, but today we are seeing that people want more from their homes.”
So, what improvements will add value to your home, and what might not be worth the investment? Here’s what the experts say.
Increase floor space with an extension
“Most of our clients want to add square footage by extending,” says Caroline Milns, “and there’s a golden rule: going out is the cheapest, going up is the most cost-effective, and digging down is the most expensive.”
A side-return extension is the popular choice for a typical Victorian terrace house and will expand and enhance the living space, but as it might only add a few more square metres to the floor plan, rather than an extra room, it may not immediately translate into a significant increase in the value of the property.
Some property experts recommend undertaking a side extension to enhance your own experience of living in the house, rather than for immediate resale value.
In comparison, a loft extension that adds an extra bedroom should immediately result in an increase to the value of your home – according to Nationwide, up to 20 per cent if it includes a good-sized double bedroom and en-suite bathroom.
A basement is the most expensive route to increasing the size of your home (averaging at £100,000 according to MyJobQuote.)
“We look at the property prices in the area,” says Milns, “and we advise clients that it’s only worth adding a basement if the property is above around £800/sq ft. It’s the ideal space for adding in rooms that don’t need much light, such as a wine cellar, a home gym, a home office or a TV snug.”
Up the number of bathrooms
If you want to improve your home without the cost and upheaval of an extension, Milns recommends working with the space you have. “When you’re looking to complete projects that add instant value, consider those that don’t require planning permission or architectural works, but rather adapt and reimagine the space you have to offer more,” she says.
One way to do that is to create an extra bathroom, which could add up to 5 per cent to a home’s value.
Estate agents agree that these days a four-bedroom house needs to have at least two bathrooms (one of which should have a bathtub), and an en-suite bathroom off the main bedroom is now seen as an essential by many house hunters.
Create a home office
A good home office has quickly become another modern essential, as many of us continue to work from home some of the time or expect to in future.
Research by the window company Safestyle showed that 39 per cent of British home buyers considered a home workspace to be an essential element of their “forever home”.
Creating a useable, functional office without building an entire extra room requires some creative thinking but can be done in some cases without too much disruption.
Design a dressing room
Whereas in previous years, installing built-in wardrobes could be seen as a no-no that might limit how prospective future buyers might be able to use a room, these days a dressing room is appearing ever higher on the wish lists of house hunters.
Mark O’Callaghan of high-end design firm Echlin, which usually includes dressing spaces in its projects, believes that this is due to changes in lifestyle. “The average woman buys four times more clothes than she did 30 years ago, according to research by Cambridge University, and we don’t need stats to know that men are keeping pace,” he notes.
Renovate the kitchen – or not?
Separate research by property advice platform Stipendium, based on the latest house prices, suggests that a new kitchen can add 5.5 per cent to the value of your home; although the net value it will add will naturally depend on how much you plan to spend on cabinetry and appliances.
If you are planning to replace a kitchen, a cost-effective way to add value if it is separate from the dining area is to knock down a wall to create an open-plan kitchen-diner.
Despite a returning demand for separate snugs and workspaces within the home post-pandemic, experts agree that an open-plan family kitchen and dining space remains a must-have for most and could add 10 per cent to a home’s value, without the need for an extension.
Should you add a utility room?
Thanks to the increased appreciation of home organisation over the past few years, the desirability of a separate utility room has soared, with Pinterest seeing big spikes in searches – so much so that it has identified the “luxury laundry room” as a key trend for 2022.
A good utility room can add 5 per cent to the value of a home according to agents – perhaps more in the case of a country house – but as with dressing rooms, only if it is a well-planned, well-designed space, as opposed to a poky laundry cupboard shoehorned in under the stairs.
Build an outdoor room
A well-built garden room that can be used as an office, gym or extra sitting room is a good way to add floor space to your home without needing planning permission – provided it falls within certain limits (i.e. that it is less than 2.5m in height, takes up no more than 50 per cent of the land around the house, and is no closer to a road than the house itself. Properties in conservation areas and listed buildings will have additional restrictions).
Expect to pay from around £15,000 for a good-quality garden room – which should then add 1.5 times its cost to the value of your home.
Similarly, converting a garage into living space can add 10-15 per cent in value, according to David Westgate of property consultants Andrews – food for thought for garage owners, 70 per cent of whom reportedly don’t use theirs to house a car.
Make some tweakments
Decorating your house is the cheapest way to make a significant change, but can a coat of paint really add value? Stipendium’s research suggests that an all-over redecoration, with an average cost of just under £3,000, could add 3.1 per cent to your home’s value.
The style you choose could affect this, however: a modern, neutral palette is the safer choice than a statement patterned wallpaper or decorative paint feature.
Similarly, landscaping the garden might improve the aesthetic appeal of an outside space, but is unlikely to add much value: the same research saw an average spend of £3,750 resulting in a return of £125.
Modified article taken in part from an article by Jessica Doyle for The Telegraph and featured on:
If you enjoyed this article you may like this one:
All property sales and the financial advice that surrounds them are as unique as the people engaging in the transaction. It is important to not decide without seeking professional advice. If you want to sell your home and are considering redecorating before marketing, speak to one of our Property Professionals to get the best advice for presenting your home for sale before making any investment. This article is for the purpose of information only and should not be seen as financial advice.