Increase your house value with those home improvement tips
Some home renovations can increase the value of your house or make it more saleable. Here are top ideas for improvements that should increase your house value.
1. Convert your loft
That’s one of the easiest way of adding space, a loft conversion can increase a property’s value by as much as 20 per cent. In some cases, the work can be carried out without planning permission, under what are known as permitted development rights. Before calling in the builders, consider whether your property will benefit in investment terms from the extra accommodation. If not, a loft conversion could be an expensive mistake. You cannot transform your three-bedroom house into a desirable five-bedroom one just by converting the loft into two bedrooms; chances are that the downstairs rooms, and perhaps the garden, will not be in proportion. In addition, consider also whether you have the right kind of roof. The steeply pitched kind commonly seen on Victorian or 1930s houses is ideal. And both the construction of your roof and the type of access available may limit your prospects of converting your loft into a proper room, rather than just a ‘loft room’.
2. Install a basement conversion
This is the most expensive form of extension: it costs £200 per sq foot to do the digging, and another £100 per sq foot to do the fitting out. So unless your house is worth £300 per sq ft, you won’t see your money back. It is also the most serious form of extension, as it is going to affect the structural load of your property. Not to be undertaken lightly, or without careful consideration, then. You will need to hire specialists to do the design and the installation, and you will almost certainly have to move out of the house for several months. That said, you can create fantastic spaces underneath your home, and extending your house like this means you can stay in it for longer, enjoy it more and sell it quicker when the time comes. A basement extension is excellent for London’s older terraced housing, built before ‘hard’ concrete foundations arrived in the 1960s. For a family house in the suburbs, a basement costs £40,000 to £125,000 and adds £60,000 or more to the value; double those figures in central London.
3. Add an extension
Provided it is well built and in keeping with the rest of your property, an extension can add significant value. It will almost certainly be an easier (and hence less expensive) option than a basement. Extensions can be built without planning permission, subject to restrictions on height and volume, and certain other conditions. A sideways extension typically costs £20,000 to £60,000 and adds £35,000 to £100,000 to the value providing it looks good, creates at least one new room and does not compromise the size of the garden. The work is usually straightforward and quick and involves minimal mess, especially if there is a side entrance.
4. Build a garage
A garage, particularly a double, will almost always add value – as much as 15 per cent in a busy urban area. The desirability of garages often makes it a mistake, if adding value is your goal, to convert a garage into living space.
5. Improve your kitchen
While a new kitchen may not add greatly to value, it will certainly add hugely to appeal, provided it is well fitted, of reasonable quality and as timeless as possible in design. As with any home improvement, resist the urge to save money by fitting a kitchen yourself, unless you are confident of doing it to a professional standard.
6. Convert a bedroom into a bathroom
Use common sense when deciding whether this is a viable option for you. If, for example, you have a five-bedroom house with only one bathroom, it may be wise to turn a bedroom into a bathroom. However, from an investment point of view, it would be a poor idea to transform a three-bedroom house with one bathroom into a two-bedroom house with two bathrooms.
7. Install central heating
If it’s not already there. You’ll spend £1,000-£3,000, but will add £5,000 to the value. Many older homes still lack central heating. Be sure to choose an energy-efficient system.
8. Fit double glazing
Double glazing is a must for many potential purchasers. Replacement windows should be in keeping with your home, in style and materials; they can detract from its value otherwise. If you have a period property, secondary glazing may be a better bet.
9. Update your bathroom
Gone are the coloured suites of yesteryear; today, the only colour is white. Avoid fancy taps, lurid tiles and anything gold-plated. If you’re tempted to go for a fashionable wet room, consider whether this is something your target purchaser would be likely to want.
10. Obtain planning permission
Since a property with planning permission usually commands a higher price than one without, obtaining planning permission, even if you do not intend to use it yourself, can be a great way of maximising your property’s value for minimum outlay – although, of course, unlike our other suggestions, it won’t add to your quality of life in the short term. Whether you are likely to get planning permission depends on the nature of the project, the type of property and the location.
By now, you’re probably raring to go! Before embarking on any project, however, make sure your finances are sorted, seek appropriate professional advice, and check whether you need planning permission or other approvals.