Far from being just shelters from the elements, our homes are also investments. Thus, when it comes to the age-old question “how can I increase my house’s value?”, almost everyone jumps up to listen to the answer.
It should come as no surprise that the aforementioned question is one of the most frequently asked to those in the real estate industry, such as real estate agents and professional interior designers (like No4 Design Studio and Fibi Interiors).
But seriously, what improvements add the most value? Well, there are plenty of ways to raise your home's worth – from renovations, extensions and big decorating jobs, to smaller, more budget-conscious updates.
However, before you pick up a sledgehammer to tear down a wall and bring more space into your house, bear in mind that we recommend speaking to a professional (like a trusted estate agent) who knows all about house sales and prices. As all homes have a ceiling price, it’s important to ensure you don’t end up losing money by doing unnecessary renovations.
But, for the curious who still want to know what the average Joe can do to up his home’s value, keep reading…
Before you even start dreaming about adding kitchen islands and fabulous new showers, see how you can improve your home’s current state by fixing major structural issues. Cosmetic solutions can hide problems from potential buyers, yet it’s more difficult to fool a professional who’s there to evaluate your home.
Some of the more well-known structural defects include:
• a sagging or leaking roof;
• rising damp;
• structural cracks to walls;
• bowing walls;
• rotten joists or roof timbers;
• insect infestation;
• missing or broken roof tiles;
• an unstable chimney stack;
• a collapsed floor/slab.
If you are not sure how to differentiate between structural defects and cosmetic faults, consult a builder, surveyor or structural engineer.
Loft conversions is one of the most cost-effective ways of increasing a house’s space and value. And you should be able to execute this project if your home was built before 1975 and/or the loft has a maximum headroom of 2.3m.
But what is the time frame and costs involved with a loft conversion? Generally, converting an attic 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 £35-45k). This project should take about 6 – 12 weeks to complete and usually adds approximately 21% to the value of the house.
Whether it’s a side return or a glass-box extension, adding a single-storey extension can start at around £30,000.
Two-storey extensions are about 50% more expensive – so from approximately £45,000 (before VAT) depending on the size and location of your home.
As the kitchen is known as the heart of the home, it just makes sense that remodelling can increase your property's value.
Many existing kitchens can be given a new look by spending very little. Cabinet doors may be hanging off and the worktops may be damaged and peeling, but the carcasses may still be in perfectly good condition. If the units are salvageable, you can move them around and add new units if required to get the layout you want, and then add new doors, handles and worktops. Good-quality worktops are critical, for they are one of the first things that people notice upon entering a kitchen.
Remember that storage is always a key factor for people looking to buy a house. And the practicalities of a kitchen, in particular, can really have an impact on how favourably potential buyers view a house.
Expect to add roughly 4% to your home’s overall value with a new kitchen (that’s done correctly, of course).
Done with the kitchen? Great, now think about adding a new bathroom (or sprucing up the existing one).
Make sure that at least one bathroom has a shower – it is an essential for most buyers. Check your plumbing system first and buy the right unit depending on whether you have a mains pressure system (modern houses), a gravity fed system (consider a power shower) or a combi system (if the flow rate is low, you may need to install an electric shower that heats its own water direct from the mains).
A new en-suite or second bathroom can add approximately 5% to your home’s value.
How does an extra 15% to your house’s value sound? Well then, you may want to think about adding a conservatory (if it’s part of a full-blown extension).
A basic conservatory kit will cost about £3,000 – 5,000 and a further £2,000 –3,000 to build. In most instances, it will not require planning permission, although it will have to comply with the Building Regulations.
Making your home more energy efficient is not just the right thing to do in the 21st century; it also saves you money plus adds more value to your home in the long run.
Some sources estimate that an eco-friendly house can fetch up to 6% more than a standard one.
Keep in mind that a lot of the eco-friendly home improvements you can make (like adding insulation, replacing lighting fixtures with LEDs, and fitting solar-panel heating) can impact your annual energy bills in a fantastic way.
First impressions count, even more so when you’re house hunting! And fortunately, it can be quite easy to add kerb appeal to a home to positively influence its asking price.
This may involve any of the following:
• repainting brickwork;
• repainting doors and windows;
• replacing an old garage door;
• changing/repairing windows;
• repainting walls;
• repairing cracked or broken cladding such as render or timber;
• removing stone cladding;
• adding a porch;
• adding climbing plants/trellis;
• replacing/adding a house sign or number;
• or even renaming the property.
And on that note, you may want to cast a glance at these 5 exterior features that boost your home's value (and 5 that don't).