Area Director, London Residential Agency
Whether you’re thinking of selling up or want to make long-term improvements to your home, we weigh up the pros and cons of different renovations to see which add the most value to your home.
While your main motive in renovating your home may be to give you more space or a better garden, many improvement works will also boost the value of your home. But which ones ensure the best bang for your buck? We look at some of the most popular renovation options and what you need to consider if you want to make more than your money back.
What to consider before carrying out improvement work
If you want your renovation to add value to your home, then you need to be aware of the ceiling price for your property. This is the maximum price a buyer will spend for a property on your street before they can find a similar property for the same money in a better street. If you’re already at the ceiling price, then don’t expect further renovations to add significantly to the value of your home.
How much you stand to gain also depends on where in the country you live, as recent research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the HomeOwners Alliance (HOA) shows. Converting part of the master bedroom into an en-suite could add £10,437 to the value of an average home in Dorset and £14,525 to the value of a home in London, but in North East England it would only add around £1,963 – less than half the cost of the improvement work.
Loft and garage conversions
Loft and garage conversions are two of the most popular ways of extending and adding value to a property. Converting a single garage to additional living space can increase the value of your home by up to 20 per cent and creating an additional bedroom through a loft conversion could add 15 per cent.
Basic loft conversions start from £15,000 but for an average dormer loft conversion with a double bedroom and en-suite you’re likely to pay in the region of £35,000-£45,000. Garage conversions cost upward of £5,000 depending on the size of the space and its intended use.
If you’re looking at either of these options, consider how you can incorporate additional storage into the rest of your home to make up for the storage space you’re losing. For example, you may be able to incorporate built-in storage to the loft room or add a garden shed for items previously stored in the garage.
Energy efficiency improvements
Energy efficiency improvements to your home fall into two categories:
• Simple, low-cost improvements such as improving loft insulation, adding cavity wall insulation and draught-proofing can typically be done for under £1000.
•High-cost improvement works include external or internal wall insulation, double glazing, a high-performance boiler or renewable technologies.
More expensive energy improvements may not be worth investing in purely to boost your home’s value, but as a long-term investment, the money saved on your energy bills each year will help offset the cost of the upgrades. Government research shows that making energy saving improvements to your property can increase its value by 14 per cent, or up to 38 per cent in some parts of England.
Garden landscaping and external works
A well-maintained garden can add a hefty 20 per cent to the value of your home and make it more attractive to buyers. Even better, this is one part of your home where less is more. A simple, low-maintenance garden is often more attractive to buyers than a cluttered space which will require a lot of upkeep.
Consider the following features if you want to maximise the value of your garden:
• Privacy and security are very important to buyers, and walls, fences or tall plants can give a sense of seclusion as long as they don’t block out the light.
• Good garden lighting can transform even a small garden at night and make it easier for potential buyers to get a good impression during night-time viewings.
• Al fresco eating is more popular than ever. A well-thought out terraced area can extend your indoor living space outdoors and will be more hard-wearing than decking.
• A grassed area isn’t essential, particularly if your garden is very small, but a healthy, flat lawn will make your home more attractive to families with young children.
Kitchen and bathroom upgrades
Removing an internal wall to create an open-plan living and dining area is one of the most cost-effective ways of boosting the value of your property. It’ll cost around £3,500 but could add a whopping £48,417 to the value of London properties.
Kitchen improvements such as replacing the flooring, worktops and cabinet doors can smarten up your existing kitchen. If you’re thinking of a complete kitchen refit, bear in mind the value of your house and what return you’re likely to see on your investment.
A new en-suite or bathroom can increase the value of your property by 5 per cent. If you’re giving an existing bathroom a makeover, consider adding underfloor heating or a rain shower for a splash of luxury.