Wondering how to add value to your home? Our top 20 tips will ensure that whether you are carrying out a home renovation project, remodelling internal layouts or are simply aiming for a home makeover, the price of your house will benefit.
Even if you don’t plan on selling your house any time soon, it pays to know how to add value to your home. Certain projects are guaranteed to boost not only the kerb appeal of a house but also its value — and they need not cost the earth or be hugely disruptive either.
If you want to work your way up the property ladder, knowing how to add value to your property in order to ensure the best return when you come to sell up and move on is crucial.
Larger house projects might be the most obvious choices for adding value, but don’t forget the value that will be added through some basic structural and cosmetic repairs.
(MORE: How to renovate for profit)
The best way to add value to your home is to sort out any structural problems — issues such as subsidence will really lower the value of any home. Also, it makes no sense to carry out any cosmetic improvements or internal work, such as installing a new kitchen or bathroom, or any decoration work without doing this first — so make it a priority.
It is important to rectify any structural issues, such as subsidence, before carrying out any cosmetic updates
Structural issues such as subsidence, can, in some cases, involve underpinning costs and so are likely to be amongst the most expensive work required in a renovation project but, in terms of adding value, they are absolutely essential.
Examples of structural defects include:
If you are unsure about confusing structural defects with purely cosmetic faults, then consult a builder, surveyor or structural engineer. For further information, our guide on subsidence and underpinning costs is an essential read.
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Updating an out-of-date heating system is one of the most effective ways to add value to your home. Image: Bathroom Takeaway
If you are wondering how to add value to your home, look no further than the existing central heating system. Many old houses had no central heating, whilst other renovation projects will have old fashioned systems in need of updating. A
dding or updating the central heating system will always add more to the value of a property than it costs and should to be done in conjunction with improving the general energy efficiency of the building.
Improving the efficiency will include:
If the existing boiler is in reasonable working order and has adequate output for the heat requirement of the building, always try to make use of it with the exception of boilers that draw their air intake from inside the house.
If the boiler has sufficient capacity, you could add new radiators and a heated towel rail, or underfloor heating to the existing system.
Updating services, such as wiring and plumbing, is a disruptive job and will involve lifting floors and chasing out plaster walls, so it’s essential to complete the work before making any cosmetic improvements when looking at ways to add value to your home.
Many old properties require rewiring — if you are wondering how to add value to your home, updating electrics and plumbing is one of the best ways. Image: Jeremy Phillips
A loft conversion may require a larger initial outlay when updating your home but it will add plenty of value. Image: Blinds2go
A typical loft conversion costs around £500-600/m² compared to around twice this for an extension. In terms of adding value, it is likely to be a very good investment providing it adds more accommodation than it takes away (remember you need to make room for a full staircase and this will take up existing space). According to a recent survey by sellhousefast.uk, a loft conversion adds £23,754.57 on average.
Natural light can be brought in either via dormer windows or rooflights. A loft conversion does not normally require planning consent, as it uses existing volume however, creating dormer windows may need planning permission if they face a highway (typically the front of a property) and so it is always worth checking with the planners.
Loft conversion ideas
Decorating is perhaps the most obvious task when thinking about how to add value to your home. Whilst small, superficial defects won’t directly affect the value of a property, they could put off potential buyers and therefore prevent it from selling at the optimum price.
Decorating jobs need not cost the earth in order to add value — painting walls and mouldings, repairing loose floorboards and fixing door and window latches will all boost value. Image: Colour Courage.
These typical defects will put many buyers off, but are easily resolved by any competent DIYer:
Double-glazing is now considered an essential by many buyers and adding it will increase the value of your property. Of course, if you are renovating a period property, you will need to be sensitive to the style of the house — or you could end up decreasing its value!
Where old windows need replacing, they should be replaced like-for-like although it will be necessary for them to be double glazed to meet the current building regulations, unless the building is listed or in a Conservation Area. For most listed buildings, plastic windows are not acceptable to English Heritage.
Where windows cannot be repaired, new sympathetic replacements are the best option. These leaded light style windows are from Evolution Windows
Make sure that replacement windows:
Timber windows can also be low maintenance, either stained hardwood (not a good look for a period style house though), or timber coated with an external layer of PVCu, vinyl or aluminium.
When it comes to higher value period properties, aesthetics start to become a more significant factor, to the extent that a premium can be placed on a property that still has its original period windows, providing they are intact and functioning well.
In such properties, it is often only worth replacing windows that are either beyond repair or inappropriate in terms of style, or where they could add more light.
One of the best ways to add value to house? Improve the existing layout — before you consider extending. Maximum value will be added by improving the main living spaces, such as the kitchen, dining and living area and the way in which they work together.
Opening up smaller rooms, such as kitchens and dining rooms, to one another to create a sociable kitchen diner is one of the top remodelling jobs to add value to your home. New lighting such as these, from Fritz Fryer, will also add a refresh
Before removing walls, work out which are loadbearing by checking the direction of the floor joists as these should always rest on structural walls. It is always best to consult a structural engineer.
Structural walls can be removed, but will need to be replaced with steelwork and this will require calculations by a structural engineer or building surveyor. Adding new stud walls to divide existing space is relatively straightforward and inexpensive, but remember to add acoustic insulation.
If in any doubt about how to add value to your home, adding in an extra bedroom is a great place to start.
The number of bedrooms in a property has a big impact on its value so adding bedrooms will usually add to the sale price, although be aware that there is a ceiling value for every street and so at some point the additional cost ceases to bring any return.
An extra bedroom can really boost the value of your home. Image: Loaf
Extra bedrooms can be created by dividing up existing space by removing and adding walls, by converting the loft or cellar, or by extending. Re-using existing space is most cost effective but only likely to be an option in old period houses with vast bedrooms.
Make sure you create a balance between bedrooms and the number of bathrooms a ratio of one to three is a minimum.
Kitchen makeovers can include new unit doors, replacement worktops or new sinks and tiles. Kitchen from Rational Kitchens
An attractive, clean and sociable kitchen is essential both to buyers and valuation surveyors. Before replacing an entire kitchen, consider the fundamentals such as its shape and position and decide if you need to make any structural changes to the space, or if you want to relocate it elsewhere.
Very often, kitchen renovations can be carried out for a modest investment. Small changes such as repainting or replacing unit doors or just the worktops can have a huge impact, as can new floor tiles or better lighting.
Looking to redesign your kitchen? Follow these useful design tips
Bathrooms need to be fresh and hygienic looking, but are also a great place to add a touch of luxury for that value-adding wow-factor.
Make sure there is adequate light and paint the walls a nice neutral light shade. If there is not enough light, replace a single pendant with a triple halogen spotlight unit, available for as little as £10.
In the case of bathrooms with no windows, consider introducing a roof light or light pipe.
Adding an extra bathroom or downstairs WC will add value to your home – as will moving a ground floor bathroom upstairs. Pure Bathroom Collection
How to add value to your home with a bathroom makeover:
Inspiration: 7 Luxury Bathrooms →
A scruffy garden is not the way to go if you are wondering how to add value to your home — a newly paved patio and tidy flowerbed, as well as some outdoor seating, will all help increase its appeal. Image: Brigman
Redesigning your garden, making sure it is not only attractive and well designed, but also tidy, can not only add value to your home but will also help to make the property more appealing to buyers.
Considering the following will help you to get started:
Even if you do not makeover your garden, make sure you carry out at least the basics:
New windows, a fresh coat of paint or a new front door will all add to the kerb appeal of a house. Image: Dobbies
First impressions count, and this is a crucial element if you are trying to sell your home. Most buyers will decide if they do or do not like a property before they even get out of the car and it can be hard to shake off negative first impressions created by a poor or unattractive exterior.
Giving your home an exterior makeover can involve any of the following:
A large scale makeover can totally transform the appearance of a property. This may involve changing roofs, wall cladding, windows, chimneys, and porches. Conversion of existing space such as garage or roof, or extending may also appeal.
Such radical exterior makeovers will need designing and may need planning permission although there is a great deal you can do under Permitted Development Rights.
(MORE: Guide to Permitted Development)
A conservatory or garden room usually adds far more to the value of a property than it costs, providing it is designed, built and integrated into the layout of the house in the right way. Conversely, a poorly conceived, flimsy and cheap-looking conservatory can detract from the value of a property.
A well-built, high quality conservatory or garden room will not only add a lovely space form which to enjoy your garden, but can also add value to your home. Evolution Windows
In most instances, a conservatory will not require planning permission, although it will have to comply with the Building Regulations. On valuable period properties, a basic kit conservatory is unlikely to be a good investment, depending on the ratio of cost to value; a bespoke conservatory is likely to make more sense, even if it costs £10,000s.
Incorporating a couple of interesting features into your home is a great idea for those wondering how to add value to a house — a bit of wow factor will set it apart from others for sale in the area will add a significant premium to your sale price.
Features to consider include a fireplace or surround, feature window, roof lantern or full height glazing, a new staircase or perhaps a designer front door.
Many simple features can be added easily and cost effectively, providing they are planned and undertaken thoughtfully.
Don’t overlook any existing features either — alcoves or split levels can all be highlighted with the right colours and lighting.
A property with a diminishing lease will begin to reduce in value once it gets to under 60 years. Once the lease on a property gets below 30 years it can be difficult to get a mortgage. If the landlord does not live on the premises you may be able to buy the freehold, or a share of the freehold, and grant yourself a new lease, restoring the value to the equivalent of a freehold property. Taking control of the freehold will also give you control of ground rent and service charges, plus management of repairs and common areas.
Usually you will have to pay your landlords legal costs, as well as your own, plus a share of the marriage value, the uplift in the value of the property created by joining the lease with the freehold. A solicitor will be able to work out if you qualify to buy your lease known as enfranchisement and a surveyor will be able to work out how much it will cost.
Buying adjoining land can also significantly increase the value of a property, especially if:
Gaining planning consent for improvements, from an extension, to a new house in the garden, can enhance the value of a property, even if the work is not carried out.
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Rather than replacing original features, aim to restore what you have. Opening and cleaning up old fireplaces or updating damaged or old-fashioned staircases, as well as restoring mouldings are all good examples. Image: Ludlow Stoves
Inappropriate alterations or additions to a property can depress its value and so it follows that removing them can add value. Removing the following is likely to be a good investment:
Restoring or replacing the following will add value:
The key is to find out about the buildings origins and the way it is constructed and to work in sympathy with this, whilst avoiding being twee.
Creating one or two parking spaces in front of, or alongside, a property can add significant value, even if it means sacrificing part of even all of a front garden.
For many buyers, a well-designed, low maintenance drive is more valuable and appealing than a garden they never use.
Creating new off street parking where there was none will really add to the value of your home. Tile Mountain’s Livermore Pearl Outdoor Slab Tile is designed to mimic the tones and texture of greystone slabs
If a road is unclassified, i.e. neither an A- or B-road, then you will not usually need planning permission to create a new vehicular access onto your land. You must, however, comply with the local authority Highway regulations for the construction of the drop kerb, and details such as visibility splays.
You must also check that you have a right of way to cross over any land that you do not own e.g. a grass verge. You can check ownership via HM Land Registry at a nominal cost per search.
Storage space should be high on your priority list if you are looking at how to add value to your home — it is a real selling point.
Custom built storage space will ensure every inch of space within your home is used effectively. Brayer Design
Make use of every bit of spare space you can find, and either build shelves or fit doors to create cupboards. Look for:
Creating a measured plan of the layout of your home can sometimes reveal odd spaces concealed behind plasterboard that you did not know existed.
Aim to include bathrooms on every floor with a bedroom. This suite, with space saving back-to-wall basin and WC is from Frontline Bathrooms
This is often a good investment, especially if it creates an en suite to the master bedroom.
Extra bathrooms can be added by remodelling existing space, or by extending. Ideally there should be WC facilities on every floor that has bedrooms, so if you are converting the attic, try to include at least a WC, if not a full bathroom.
In a traditional two-storey Victorian or Edwardian terraced house, moving the downstairs bathroom upstairs can add value, but beware of losing a bedroom.
Easy jobs that will add value and, if you are selling, attract buyers, include repainting, careful styling and general decluttering. Image: Ligne Roset
Just by decluttering, adding a lick of paint and careful styling, it is possible to add 5–10% to the value of a property.
Valuers may find it hard to place a figure on the increase in value made by only cosmetic improvements, but the market will always place a premium on an attractively decorated and styled property.
Simple ideas that will make a difference include: