Adding Value to your Home with Renovations

8 ways to add value to your property through renovation.

A kitchen in a side return of a property.

There are lots of things to consider when you put your home on the market; not least that it’s currently a very crowded marketplace with properties all over the country competing for high offers and reputable buyers who won’t drop out or delay sales. 
Of the best ways to add value to your home there are some that increase both buyer demand and price points better than others. Home improvement and renovation works vary hugely in terms of investment and effort, but these are those most likely to improve your property’s sale prospects on the current market:
A cellar converted into a house bar.

Cellar Conversions

Homes with cellars are not altogether common in many areas of the UK and so they are very popular amongst buyers. Often cellars go unused or underutilised and so flounder by not adding any value to the overall property value at all. Transforming an existing cellar into a living or functioning storage space can boost value by up to 30%; but a close eye should be kept on costs to ensure that the price per square foot of the space remains above the build cost per square foot. 
Cellar conversions don’t require planning permission unless they’re in a listed building as they count as a ‘change of use’ under current guidelines. This means that provided suitable original features are kept in place, a cellar conversion need not be a big job nor a complex one, making it ideal as a renovation to take place specifically for market purposes.

Converting a House into Flats or Apartments

In cities, many homes are converted into flats to maximise on the living space within and optimise the possibility of rental income.
Splitting a property into separate units can increase value hugely but should only be done in locations where demand is sufficient. Homeowners looking to convert one house into several should discuss with their local Planning Officer and relevant authority and then can onboard a project manager to work through the relocation of any plumbing and/or electrics to make each unit separately functioning.

Extending a Kitchen into a Side-Return 

Many British terraced and semi-detached houses have an alley running adjacent to their kitchen, known as a side return. Extending the kitchen into this alley increases the size of the kitchen and removes unused space. Estate agents advise that this can add up to 15% to a property’s total value.
A single storey extension of this type is classed as a permitted development by most planning authorities. Building regulations will apply and inspections will be required but this isn’t considered a large job by most.
A loft converted into a bedroom.

Converting a Loft into a Bedroom

Property values in the UK are largely dictated by the number of bedrooms and so increasing this number with decently sized rooms can have a large financial impact.
Lofts, which are so often just used for storage, can be converted into bedrooms fairly easily provided they’re not unusually constructed to begin with. Architects and builders can advise on exact specifications and project scopes and should be consulted from project conception. There are many different types of loft conversion, with ‘roof light’ conversions being the cheapest as they require the least amount of structural work. Loft bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms or WCs add the most value to homes.

Adding on a Conservatory

Conservatories have risen in popularity hugely over the last twenty years and continue to attract buyers – particularly where they extend living spaces into a well-kept garden.
Conservatory options and specifications can be discussed with specialist companies and in most areas there will be several such firms looking to compete on quotes and work. In most cases, conservatory installation will be classified as ‘permitted development’ work and so no planning permission will be required. If the home already has a conservatory in place, a tiled roof being added to it can add value by improving its versatility for year-round use.
A garden room addition to a garden.

Maximise Green Space

In urban areas, gardens and green spaces may be at a premium – so if you’ve got it, flaunt it!
Adding a deck or patio to a garden alongside low maintenance plants and ensuring everything is well-kept and presented when potential buyers view the home to add kerb appeal makes a great impression. Adding in a summerhouse can also increase value and be sold as an additional living space; a real rarity in some cities.

Install a New Bathroom

Many new homeowners look to immediately replace a bathroom unless its brand new, so saving them the trouble by having one put in before they buy can add up to 5% of value.
That said, new bathrooms can be expensive and so the balance of investment against value increase should be well judged before any decisions are made. Seasonal sales from bathroom companies can be taken advantage of to cut costs, as well as the installation of exposed showers over concealed models (cheaper as there’s no need to hide pipework), and floor-mounted sanitaryware over wall-mounted (cheaper as there’s no need to move walls to conceal cisterns and brackets).

Make the Living Room Open Plan

If your living room is separated from the kitchen by a wall… knock it down!
Turning a living room open plan need not be a large or time-consuming job and can add up to 5% to the value of a home. If a wall is load-bearing or can’t be removed easily, a rear or side extension can also add value – but this can be a very time-consuming project and its added value may be negligible, so such renovations should be well considered if being completed strictly for home selling purposes.
Both buyers and sellers can be fickle on the property market, so while it is never advised that major renovations should happen just to increase home value, there is lots of scope for smaller attractive improvements. Be sure that anything you do suits your home and circumstances – after all, if you’re not able to sell right away, you’ll have to live with it. 

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