The Best Home Upgrades To Increase Your Property’s Value

Understanding how to maximise the value of your property is the key to climbing the all-elusive property ladder.

The formula is simple: Increased property value equals increased sale price potential, which is what all homeowners desire – a nice chunk of cash! So, let’s look at some of the top ways to increase your property value and, ultimately, the price tag you hope to attach. 

1. Create extra living space

When buying a home, most homeowners look for that little bit of extra room. This could be to create a workspace, den, children’s play area, or even an art studio. 

By increasing your property’s living or storage space, you can add a hefty 30% to the final sale price. However, this is only if the cost to increase the property size per square meter is less than the price per square meter. An excellent way to increase your property’s size is to convert the cellar. This space is usually a forgotten area of the home used to store goods that would perhaps be better recycled or thrown away. 

It’s also the easiest home improvement to make as it doesn’t require planning permission. Instead, a cellar conversion is considered a ‘change of use’ in terms of planning and therefore doesn’t attract the lengthy planning permission application process. However, should your property be a listed building, structural changes will need to be discussed with the local planning officer. 

2. Garage conversion

Most of us don’t use the garage for its intended purpose of housing the family car. Instead, it often becomes an additional storage area for unwanted goods. If you have an outside parking space or driveway, converting your garage into extra living space makes perfect financial sense. This type of property improvement can enhance its value by a whopping 15%.

Before converting your garage, you should check with the local authority if you require planning permission. In most cases, the answer to this will be no because this type of conversion is considered ‘permitted development’. However, garage conversions are still subject to specific building regulations to ensure the building and conversion are structurally sound. You can request the services of the local or an accredited independent inspector to ensure you remain on the right track while renovating. 

3. Loft conversion

Adding an extra bedroom to your property can boost its value by 15%. This is particularly true if the bedroom has an en suite bathroom. A registered builder can advise if a loft conversion is possible on your property. Types of conversion include the roof light and mansard conversions. The roof light conversion requires minimal structural work and is the cheaper option. 

In contrast, the more expensive mansard conversion involves replacing roof slopes and additional structural work. These types of conversion require planning permission, but in most cases, loft conversions are classed as ‘permitted development’. The local authority can advise of any regulations that need to be adhered to and if planning permission is required. 

4. Kitchen side-return extension

The side return extension is seen in terraced or semi-detached homes and is a narrow alley that runs next to the kitchen. Increasing the size of the kitchen in this fashion means you gain additional space and enhance the layout of your home. This small improvement can increase your property’s value by 15% and is classed as ‘permitted development’ if it is not more than 4m high or broader than half the width of the house. However, building regulations still play a significant role in this type of improvement, and works will need to be inspected by the local authority or an independent inspector. They will provide a completion certificate once the work is complete.

You can finance a home extension using a secured loan quite easily, most banks will likely approve a loan that increases the value of a property in your possession, as it’s deemed less of a risk. 

5. Separate the property into flats

This is a popular way to enhance your property’s value, especially in areas where residential housing is limited. By separating the property into independent units, you can maximise rental income potential and benefit from its sale in the long term. In addition, maximising your property’s functionality can increase its value by 30%.

6. Add a conservatory

Conservatories are an easy, cost-effective way to improve your living space with the least fuss. Adding a conservatory to your property will increase its value by 10% and is also classed as permitted development if certain conditions are met. For example, most conservatories don’t require planning permission. However, if the doors or walls linked to the conservatory need removing, you will need to provide proof that the conservatory is energy efficient and matches that of the main house. 

Other factors to consider are the style, preferred type of glazing (solar or self-cleaning) and frame material. Discuss your conservatory needs with an expert to ensure the conservatory you choose best suits your property. 

7. Install a new bathroom

A new bathroom can improve your property’s value by 3-5%. While this may seem an expensive option, most updates can be done slowly and on a budget. 

One way to reduce costs is to purchase a complete bathroom suite rather than individual pieces, as they can be costly. To keep costs down, buy floor-mounted bathroom fixtures as they are less expensive than their wall-hung counterparts that need brackets or cisterns concealed within the bathroom wall. 

New bathrooms don’t require planning permission unless you make structural changes to the building. Furthermore, changing the bathroom layout may involve relocating water and soil pipes, which can incur additional costs as this will need to be carried out by a professional. 

8. Upgrade your HVAC/Heating System

If your property’s boiler is old and breaking down regularly, it may put some buyers off. Not only is an old HVAC system and/or combi boiler extremely inefficient, but if it’s an old G-rated model, it could cost you substantially more in running costs. In fact, according to Heatable, by trading your old boiler in for a modern boiler, you could save around £340 and a whopping 1,500kg of carbon emissions a year.

9. Create an open-plan living space

Transforming your home can be as easy as knocking down a single wall. By removing the wall between the kitchen and living room, you can avoid costly extensions and create a large living area that can increase your property value by 3-5%.

Although this can be done as a DIY job in most cases, you need to assess if the wall you are knocking down is load-bearing. This means it is supporting the roof structure above it. If knocked down without professional help and guidance, it can result in significant damage. 

10. Improve your outdoor space

A deck, patio or summer house are great additions to outdoor areas. They also boost property value by at least 10% and often require no planning permission. However, if you are unsure, it’s best to check with the local authority. Transforming your outdoor area into a space for entertaining guests is beneficial to you in the short term. It also ensures that you reap the rewards when you eventually sell your property

11. Apply for planning permission

Applying and obtaining planning permission can increase your property value by 10%. Buyers looking to purchase and improve on the property have the guarantee that future extensions or improvements are possible.

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