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  • How to increase the property value of your home before selling or renting

    The best ways to increase the value of your home to sell or rent

    Looking for the best ways to add value to your home before you sell or rent? Of course you are – we all do it. The difficulty is knowing which home improvements to choose. Should you convert, extend or update and if so, where? The wrong choice could make no difference or even, with the wrong execution, decrease the value of your home.

    This guide includes all of the information that you need to compare which home improvements add the most value to your home and how you can ensure that they provide a sufficient Return On Investment (ROI). The following essential information that will help you to decide which renovations you should pursue before you sell or rent.

    To make this list even more useful, I have detailed which home improvements it is best to employ builders or other professionals to complete and those that you can carry out yourself. A crucial consideration if you want to add, rather than deplete the value of your house or flat.

    The best ways to quickly increase the value of your home:

    Kitchen Extension

    A stunning new kitchen extension is at the top of the list when thinking how to update your home before putting it on the market. There is no doubt that a kitchen extension done well will leave a lasting impression on potential buyers. How do the results stack up in terms of return on investment? Let's take a look:

    Ways to add value:

    • Light & space: Firstly, when planning your kitchen extension you will need to ensure that any design is created to maximise light and space. A new kitchen extension may result in the loss of some existing windows, so you ought to consider how you will utilise features such as lighting and glass to compensate for any loss of natural light.
    • Extension type: In addition, the type of kitchen extension that you choose will affect how much value it can add to your home. For example, if you decide to opt for a single-storey side return extension you will be able to make savings by avoiding planning permission fees, versus a larger extension which would incur these planning fees.

    A single-storey side return extension runs along the side and front of the kitchen, making good use of awkward alley space. Most single-storey side return extensions in houses are classed as permitted developments.

    Permitted developments for houses are given automatic planning permission according to a Parliament ruling, which means that you can skip the lengthy and costly planning permission process. There would still be regular inspections during the various stages to monitor the work and that building regulations are followed.

    Unfortunately, this ruling only applies to houses. It does not include flats or some protected properties, such as those in certain conservation areas. Contact your local council to check that this ruling will apply to your extension.

    If you decide not to get an extension, installing a new kitchen with a convenient range of kitchen units is another option.

    Likely value added: 15%

    Builders or DIY?
    A spectacular new kitchen can make your home memorable to potential buyers. With an experienced builder and expert designer on board, you can gain an extension that really boosts the value of your home.

    Bathroom update

    Bathrooms are a sanctuary for many of us and one of the top ways that people choose to boost the value of their home. With the opportunity to splash out on the gorgeous, luxe bathroom fittings that we all lust after so often, it is easy to assume that bathroom improvements add value – but do they really?

    Ways to add value:

    • Practice restraint: It is easy to forget that you are not actually planning to stick around long enough to truly reap the benefits of the new bathroom itself, so without scrimping on quality or aesthetic, don't blow the budget.
      Contemporary bathroom fittings and finishes become more sumptuous and wide-ranging with each new year. It is easy to spend so much on a new bathroom that you end up with a net profit of 0. How to best avoid this? Renovate for purpose rather than aesthetic alone.
      Make changes that maximise space and facilities. Choose more affordable contemporary fittings, exposed showers, cheaper bathroom suites and floor-mounted toilets and basins.
    • Avoid interfering with pipework in the walls: Don't be tempted to move toilets, basins or baths around or to select more unusual fixtures, such as floating sinks. It is easy to forget that bathrooms are full of all sorts of intricate pipework.
      Moving amenities around means interfering with pipes, whilst more unusual designs such as floating sinks, need to be attached to the bathroom wall. Work that interferes with bathroom pipework may be more complex than you imagined and involve building regulations and planning permission, with a strong likelihood to increase the cost.

    Likely value added: 3-5%

    Builders or DIY?
    With the amount of plumbing involved, it is best to leave your bathroom update to an expert builder so that you can ensure that the work remains straightforward and is properly executed.

    Loft conversion

    Loft conversions have become one of the most popular ways to update your home in the UK. Transforming unused loft or attic space into a sparkling new bedroom seems like a great idea, but how much impact can a loft conversion have on the valuation of your home?

    Ways to add value:

    • Ensuite: Nothing holds more appeal than the promise of a loft conversion with an ensuite bedroom. The benefits of both an extra bedroom and bathroom, can make an ensuite bedroom the best choice if you want to enhance the value of your home.
    • Reduce structural requirements: The structural work involved in loft conversions are where the biggest costs lie. If it is possible to select a type of loft conversion that does not require too much structural intrusion, such as a roof light or mansard conversion, you can reduce costs.
      Keep an eye on spends on waterproofing and site access because they can also be costly elements of the work.
      Again, many loft conversions are classed as permitted developments so you may be able to avoid the red tape involved in seeking planning permission. Contact your local council for specific information about your property.

    Likely value added: 15%

    Builders or DIY?
    Clearly this is a task for an experienced builder and a creative architect. Keep light and space a priority, whilst exploring whether that all-important ensuite can be included in the design.

    Painting the exterior of your home

    First impressions count. Arriving at a house or flat that looks particularly appealing is bound to aid the rest of the viewing. Before getting a valuation for your home, you might assume that sprucing up the exterior will make the outcome of the valuation more favourable, but how much will it really help?

    Ways to add value:

    • Be selective: Reduce costs and time by assessing which parts of the exterior need to be painted. Painting the whole house will be an expensive task that will reduce the potential ROI.
      Look out for peeling or faded paint, cracked finishes and damaged trims. Improving tired-looking areas will make a real difference to the overall appearance of your house or flat.

    Likely value added: 2-5%

    Builders or DIY?
    It is possible to carry out the work yourself if you know that you can pull off a high-quality finish. Although, it is a good idea to cost the potential spend on equipment first.
    You will need to consider how you will access each area as well as the various stages involved in executing a beautiful finish. Remember to include the preparation of each surface, so that it is free from debris before paint is applied. In the end, you may find that it is more effective to hire in professional painters.

    Garden clean up

    Unless you are selling your home in the summer, it is easy to forget about the condition of your garden. Front and back gardens do have a huge impact on potential buyers. They can also be a great place to add a unique touch to your home. Just how much could a garden tidy up affect your property valuation?

    Ways to add value:

    • Multi-purpose space: Gardens that create additional living space reap the best rewards. Aim to create an extra area for dining or a bolt hole to escape from it all. Decking, patios, summerhouses, custom sheds for relaxation or home working are all sought-after garden features. Set the scene for the valuation to show how the area can be used.
    • Front garden area: Depending on the season, you may not have ventured into your back garden for months and your front garden is probably little more than an after-thought. Yet as the first thing that visitors see first, your entire front garden area will need your attention during the garden tidy up.
      Attention to detail makes all the difference, so as well as getting the front garden in good shape, spruce up the gate, hide unsightly bins and clear up the pathway.
    • Back garden clean up: A freshly trimmed lawn bordered by colourful fragrant flowers and a sprinkling of pretty garden accessories is still a big pull. Enhance the space with garden lights and mirrors. Cover any empty areas with natural materials such as stone or bark to create a feature.

    Likely value added: up to 10%

    Builders or DIY?
    If you have the time, then this may be a clean up that you enjoy. If gardening is not your idea of heaven, then it could prove a good investment to hire in a recommended gardener to nurture your garden back to life.

    Garage conversion

    Garages have come a long way. Turning a mundane garage into a spectacular new bedroom, relaxation area or additional living space is surely a guaranteed way to boost the value of your home – you would think.

    Ways to add value:

    • General appeal: Keep things strictly practical. The temptation to build an extension that is perfect for the unique needs of your family could reduce its wider appeal. Instead of a bold statement, opt for doing all of the basics well.
      Create a multi-purpose living space that has universal appeal. Ensure that walls, ceilings and floors are well-insulated. Design a well-insulated and secure option for the garage door area to transform the room from a garage into extra living space.
      In most cases, your garage conversion won't alter the structure of your home so it is likely to be classed as a permitted development. Contact your local planning department for specific details about any potential works on your home.
    • Light and space: Your new living area will need to be a bright and airy living space, so ensure that the design makes good use of light and space.

    Likely value added: 15%

    Builders or DIY?
    A garage conversion, is of course one for the builders.

    Create more space

    The most sought-after homes use space well. It is possible to make your home airier to create more space and light without adding to your home.

    Ways to add value:

    • Maximise decor: Light, neutral paint and flooring, minimalist, streamlined decor and well-placed mirrors on the walls can make a room appear bigger and brighter. Make use of vertical storage space and opt for furniture that can be used for more than one purpose, particularly storage space that has other uses such as beds with room underneath for your belongings.
    • Open-plan living space: An open-plan living space can transform your home and it may be easier than it sounds. Knocking through the living room wall to the kitchen is a popular way to create more room. If the joining wall is not a load bearing wall then the job will be pretty straightforward. Get a quote from a few experienced builders to find out if this is a good option for your home.

    Likely value added: 3-5%

    Builders or DIY?
    Whilst alterations to your decor can be carried out on your own, you may even be able to create an open-plan living space yourself, depending on the scale of the changes. Contact some experienced local builders for advice about the type of work that you want.

    New flooring

    Installing new flooring can be a clever way to add value to your house or flat without making too drastic a change. Which type of flooring should you choose if you want to add value to your home?

    Ways to add value:

    • Wooden flooring: Whether original hardwood or high-quality laminate flooring, durable and aspirational wooden flooring is the way to go if you want a good ROI.
      Choose lighter rather than dark finishes to enhance the sense of space. Waterproof laminate flooring with a varied grain, interspersed with knots and v-groove attachment systems will provide the quality that you need and are easy to maintain.
    • Prioritise rooms: Hardwood floors have an even greater universal appeal but you don't have to use them throughout your home. You may choose to use neutral, light coloured carpet in bedrooms and hardwood flooring in living spaces and hallways.
      Design flooring so that it flows from one room to another, rather than using a mixture of disjointed flooring. For example, a hardwood hallway should flow seamlessly into a living space with the same flooring.

    Likely value added: 3-5%

    Builders or DIY?
    Flooring that adds value requires a precise and clean finish that takes time. You may decide to get an experienced flooring specialist to lay your flooring so that is has the polished appearance that can complete the new aesthetic.

    Paint the interior

    Painting the interior of your home is an easy and affordable way to enhance the value of your house or flat, that can help every room to look its best. What should you look out for?

    Ways to add value:

    • Colours: Painting the walls in neutral, light colours can make a huge difference to the appeal of your home. Warmer tones of creams, greys and golds will help to create the illusion of space and have the universal appeal that you desire to sell your home quickly.
      Remember to use the correct type of paint for each surface and finish that you require. Test a sample on the wall before you commit and leave enough time to prepare the surface properly before you begin painting to obtain a quality finish.
      Paint trims and walls in the same colour to aid the sense of space. Use accessories and furnishings to add pops of colour and different textures to add warmth.
    • Specific areas: If you need to keep the update to a minimum, prioritise hallways, bathrooms and kitchens, whilst remembering to paint ceilings as well as walls.

    Likely value added: 3-5%

    Builders or DIY?
    This is a straightforward job that you can carry out yourself. Take a little extra time to select better quality equipment and paint to ensure a top-quality finish.

    Side extension

    A side return extension can convert your downstairs living area into a spectacular space without too much upheaval. Extending out to the side and across the back of the ground floor is one of the most popular types of home extensions in the UK.

    A side return extension adds valuable extra living space that can be used in a range of ways. Most side return extensions are considered permitted developments so you may be able to skip the planning permission process, however site inspections would still be required. Contact your local council to find out about permissions for your home.

    Ways to add value:

    • Conservatory: Creating a conservatory is a great way to add extra living space that is bright, light and multi-purpose. Choose a design with an indoor-outdoor feel created with plenty of glass with minimal framing, roof lights and glazed doors that can be pulled back.
    • Designed with light in mind: The key component of a successful side return is light. Use height, lighting, ceiling levels, glazing and roof lights to maximise light and ensure that enough daylight can flow through to the lower ground floor to prevent dark spaces.
      Roof lights, pendant lighting, minimal framing, sliding doors, light decor and wood finishes are particularly effective ways to boost the level of light. Costs can be reduced by opting for roof windows that specifically won't open. While if flooring is light and consistent, this can give the room a brighter and neater look.
    • Living space: Utilise decor as you dress the room, to show how the newly extended areas provide more living space. For example, placing a dining table in the extended area at the front and children's storage in the space at the side means that you now have a large kitchen, as well as a dining area and children's playroom.

    Likely value added: 10 – 15%

    Builders or DIY?
    Obtaining a side return extension that is well-designed is harder than it looks. Get a reputable and experienced architect to draw up a plan for a layout that makes the best use of the light throughout. By choosing features and decor that boost the light and space you can be sure that your side return extension will reap a good return.


    Generally, the best home improvements that will add the most value to your home, will create more living space in your home. Kitchen extensions, side return extensions and loft or garage conversions are brilliant ways to make better use of unused space, whilst gaining space or even additional rooms.

    If you are looking for a more affordable option instead, a garden clean up, new flooring and paint could make a big difference. Finishes, light and space are important qualities to keep in the back of your mind. Whilst a neutral colour palette will guarantee that your updates appeal to all.

    Last updated by MyJobQuote on 19th August 2019.

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