Category: Residential, Sales

Date posted: May 23, 2022

Author: Michael Hardy

5 top home improvements to add value to your property Thumbnail

5 top home improvements to add value to your property

If you want to maximise the value of your property to take a step up the ladder or make improvements just for your benefit, there are several things you can do. Even if upgrades just pay for themselves rather than giving you a profit on the outlay, they could be worth doing to make the space you have more workable for you and your family, as well as appealing to potential buyers. Check out our top 5 recommendations of home improvements you could make to add value to your property.

1. Loft Conversions

This is a really popular way to add square footage, that can be managed without huge disruption (unlike a two-storey extension for example) and can increase the value of your home by up to 20%.

Although costs for such projects have been creeping up and will vary considerably according to the type and size of the extension, you could expect to pay anywhere between £35K – £80K.

In areas such as Wokingham, where average prices for a semi-detached house are now approximately £450K, and detached in excess of £750K, you could see a healthy return on your investment.

An architect or builder can advise on the suitability of your loft space and once you start planning, you’ll need to get to grips with the types of conversions available. Options range from a roof light conversion, which requires the least amount of structural work and is therefore the most cost-effective, to a more expensive mansard conversion. This is where one or both slopes of the roof are replaced with a new structure with steeper sides and an almost flat roof.

Mansard conversions generally need planning permission, but the majority of loft conversions are considered a permitted development. It is worth getting clarification from Wokingham Borough Council’s planning department if you are unsure.

Loft conversions can make an ideal solution if you need more bedrooms or an office space, but you will need to carefully plan for the loss of storage areas. Cupboards can be created in the eaves, and your garage/shed space maximised to get around this problem.  Read more about loft conversions.

2. Garage conversion

If your garage isn’t being used to house a car, creating an additional room from this space can be an excellent way to add value as long as you have adequate parking space outside.

If you could do with a playroom, home office, gym or utility area, converting your garage can give you a great return if done properly. The cost of this sort of project is generally far less than more major works (such as a loft extension) and can add 10-15% to your house price.

You will need to check if you need planning permission, but in many cases, the work will be classed as permitted development. Again, you find out more information on Wokingham Borough Council’s planning portal.

3. Conservatory or orangery

As with a garage conversion, if they are well-considered and built with quality in mind, they can be more than worthwhile. Similarly, they are considered a permitted development, adding up to 10% to your property’s value.

Conservatories have a more contemporary feel, containing a higher percentage of glass than orangeries and tend to be cheaper to construct. Prices start at around £10k for a uPVC construction and can increase to £30k plus for a timber framed building.

Orangeries comprise more brickwork and involve a more complex build process; generally incurring higher costs. This is especially true if there is a high degree of customisation, where a construction is aiming to mirror the style of an existing building. There is greater longevity with this more solid type of construction and better insulation means fewer issues with overheating in summer or heat loss in the winter months. Budget for a minimum of £30k for a small orangery, and potentially double for a large extension.

4. New kitchen

Kitchens are the heart of the home and can make or break a house sale. Replacing your tired old kitchen can add 5% or even up to 10% if a reconfiguration is involved.

They can make for a costly purchase but when you consider the value of properties in this area, unless you opt for an exceptionally expensive refit, you should recoup the cost and then some when it’s time to sell. The size of the kitchen and the type of materials you use (for example if you choose a natural stone worktop over a cheaper laminate) will determine the price. On average they range between £10k – £30K fully fitted, but could be more than this if they are highly customised or contain top-of-the-range brassware and electrical goods.

If you can’t stretch to a full replacement, there are plenty of tweaks you can make on a budget. Spray-painting dated units, replacing door handles and changing the worktops can have a huge impact and won’t break the bank.

5. New bathroom

A new bathroom could add 3-5% to the overall value of your home, and there are simple ways to minimise costs and maximise returns.

By undertaking a ‘rip and replace’ job and keeping the existing layout, plumbing costs will be minimal. Floor-mounted sanitaryware is generally cheaper than wall-hung pieces and you can save even more money by choosing a bathroom suite rather than purchasing individual items.

Consider how much tiling you really need as this is where cost can quickly rack up. Floor-to-ceiling tiles on each wall are not usually necessary – you can often get away with doing just the shower enclosure and splash back.

Expect to pay between £5k – £10K depending on the specification.

Whether you have just completed a building project or would simply like an estimate of how much your property is currently worth, Michael Hardy would be happy to give you a no-obligation valuation. Contact our Wokingham office on 0118 9776 776 or Crowthorne on 01344 779 999.