If you’re looking to make your home more valuable, you’re probably wondering where to start. We’ve put together a handy guide to see you through increasing the value in your property.
If you require finance to do the improvements, from a remortgage, equity release or secured loan, speak to an advisor.
Type of building:
First of all, you’ll need to check what type of property you own. If your property is a listed building you might need special permissions to make alterations. A listed building usually has national significance, historical interest or importance and has legal protection within the planning system. There are 3 grades, and any listed building will appear on the National Heritage List for England.
In order of importance, Grade 1 is for buildings of high significance, Grade 2 comes second and then Grade 3. Most listed buildings are Grade 2, and make up 92% of listed buildings. If you live in a listed building and want to make renovations that needs listed building consent, it’s vital you obtain this before carrying out any work.
There will be a price ceiling of properties in your area, which is the maximum price a property has sold for. This will give you a good idea how much you need to raise and invest in your property, but it’s important to remember the housing market can fluctuate so your property’s value could go up, or down. Adding substantial value to your home through renovations can make sure your home has selling appeal, and when done properly there’s always a possibility of breaking the price ceiling in your area.
How do I afford home improvements?
There are several ways you can raise the money needed to fund home improvements. Homeowners tend to have a wider range of loans available, especially if you’ve built up equity in your home.
Our expert brokers could help you find a secured loan (also known as a homeowner loan) or remortgage that could let you access cash tied up in your home, allowing you to fund your home improvements and raise the value of your property.
We’ll work with you, taking your current financial situation into account and presenting you with the options you have to make your vision reality.
Structural issues & problems:
Before you look to decorate, it’s important to check your property for structural issues and problems. These could be things such as
- Cracks in the walls
- Rotten timbers
- Leaky roof, missing tiles
- Sagging roof
- Woodworm or other insect infestations
- Leaning walls
If your home has any structural issues, defects or problems it’s advised to get these repaired. Not doing so could depreciate the value of your home and make it difficult to sell. This should be the first port-of-call when looking to renovate your home.
Adding an extension is a popular and effective way of adding value to your property, adding up to 23% to the value of your home. In London especially, adding a 50 square foot extension could add £25,000 to the value of your property. (Source)
This can be a costly endeavour so make sure you weigh up sum it will take to build and the return of your investment.
Loft conversion: 15-30%
A loft conversion could see your home’s value increase by 15-30% making this one of the most cost effective renovations you can do.
Whereas this can be pricey, by converting your loft into a bedroom or liveable space, you can add an extra room onto your home and see a substantial return on your investment.
The kitchen is central for many families, and making sure the kitchen is a clean, inviting space can add real value to your home. On average, a new kitchen can add up to 6% to the value of your home.
- Paint in clean, neutral colours
- Replace old worktops
- Look at investing in energy efficient appliances, many modern families are looking to be more eco-friendly when buying a home
- Replace old floor tiles or sand and re-varnish dull wooden flooring
One of the most popular renovations for increasing value in the modern market is creating an open plan living space, combining the kitchen and living rooms. This ties in with families finding the kitchen is the heart and hub of the home, so it’s important to bear this in mind when planning your renovation.
Making sure the room has clear zones for cooking, eating, spending time as a family and relaxing can help you decide how you want to lay out your open plan living space, looking at lighting and furniture placement to ensure the zones ‘flow’ to one another. There are countless combinations and open plan spaces can give you the opportunity to be creative with the space, making it a unique selling point and attracting families looking to buy a home.
It’s important to make sure you consult a structural professional before removing any walls, in some cases the walls are load bearing and you’ll need to install supportive steels if you want to open the space.
Plumbing & your bathroom:
If your home hasn’t had it’s plumbing upgraded in a while, looking to this can help increase the value and sale price.
- Replace old toilets, baths and sinks. Renovating your bathroom can also add value.
- Check and replace leaky or rattling pipes – consider modernised pipes if they haven’t been replaced in a long time
- Make sure the drains are maintained, cleaned or replaced as needed.
- Home water filter systems can be a great selling point, especially in hard water areas
Garage: up to 5%
Building a garage or driveway could add up to 5% to your homes value, so if you have the space it’s definitely worth considering.
Off-street parking is often considered a desirable selling point, although it’s important to ensure any construction adheres to local regulations, including highway regulations if you install a drop kerb.
You’ll want to impress potential buyers from the moment they set eyes on your home, so making sure the exterior is attractive and tidy is vital if you’re trying to sell your home.
- Repair damaged brickwork
- Repaint doors and windows, repairing or replacing as needed
- Adding/replacing house number
- Clean decking, patio or porch – first impressions count
Be sure to keep in line with permitted development guidelines, or obtain planning permissions if needed.
Walls: check the walls for cracks or peeling paint. Fixing cracks and adding fresh coat of paint can brighten the space and make it far more appealing, neutral colours are often preferred when looking to showcase a home to potential buyers.
Doors: Make sure the doors are clean, and squeak-free. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders here too, making sure you protect the handles etc. Check the handles, latches and locks all work.
Skirting boards: Giving them a quick wipe down, or fresh coat of paint will help your property look clean and tidy.
Flooring: Keep the carpets clean, replacing worn ones as needed. You can hire kits to do this at home, or hire professional cleaners depending on your budget. Wooden floors can be easily revitalised by sanding them down and coating with a varnish.
Lightbulbs: Double check they all work before a viewing. Energy-saving lightbulbs can be a good selling point for your home, especially if you’ve worked to improve the energy efficiency rating.
Electrics & wiring:
Making sure the electrics are up to date and safe can save hassle down the line if you’re looking to sell. Updating the electrics, upgrading the fuse box and making sure sockets are safe can help assure buyers and ensure you pass safety checks.
A well-kept, tidy garden space can add value to your home, and make your property more attractive to potential buyers.
- Mow the lawn(s), feed if needed.
- Keep overgrown shrubs, hedges and trees in shape
- Add flowers and planters for appeal
- Make sure garden is free of weeds
- Clean any patio space
- Freshen up and repaint any decking
- Private gardens are often appealing to prospective buyers, You can raise boundary fences and walls up to 2m without needing planning permission (0.6m on the highway) (source)
Central heating & your boiler:
Adding or upgrading a central heating system is a sure-fire way to add value to your home. Installing a new boiler and upgrading the radiators can have a huge impact – adding a condensing A rated boiler could reduce the running costs and can come with warranty of up to 10 years. If done hand-in-hand with improving the energy efficiency in your property, you could make a fair profit.
To improve the energy efficiency, make sure you:
- Replace and seal old windows, making sure they are double glazed. This has the added bonus of reducing noise, especially on main roads. Most houses are expected to have double glazing, unless there’s a listing reason that prevents it so it’s important to bear in mind.
- Loft insulation – you should install loft insulation that’s at least 270mm thick
- Wall insulation – insulating your walls can improve your EPC rating and you can sometimes qualify for help with the costs
- Having a wood burning stove, over something like an open fireplace as a secondary heating system
- Making sure appliances are energy efficient, such as fridges and washing machines
- Changing the lightbulbs to LEDs or energy efficient bulbs