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How to add value to your home: Improvements for a greater return on investment
by
Checkatrade

The housing market is a competitive place, which is why knowing how to add value to your home is essential for capitalising on your investment. Whether you’re looking to sell your property or are likely to in the future, understanding what buyers value and what pushes your house price up will keep you ahead of the curve.

In this how-to guide, we’re going to focus on both the external and internal improvements you can make to your home to increase its value.

Note: More extreme makeovers will require planning permission, so be sure to check with your local authority before undertaking any major works.

Planning your house improvements

There are various factors to consider before you hire a professional to help improve your property value.

Do your research

how to add value to your homeReach out to your local estate agents and ask for advice on what attributes are selling and what current buyers are less interested in. This will give you a good idea on what to focus on and improve first (or at all!).

Be realistic

Not all home improvements will give you the returns you’re hoping for. By planning your renovations carefully and staying open-minded, you’ll avoid disappointment further down the line. The property market is competitive, with several factors that determine whether your house sells or not, so remember that there are no guarantees.

Hire the professionals

To ensure the best possible outcome, we advise turning to the professionals to help you make sound and lasting improvements. It also gives any potential buyer peace of mind. Having works completed to a high standard helps increase the value of your home. Whereas poor workmanship can decrease what buyers are likely to pay.

External ways to add value to your home

We’ve put together a list – from cheapest to most expensive – of popular external home improvements. Use our guide to help budget for and prioritise your improvements.

Option one: Improve your kerb appeal

When it comes to selling your house, first impressions are everything. Consider revamping your property’s exterior by repairing any broken features and staying on top of maintenance.

Kerb appeal for increasing house valueThis can include:

Potential added value: Up to 10% of the value of your property (if all these aspects are in good shape)

Option two: Garden landscaping

Although the UK isn’t known for its sunshine days, gardens are still a big deal – even more so with the recent pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures forcing everyone indoors. Decking is a particular favourite in wet and wintery conditions, which keeps feet and paws off the muddy grass. However, most buyers are drawn to attractive gardens, so consider investing in some landscaping to make your home more attractive.

Average cost of decking (24m2): £1,400
Potential added value: An increased property price of up to 10% – especially in cities like London.

Check out our garden landscaping cost guide for more comprehensive information.

Option three: Install double glazing

Double glazing installationDouble or triple glazing is fast becoming a non-negotiable for homebuyers. Not only does it save on bills and increase the value of your property, but it also helps with noise reduction – an attractive feature in densely populated areas.

Average cost of double glazing for eight windows and two uPVC doors: £4,500
Potential added value: Increased property value of up to 10%.

Check out our double glazing cost guide for more comprehensive information.

Option four: Install solar panels

Eco-friendly house designs are currently booming (you can thank Greta Thunberg later). Stay ahead of the curve by installing solar panels and other green home improvements to increase your property value. If you’re quick, the government are happy to help out with the cost of thermal solar panels using their green grant scheme.

Average cost to install solar panels: Between £3,000 and £5,000 for three water or electric solar panels.
Potential added value: Between 14% and 38% of the value of your property depending on what part of the UK you live in.

Check out our green home ideas for more eco-friendly inspiration.

Option five: Add an extension

Extensions come in an array of design options, such as loft or basement conversions, garage or kitchen extensions, and single or double-storeys. They’re an attractive improvement to any home due to the added space they provide and the potential for an extra room – all of which increases your property value considerably.

Average cost of a basic extension (20m2): £37,500
Potential added value: Up to 23% of the value of your property.

Check out our house extension cost guide for more comprehensive information.

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Internal ways to add value to your home

We’ve put together a list – from cheapest to most expensive – of popular internal home improvements. Use our guide to help budget for and prioritise your improvements.

Option one: Commit to restorations and repairs

how to add value to your home by redecoratingThere are always repairs we put off or never get around to, such as that sticky kitchen drawer, creaky stair, wobbly handrail, chipped floor, broken skirting board, shelf or light fixture. And making an effort to address those niggly issues will increase your property’s selling potential, whilst also making your home nicer to live for you too.

Another thing worth considering is restoring any original features, which increase the interest in your property exponentially. Be sure to keep your restoration within the style, era and proportion of your home, and research its history to guarantee an authentic finish and lasting result.

Potential added value for repairs: Between 3% and 5% of your home’s value depending on the extent of repairs required.
Potential added value for period feature restoration: Up to 30% of your property’s value for features over 100-years old.

Check out our painter and decorator prices for more information on the cost of restoring your home.

Option two: Update internal doors

Upgrading your internal doors and keeping them in line with any renovation and modern aesthetic dramatically changes the look and feel of your home. This is why they’re a key consideration when making improvements and increasing your home’s appeal.

Average cost per door: £50
Potential added value: Between 3% and 5% of your home’s value depending on the type of door and final aesthetic.

Check out our internal door cost guide for more comprehensive information.

Option three: Renovate and redecorate

Repaint for added house valueAs available square footage decreases, open-plan rooms are increasing in popularity. So are trends such as Japandi, Scandi, cottage-gore and minimalist. Think about redecorating your house with ‘bright’ and ‘light’ in mind. Even if it isn’t to a potential house buyers taste, the rooms will look bigger and give them a chance to visualise any changes they want to make. There are also several key features that interest house hunters, which is why we recommend you consider the following.

Potential added value: Between 3% and 5% of your home’s value depending on your buyer’s preferences.

Check out our bay window cost guide and log burner fireplace ideas for more information.

Option four: Install a wet room

As long as it’s properly installed, wet rooms offer a wow factor that helps your house sell. The effect is similar to adding an extra bathroom; however wet rooms are increasing in popularity due to their stylish and spacious designs. Consider installing one to give your home an extra boost.

Average cost of a wet room: £8,000
Potential added value:
Up to 5% of your home’s value.

Check out our wet room cost guide for more comprehensive information.

Option five: Extend your bedroom and install an en-suite

Extension on house for added valueEnsuites are attractive features due to their ease of access and privacy. Families are less keen on sharing these days, which is why extending your bathroom and installing an ensuite can dramatically increase your house value. Two bathrooms are definitely better than one.

Average cost for extension and ensuite: £48,000
Average cost for ensuite only: £5,000

Potential added value for extension and ensuite: Up to 30% of the value of your property.
Potential added value for ensuite only: Up to 5% of your home’s value depending on the type of ensuite installed.

Check out our house extension cost guide for more comprehensive information.

Summary of steps

  • Identify the main issues in your house (consider hiring a surveyor if you’re not sure).
  • Work out your budget and plan accordingly.
  • Fix foundational and structural issues first.
  • Fix any cosmetic issues last.
  • Hire a professional to carry out more complex works.

Like what you see? There’s plenty more where this came from. Discover more ideas, inspiration, tips and how-tos via Checkatrade’s blog.

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