Value for money home improvements
It’s not an unreasonable question to ask if you are about to do some home remodelling. Understanding which home improvements add value can help you to decide where to invest your time & money first to get the best return.
If we look at the subject in terms of “big” & “small” projects what are the top contenders for the title?
The #1 home improvement according to most experts is to increase the size of your home – adding an extension of any type should increase the value by much more than the cost of the work.
However, not all parts of the UK enjoy the same financial rewards. For example, its reported by some builders that a £35,000 spend on a new bedroom in London could be worth an extra £150k on your property value, but in Scotland that could be just over £45k.
So be aware of the local property pricing factors beforehand – check with a local real estate agent who can give you an idea of the likely added value.
Nationwide Building Society have said in the past, that a 10% increase in floor space can add around 5% to the price of a house. Whilst a new double bedroom (on a 2 bed house) can push that up to possibly 11%.
Loft & Basement conversions are also “big ticket” items, with a new basement room being reported as the highest cost per cubic foot of space to build – and one that can take a lot of time to complete – related article here.
A good loft conversion could add around 5 to 10% to a property value.
Conservatories still remain a very popular option for many as they can often be built without planning permission if the meet certain guidelines. Orangeries & Garden rooms, can be a good option too.
There is a wide range of opinions about how much monetary value a conservatory can add, with figures ranging from a straight forward 10% increase to the overall property value to getting a 100% return on the cost of the room itself.
In other words, an average cost of £5,000 spent on the conservatory will add £10,000 to the value of the house, so your profit is £5,000 or 100% of your initial investment.
Kitchens & Bathrooms are places where families spend a lot of time, so having a splendid kitchen or attractive modern bathroom will attract buyers and add value.
HSBC has said in the past that kitchens & bathrooms come in at around adding 4% to 7% to a property’s price.
However, you might not want to fit an expensive bespoke designer kitchen or bathroom if you are selling the house soon afterwards. On the other hand, you may not want to put a budget kitchen in a mansion because that would detract value.
Double Glazed Windows are a tricky subject, they definitely add value, because if you don’t have good glazing then a buyer could try to negotiate a lower price for your home as a result. But to pinpoint an actual %age is difficult, but they do make the home more energy efficient and comfortable to live in.
There are loads of other things that you can do which don’t cost as much as the bit items and when added together can make a significant difference in the overall value of your home.
- The Garden – a tidy front & back garden attracts buyers
- Broken roof tiles – fix or replace them.
- Exterior paint – does it need a makeover?
- How about your front door?
- Central Heating – do you need to repair or renew.
- New carpets – makes a big difference.
- Interior decoration – remove that terrible old Artex ceiling! Paint & Wallpaper?
- Patio Windows to the rear of your home make a great addition.
- Landscape the back garden, add a patio or decking.
These home improvements are difficult to value in the same way as an extension, but they could make the difference in getting the asking price you want for your home, especially if you can prove that they help reduce energy bills and therefore do have an intrinsic financial benefit.
- Solar panels – the feed in tariff income goes to the owner
- Solar Thermal Panels – for hot water supply
- Heat Pumps – another way of reducing home energy bills
- Biomass Boilers
- Thermodynamic Panels – hot water 24/7 365 days per year
If you are doing the improvements for your own benefit, then I suppose the financial return is less important than the improvement in the quality of lifestyle that it brings. But if you are money minded then take care to avoid “overdoing it” and take into account your local property prices and the market where you live.