Whether you’re looking to increase the value of your property or you want to get a slice of the booming short-term holiday letting market, there are a number of home improvements – both big and small – that can help you make the most of your property financially.
From cultivating kerb appeal to investing in eco-friendly updates, you’ll find all the advice you need below to add value to your home.
In the housing market first impressions do indeed count. The front of your house and its entranceway are your guest’s first encounter with your property and its style or personality, so if you’re looking to add value to your home, it’s therefore extremely important to get this right. Luckily, improving kerb appeal can be one of the cheapest and most effective means of boosting the value of your property and its buy or rent potential.
If your door is looking a little weather-beaten, give it a scrub, a fresh lick of paint and some new door furniture. Consider the position of your front door before choosing a colour to repaint it. If it is a south facing door go for a lighter coloured paint, as dark colours will retain the heat of the sun and crack.
When it comes to door furniture, make sure you give your letterbox, knocker, doorbell and house number a good polish. If they’re looking a little worse for wear, consider replacing them with updated versions. Make sure that the style of your door furniture is consistent with the style and period of the rest of your house.
Lastly, weed and sweep the pathway up to your front door and tend to your front garden. If your front garden is mostly slabs, invest in some potted plans to add a splash of green.
Although conversions can be expensive and time consuming, unconverted cellar space, attic space or garage space are huge sources of untapped value. These spaces offer the potential to add an extra bedroom, bathroom, study, play room or utility to an otherwise standard house, which is sure to add value to your home.
Transforming a cellar space into living or storage space can boost the value of a property by around 30% and is often one of the least complicated alterations in terms of planning permission, as it only qualifies as a ‘change of use’. If you don’t have a cellar, you could always consider digging one out. This costs roughly £300 per square ft. to do, so if you’re house is not worth £300 per square ft. or more, it’s not worth considering.
Converted garage spaces also have the potential to be good little earners, yet 90% of garages in the UK are wasted assets and don’t contain a car. Converting your garage into living space can add up to 10% to the value of your property without reducing outdoor space. What you can do with your garage depends on how big it is and whether it is attached or detached. If your garage is detached you will likely have to apply for planning permission.
If your property was built before 1975 and has maximum headroom of 2.3 metres, you could also consider a loft conversion. These conversions can be a little pricey, in the region of £20,000 – £45,000, depending on the size, but it could add an estimated 21% value to your home.
Remember, always speak to a professional before commencing any conversion projects and always check planning permission requirements for any alterations to your property. Bear in mind that if you are making structural changes to a listed building, you’ll need to talk to your local planning officer.
Adding a second or en-suite bathroom is another great way to improve the value of your home by an estimated 5%. You could combine this with a loft conversion or make use of unused garage space. Beware though – adding a bathroom but losing a double room can devalue your property, so be sure to weigh up the pros and cons before making any big decisions.
If adding another bathroom isn’t an option for your household, sprucing it up can be just as effective. Invest in new fixtures and fittings such as taps, a showerhead and towel railings. Buy a fresh shower screen or curtain and update any decorative ornaments, towels, and accessories.
If your bathroom is on the smaller side, install a mirror, as this will create the illusion of a bigger space. Ultimately, the most important thing about a bathroom is that it must look hygienic. This is easily achieved with a fresh lick of paint in a light, neutral colour and fresh sealing.
Making your property energy efficient will add value to your home, but it also comes with the obvious benefits of cheaper bills. In fact, The Energy Saving Trust asserts that laying DIY loft insulation can save the average home up to £145 per year. Nationwide building society also reported that installing cavity wall insulation will save around £210-£250 on your heating bills per year.
As well as reduced bills, an energy efficient home can add an estimated 6% of value to your property in the long run. Therefore, it might be worthwhile investing in slightly more expensive, energy efficient features. Solar water heaters start at around £1500 and can provide around 70% of your hot water for free.
If you’ve already committed to a loft conversion it is also worth committing to solar panel installation at the same time. This is because a significant proportion of loft conversion and solar installation costs are scaffolding fees, so combining the two is more cost-effective.
Add value to your home
Whilst small defects do not affect the overall value of a property, an accumulation of little issues will affect its sales and rental appeal. As such, dealing with the smaller issues can have a huge impact on the larger financial picture and being able to add value to your home.
Off-putting problems include peeling paint or wallpaper, mouldy sealants in bathrooms and kitchens, cracked plaster, window latches that don’t work, squeaking doors or windows and dripping taps. To raise your property to the highest possible standards, all of these smaller issues must be dealt with.
2018 is set to be the year of the Airbnb and online house sales, offering private homeowners easy and accessible means to make extra income and profit from their property. So whether your budget is big or small, it’s worth giving your home a little TLC so that it reaches its maximum profit potential.