Best ways to add value to your home in the UK

Home $ A guide on home improvement in the UK $ Best ways to add value to your home in the UK

Adding value to a home can be hard work and it is understandable to want to work out exactly how much the plan you have for your property will actually increase the value of a property.

So, in this article, we will be going over all of the ways in which you can add value to a property as part of home improvement and how to make sure you can turn a profit when you come to valuation or sale.

In the same way, finding out what type of improvements do not add value can also be beneficial so you don’t do any unnecessary mistakes.

How to increase the value of your home by renovation

Renovation remains an effective way to make sure you’re able to add sufficient value to a property. From adding in a cellar to a house to renovating a garage, there are a multitude of ways to make this work.

In fact, most people will buy a house with the intention of wanting to renovate it in the future. This is key in ensuring the property you will pay off in a mortgage is able to go up in value over the years.

Convert the cellar of a property

Cellars could be unused areas of a property if you don’t use it to store anything in particular. As a result, houses with a cellar can usually be converted into an area that adds value to a property such as a bedroom.

If the cellar is too small for a bedroom, other features of property that take up space may then be able to be added to the cellar to free up space elsewhere. For instance, a boiler or the storage from a bedroom could be transferred here.

Add value to your property with a cellar

Rent individual rooms

Being able to rent the rooms of a property individually rather than all in one is a great way to add value to the property. Not only will you be increasing the rental income of the property but you’d also be able to increase what a property can sell for.

This is because it requires additional work a lot of the time to make sure a property is lettable by renting out to multiple rooms as you have to add in additional features and sort out tenancy agreements that are different.

Add rooms into the garage

Rooms can be added into a property wherever there is space and it makes sense to do so. For a lot of people, a garage is a sensible pace to do so. By getting rid of the features of a garage, you can still make the bedroom habitable.

If you do this with the aim to add value, it is important to ensure all the correct features of a bedroom are added in such as making sure the property is well insulated for being in a bedroom and things like natural lighting is taken care of.

If you’re a landlord looking to add a room to a garage, you could quite easily add in an additional bedroom on the ground floor and turn a property into a HMO which can significantly increase a rental yield.

Add space to the kitchen

Kitchens are usually situated towards the back of a house where the garden is or any outdoor space. As a result, it is likely you’re able to obtain planning permission to extend the property if an owner of a property in the past hasn’t already.

This can come in the form of a simple extension or a conservatory or perhaps a specially crafted outdoor living space you can get an idea of in our article.

Add a bedroom in the loft

A loft conversion is perfect for adding in a bedroom that is a bigger room with a fair bit of natural light. This is because you’re able to add a skylight to a  loft and can even get creative with having things like a balcony too.

Install a conservatory

Conservatories are known for adding large amounts of natural light to a building because they have a lot of glass and are able to attract large amounts of sunlight that enhances the quality of a space.

As a result, they are popular among those who want to be able to experience the view of the outside and get some sun but don’t want to physically step outside and expose themself to the elements.

Conservatories are also great ways to have an outdoor space that can remain somewhat detached to the kitchen or living room area of a property. Perfect for housing pets and activities that may cause a mess.

Renovate the garden

Garden renovations are useful for those who want to be able to sell their property to someone who appreciated their outdoor space. If you want to go above and beyond in a garden renovation, consider adding an outhouse or shed.

Otherwise, taking care of the landscaping to make sure there are no dangerous areas of a garden and potentially cutting down trees that do not add to the quality of the outdoor space is useful.

add value by renovating the garden

Knock down walls downstairs

Knocking down walls can be a great way to create an open plan area of a house. Open plan houses add value because they make the space appear to have more space.

It is also more of a popular choice among modern buyers who want to experience a space where there is a smooth transition between the kitchen, living and lounging areas of a house.

Unconventional ways to increase the value of a property

Increasing the value of a property through renovation remains one of the most straightforward and common sense ways to add value. 

However, there are a handful of other methods that work well without having to add in new wallpaper to a wall or knock down walls too.

Gain approval for planning permission

Planning permission is something that is hard to arrange and many people will choose to not want to deal with it. Even if they may want to renovate a property in the future.

Not only does planning permission cost money to submit an application, but there is a fair bit of time you have to invest in order to liaise with architects, developers and surveyors in order to gain the right approval.

Only once this process has gone back and forth between all parties and the council a few times is planning permission usually granted. As a result, it is valuable to sell a property with planning permission approved.

For instance, someone looking to sell a property could apply for planning permission that is valid for three years and then sell a property alongside this planning permission to someone who will be able to straight away start adding value to the property as the planning is approved.

Install a new boiler

Boilers are often forgotten about but are vital pieces of equipment in order to rent out or live in a property. As a result, a new boiler or a boiler with insurance for a number of years, perhaps with landlord boiler insurance is highly valuable.

You can very well put off the price of a property if the boiler is brand new and you can communicate that there are unlikely to be any issues with the boiler for a while to come.

Add a new roof to the property

Roofs are an inconvenience to repair and add new. What’s more is even though they don’t directly add a lot of aesthetic appeal to a property, they are crucial to ensure a property is able to stay lettable.

For instance, a house that has a roof that is leaking and is not able to be rented out to the public is then able to be sold again once the roof is repaired for a higher price.

Roof repairs are not only expensive as you can see from the cost of replacing roof tiles but it is also fairly dangerous and specialist workers have to be hired in order to replace a roof.

The process includes finding where the roof is leaking, replacing any damaged tiles and if it is found that there are multiple damaged tiles, replacing the whole roof if necessary.

Add a new roof to the property and add value

Increase the property’s EPC rating

EPC ratings are becoming increasingly important to ensure that a property is performing well. This is due to the requirements for a properties EPC rating becoming more and more strict and all properties needing to be a C or above by 2025.

If the property is not a C or above, the house cannot be rented out under a normal Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) and the landlord would then be breaking the law.

Some people interested in property investment may avoid purchasing a property if it does not have the correct EPC rating in all of the rooms of  HMO for example.

This is where you can enter the deal and offer to add value by adding in insulation, increasing the number of double and triple glazed windows and then sell the deal for a premium.

Your work on increasing the EPC rating of a property may include

  • Adding in double glazed windows
  • Adding in solar panels to a property
  • Installing underfloor heating
  • Increasing the quality of the insulation in the walls

Get a better estate agent

An estate agent is able to increase the value of a property by being good at sales and selling the property for a premium as opposed to anything else. For instance, if there is a property that is below market value,

The right estate agent will be able to come in, find the right market for the property and present the property in the best way to the client. 

This includes taking the right photos, answering the right questions and handling objections at the property viewing in order to inspire the buyer to pay full price for a property.

In this way, even with an estate agent taking a commission split, a seller may be able to get more value from the sale of a property and in this way has added value.

Declutter the property

As you declutter a property, there is a good chance you’re able to find additional space and make a property look far more presentable to a buyer. This is an easy way to make a property seem more valuable at a viewing.

An easy way to do this is throw away unnecessary furniture and wait for a tenant to move out of a property before conducting any property viewings. When there are current tenants, the property can be hard or present

If you’re not sure about what you should do if you have a tenant in a property and need to conduct a property viewing, read more about a landlord inspection notice here.

What should you be aware of when adding value to a property?

Adding value to a property is a complicated topic if you don’t know what you’re doing. As a result, for new investors, there are a few things you should be aware of as you buy a property and attempt to add value.

First of all, we will be going over what adds the most value to a property and is most effective at producing a difference to the valuation of a house.

What adds the most value to a property?

Are you looking to add the most value to a property as you can? In the below table you’re able to see what gives you the most bang for your buck when adding value to your property.

Especially if you took out a home improvement loan you could be eligible for, you could add value to a home completely cost free and receive a relatively large amount of value added.

Table of the estimates cost compares to the value added to your home

In a recent study found here, it was found that out of the common home improvements in a property, there are certain types of improvements that add in the most value and produce a better return on investment.

Garden landscaping is at the top of the list and installing a wet room in a property seems to be the least effective. This is of course given the improvements are conducted correctly.

Home improvement Estimated cost Value added (%)
Garden landscaping £2,750 77%
Gym £10,000 44%
Extension £80,000 37%
Walk-in wardrobe £3,400 34%
Jacuzzi/hot tub £6,000 27%
New kitchen £7,500 26%
Swimming pool £30,000 22%
Basement conversion £90,000 17%
Conservatory £9,000 10%
Driveway £25,000 9%
Wet room £7,500 7%

What removes value from a property? 

While most renovations tend to add value to a property, there are also other types of renovations that simply don’t add up in terms of adding value and the cost of installation and a few other instances you should be aware of.

Adding a swimming pool to a building

Adding a swimming pool is actually not the best way to add value to a property due to swimming pools being associated with more luxury houses. 

This is because if the pool is in a house without the budget for it, the pool will be hard to maintain as pools have expensive maintenance costs and if the pool is outside, it can only be used for a few months of the year anyway.

The UK weather certainly plays a part alongside the fact that they take up a lot of room so swimming pools are only really effective at adding value when they’re indoor and in a more expensive property where maintenance costs are high anyway.

Buying with Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is something you can unintentionally buy in a property without necessarily knowing. As a result, you could buy a property and have it go down in value if you have to pay for repairs for the property.

It is illegal to sell a property without declaring that it has japanese knotweed so whoever first discovered it is at the mercy of having to get rid of the weed themself of declare it in a property listing and knock some money off of the price.

Using unprofessional contractors

As you can imagine, employing an unprofessional contractor who does the work but with many defects or with the need to conduct additional work in the future could result in a property going down in value.

For example, if you attempted to add value to a property by installing a conservatory but after the construction of the property, the conservatory starts to fall apart, you may have to pay more to fix these issues.

If you attempt to sell the house to someone who picks up on these issues, it could result in them offering a far lower price than expected and disproportionate to the predicted value after the conservatory would be installed.

use professional contractors to renovate your property

In conclusion

To wrap things up, adding value to a home is a complex task and there are many avenues to go about it that could result in success. You could do a renovation or a more passive form of adding value such as applying for planning permissions.

Either way, there are things that can go wrong too and finding the right finance for a property in order to execute any renovation is a task in itself that must be considered.

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Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.


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