While you wait to acquire that dream home of yours, you should consider maximising the value of your current home. We present 15 ways you can add value to your property and what those could potentially be. The values we quote are estimated and should not be taken as guarantees.
1. Identify and Fix Structural Issues
Before we go into more granular conversions and refurbishments, investigate the property for hidden major structural issues. These issues are likely to be expensive but they’re certainly essential to adding value to your property.
Some examples of common structural issues include
a leaking roof
cracks to walls
rotten joists or roof timbers
missing or broken roof tiles
an unstable chimney stack
a collapsed floor/slab
If you are unsure about any structural defects, then consult a builder, surveyor or structural engineer.
2. Upgrade Central Heating System
A property with improved energy efficiency adds value to a property. One way of achieving that is adding or updating the central heating system
Improving the efficiency will include:
sealing any drafts around doors and windows (but not airbricks)
replacing windows that are beyond repair with double glazing
add insulation into the loft space
If the existing boiler is in reasonable working order and has an adequate output for the heat requirement of the building, always try to make use of it with the exception of boilers that draw their air intake from inside the house.
Where the boiler has sufficient capacity, consider adding new radiators and a heated towel rail, or underfloor heating to the existing system.
3. Convert your basement
Transform your existing basement (if you have one) into a living or storage space. This will considerably boost your property’s value by up to 30 per cent – so long as the build cost per square foot is less than the price per square foot of the area.
Converting your basement can be one of the least complex home improvements to make as it qualifies as a ‘change of use’ for planning purposes – which means you don’t need planning permission. If you’re making structural changes to a listed building, however, you’ll need to talk to your local planning officer.
If you don’t have a basement, consider digging down to add one to your home. Bear in mind that building a basement calls for the skills of specialists, from excavation and structural engineering to waterproofing. Get the right team on board from the start to make sure your project doesn’t generate future problems.
4. Extend your kitchen
Consider extending your kitchen into the side return. The side return is a narrow alley that runs adjacent to the kitchen in a typical terraced or semi-detached house. Extending the kitchen into the side return and to the full width of the rest of the house means you gain valuable space and can also improve the layout.
A single-storey side-return extension will usually be classed as a permitted development, provided you meet certain limits and conditions. For example, it must be no more than 4m high and no wider than half the width of the original house.
If you’re thinking about a side-return extension, remember that you could lose windows and the light they’d bring in. Roof lights over the extension will fix this, or you could install a partially or fully glazed roof to keep the space light and airy.
5. Renovate your Existing Kitchen
If you can’t extend the kitchen, you could give it a new look. An attractive, hygienic-looking kitchen is essential both to buyers and valuation surveyors. Before replacing a kitchen, consider the fundamentals such as its shape and position and decide if you are going to make any structural changes to space, or if you want to relocate it elsewhere.
Many existing kitchens can be given a new lease of life for a modest investment.
6. Add Bathrooms and Shower Rooms
This is often a good investment, especially if it creates an en-suite to the master bedroom. Creating an extra bathroom can be added by remodelling existing space, or by extending. Ideally, there should be WC facilities on every floor that has bedrooms, so if you are converting the loft, try to include at least a WC, if not a full bathroom.
In a traditional two-storey Victorian or Edwardian terraced house, moving the downstairs bathroom upstairs can add value, but be cautious of losing a bedroom.
7. Makeover Your Existing Bathrooms
Bathrooms are another avenue where you can add significant value. Bathrooms need to be fresh and hygienic looking and are a great place to add a touch of luxury for that value-adding wow-factor.
Make sure there is adequate light and paint the walls a nice neutral light shade. If there is not enough light, replace a single pendant with a triple halogen spotlight unit, available for as little as £10.
You should also:
Make sure that at least one bathroom has a shower – it is essential for most buyers
Check your plumbing system first and buy the right unit depending on whether you have a mains pressure system (modern houses), a gravity fed system (consider a power shower) or a combi system (if the flow rate is low you may need to install an electric shower that heats its own water direct from the mains)
Replace existing sanitaryware if it is chipped, badly stained, or an unfashionable colour such as pink, avocado, peach or chocolate brown. A basic white bathroom suite, complete with taps and waste, can be bought for around £300 and will have much broader appeal
Make sure flooring is clean and hygienic. Go for a vinyl or tiled floor tiles
Consider painting unfashionable tiles with white tile paint. If you need to replace tiles, you could tile over the old ones as removing tiles can be a difficult and very time-consuming job
Make sure the bathroom has an extractor fan for ventilation
Add a mirror or two to make space seem larger and brighter and think about adding a heated towel rail
Consider underfloor heating if you are laying new floor tiles, but bear in mind that an electric mat system will raise the floor level by 3–4mm
8. Convert your garage to living space
This is one happening a lot in recent times. If you have a garage that isn’t being used to house a car, it makes sense to convert it into a living space.
The first step is to check that your garage is suitable for conversion and whether you need planning permission. In many cases, the work involved in converting a garage will be classed as permitted development, so you won’t need planning permission, but always check with your local planning authority.
A garage conversion is always subject to building regulations to ensure it’s structurally sound. Make sure you comply with your local council’s regulations.
9. Loft conversion to add a bedroom
A loft conversion with an en-suite bathroom and an extra bedroom can add up to 15 per cent to the value of your home. It is worth getting an architect or builder to double check before you start as it would be worth the investment.
Mansard conversions generally need planning permission, but the majority of loft conversions are considered a permitted development. Check with your local planning authority as there are some complex rules: for example, you need to apply for planning permission if you want to extend your roof space by more than 50m3 (40m3 for terraced housing).
10. Increase your existing living space with a conservatory
a fully glazed conservatory will merge indoors with outdoors will make you feel closer to nature. Before you get started, think of how you want to use the space and whether a modern or traditional style will be best for your home and lifestyle.
The biggest part of your conservatory will be the glass, so explore your options carefully. While double glazing is the minimum standard permitted by building regulations, there is a whole host of glazing options available, including solar control glass and self-cleaning glass. Again, think about which will suit your lifestyle and your home.
Adding a conservatory to your house is considered to be permitted development provided you meet various limits and conditions, but don’t forget that building regulations are a separate matter. The majority of conservatories are exempt but there are circumstances when you will need to make an application. For example, if you want to remove the doors or wall linking the conservatory to your house, you’ll have to prove that your conservatory is as energy efficient as the rest of the house.
11. Apply for planning permission
Simply Attaining planning permissions for potential extensions or major improvements can add up 10% to the value of your property.
12. Create an Appealing garden
Garden space is limited in London, so if you’ve got it, make sure you’re making the most of it, especially when you’re planning to sell. A deck or patio can transform a garden into an entertaining space, and when designed as an additional room, a summer house can also add to the property value.
Making sure your garden is not only attractive and well designed but also tidy, cannot only add value but will also help to make the property more appealing to buyers.
Considering the following will help you to get started:
Privacy is vital and improving the feeling of seclusion will add value
Consider adding fences and even mature trees
You can raise boundary fences and walls up to 2m without needing planning permission (0.6m on the highway)
Structures within the garden, such as pergolas, can be up to 4m without needing planning even if they are right up to the boundary
Create distinct areas for each function, seating, eating/barbecue, storage, lawn, work area
A well-designed deck will extend a buyers perception of the amount of usable living space somewhere between the house and garden and will add value
13. Create an impressive kerb experience
First impressions are essential, so if you’re selling, give your home some kerb appeal by with a lick of paint, a new door and shining ironmongery. Tidy up the garden by mowing the lawn and sweeping up leaves.
Improving your home’s exterior may involve any of the following:
repainting doors and windows
replacing an old garage door
repairing cracked or broken cladding such as render or timber
removing stone cladding
adding a porch
adding climbing plants/trellis
replacing/adding a house sign or number
or even renaming the property
14. Make the living area open-plan
This is increasingly becoming popular.
You can transform your home and save on the cost of an extension by knocking down the wall that separates your kitchen and living room. This can be a DIY job or one for which you’ll need to call in the professionals: it all depends on whether the wall is load bearing. If it is, taking it down without professional help could prove disastrous.
If knocking down an internal wall isn’t an option, you could consider a rear or side extension to open up spaces. Though this can be costly and time-consuming, it’ll give you exactly the space you want as well as adding potential value to your home.
15. Add More Storage Space
We all need a little bit more storage. Storage is a real selling point and lack of it can really put buyers off and depress your property’s value. Make use of every bit of spare space you can find, and either build shelves or fit doors to create cupboards. Look for:
concealed nooks in corridors
dead space either side of chimney breasts or at the end of corridors
space in the eaves
space in the cellar or attic that can be upgraded
space beneath the bathtub or alongside cisterns
space above sinks
unused wall space for wall mounted cupboards
Creating a measured plan of the layout of your home can sometimes reveal odd spaces concealed behind plasterboard that you did not know existed.
Any conversion and refurbishment require professionals with enough experience to help you save money and achieve your goals. At Dunamis Construction, we pride ourselves in building imaginations into reality. Offering a wide array of quality construction services at affordable rates, we will help you experience all the benefits of hiring a local contractor by building your imagination into reality. To request a FREE consultation and start planning your project, call us today at 02086832866