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7 ways to increase the value of your home

There are numerous ways to increase the value of your home, ranging from massive conversions to simple housekeeping projects. Best advice is to always do your research first and find out which other homes in your area are more popular with buyers. Are conservatories, extra bedrooms or converted garages all the rage or is there a need for flats rather than larger 3-bed properties?

Below are 7 ways to increase your property’s value in preparation for putting it on the market with your local estate agents or just give your home a much-needed upgrade if you decide to stay put. Remember, planning permission may be required on some conversions so always seek professional help first before adding anything or knocking anything off your house.  

Converting a loft into a bedroom

Converting attic space can really work wonders when it comes to adding value to your home. It’s estimated that an additional bedroom, particularly with an accompanying en-suite bathroom, can add up to 15% onto the value of a house. Loft conversions can work really well for growing families and are also much more attractive to prospective buyers.  

At the planning stage you’ll need to decide on which type of conversion works best for your home, and your budget. Installing a window in the roof is the best value for money as it needs the least amount of structural work. More expensive conversions, such as a Mansard conversion, require sections, or all, of the roof to be replaced.

Basically, a Mansard conversion changes a sloped roof into a rectangular, boxed, structure.

Although Mansard loft conversions usually require planning permission, most loft conversions can continue without the need to contact local authorities. Rule of thumb is: if you want to extend your roof space by 40m3 (terraced) or 50m3 (detached) you’re going to need planning permission.

Dividing a house into apartments

Splitting an existing house into self-contained apartments can add a potential 30% to the value of your property. This is often a common conversion used in larger cities or where there’s a significant student population. The short-term income raised through renting each flat is much higher than renting the whole house whereas, in the long-term, the overall property price will also be higher.

Best advice is to check the need for one bed apartments and self-contained flats in your area. Converting a large house into smaller units is only worthwhile if there’s market demand.  

Upgrade your garage

If all your garage is being used for is storing the lawn mower and golf clubs, why not consider converting it into extra living space? An office, gymnasium, yoga or art studio, will all add an estimated 15% onto the value of your property. Of course, it’s important to create a space that’s flexible to a potential buyer’s needs but, you get the picture.

Firstly, you’ll need to ensure your garage is suitable for conversion and structurally sound. This can be achieved by utilising the services of a council-run building control department or by employing an approved independent advisor to check you’re adhering to all the rules and regulations.

At the same time, you’ll also need to contact your local authority to see if planning permission is required. Nine times out of 10 you’ll be fine, but it’s always good to check before work gets started.

Extending a kitchen into a side return

Extending the ground floor of your property into the outdoor space adjacent to the kitchen is likely to add up to 15% to the overall value of your house. This narrow walkway by the side of a semi-detached or terraced house is known as a side return. Extending a ground floor kitchen to combine with the side return space is known as a side return conversion and is an excellent refurbishment tactic.

Side return conversions under four metres tall or less than half the width of the house, won’t need planning permission; however, assessment work will need to be carried out at several key stages of a side return conversion either by a local authority officer or by an approved independent company.

Create a great first impression – garden/paint job

Sometimes the simplest ways are the most effective. Ensuring your front of house has instant appeal to potential buyers when they come round to view can add up to 10% to the value of your home. Landscaping a garden, painting the woodwork and guttering, or just mowing the lawn, will all present your property in its best light.

The same can be said for the back garden and any side return space, too. Wooden decking, paved patios, summer houses or well-presented sheds, all help to create a great first impression.

Keeping on top of things yourself or employing a local gardener requires minimum work but maximum returns for a great first impression.  

Make the most of cellar space

If you’ve got a downstairs cellar that’s only being used for one or two bottles of plonk, why not think about converting it into something slightly more exciting? Not only will you find yourself with extra living space but you might also add up to 30% on the value of your home – what’s not to like?

Cellar conversions are not only a great way to increase your property’s overall price tag but they’re also relatively easy to undertake. Planning permission is rarely required (unless a building is listed) because cellar transformations are often deemed as a ‘change of use’ rather than a conversion.

Open up your downstairs space

Taking out a partition wall that separates a lounge area and a kitchen can do wonders to your downstairs living space. If you’re feeling brave, this can even be done by yourself although it’s always advisable to call in a professional to ensure the job’s done correctly.

Basically, you need to find out if the wall you intend to knock down is load bearing. If it’s not, you’re all good to go. If it is, don’t attempt to knock it down unless you want an upstairs room, downstairs.

Although opening up your downstairs living space won’t add a huge amount to the value of your house, it will create a more sociable and spacious area – perfect for entertaining family and friends.