To renovate or not? This is a significant question to ask if you’re planning to put your house on the market in the future. Big projects like extensions and conservatories often spring to mind when homeowners consider revamping their property, but sometimes the cost of these undertakings outweigh the value they provide to the home.
These aren’t the only home improvements you can make to increase what your property is worth, though. There are many other ways to freshen up your house and increase its value without having to remodel it. Whether you’re looking to sell or simply want to renovate, here are six projects almost guaranteed to add significant value to your home
1. Modernise your kitchen
It’s common knowledge that kitchens sell houses. It’s therefore not surprising that new or used kitchens can add up to 10% to the overall value. You can either go down the route of refitting the room, which involves significant time and money, or just make a few simple changes to give your kitchen a modern feel sooner.
If it’s time to give your space a new lease of life, one of the most popular styles is the Shaker kitchen. These are stylish and minimal, featuring clean lines and classical, balanced proportions. It’s easy to spot a Shaker-style kitchen; just look at its doors, cabinets and drawers for flat centre panels and raised rectangular frames. As kitchen designer Harvey Jones notes: “The timeless sophistication and versatility of the Shaker style has kept it in fashion right up to the present day.” This makes it the perfect choice if you’re planning to update your kitchen to add value to your property, as this timeless style is unlikely to polarise buyers.
If you don’t want to rip everything out and start new though, consider replacing your kitchen cabinets or giving them a lick of paint to improve aesthetic appeal. A statement tiled area or splashback, as well as matching these to your kitchen colour scheme will provide a high-end look. Modern light fixtures like energy-efficient systems and dimmer switches are also a game changer, while clever, built-in storage options are highly sought after by prospective buyers.
2. Upgrade your bathroom
Once upon a time, bathrooms were just seen as a necessity in the home, and while this is still the case, homeowners are turning these rooms into luxury spaces to create a spa-like experience. Not only does this inject a touch of glamour to your home, but it allows you to add 4-5% to the value of your home.
Similarly, you don’t need to refit the entire room to reap the benefits — you’d be surprised at how just a few adjustments can freshen up the space. New hardware and tiles are straightforward actions to improve your bathroom, for instance. There’s so much room to experiment here, such as with funky patterns and bold colours, whether on the walls or a vibrant shower curtain.
Redoing your grout is another option. Most bathrooms have white grout, but this requires upkeep to prevent mould from forming. A darker shade looks modern with white tiles, or you can colour match your grout to the tiles for a seamless finish. Light grey is another option, and is ideal for small rooms as it can make the space feel much bigger than it is. Make sure to always keep a scrubbing brush nearby though, as grout needs to be kept clean and fresh looking.
3. Convert the loft into a bedroom
An additional bedroom plus an en-suite adds an average of 21% to the selling price of your property — and 24.5% in London. Your family will reap the benefits of an extra bedroom, and your investment will prove lucrative when the time comes to put your home on the market.
That said, loft conversions are pricey (costing between £21,000 and £44,000 to complete) and take time and a lot of invasive and destructive building work. Not every house can accommodate a conversion either, so evaluate the size and height of your loft first.
There’s no quick turnaround time with this project, so if you want a quick update to your home for increased value, this isn’t the route to go down. But wouldn’t it be nice to have some extra space? One of your kids could swap bedrooms, it could become a guest room, or a luxurious master suite.
4. Turn your garage into a living space
Another conversion project that will add value to your home concerns your garage. This space is ideal for storing tools and bikes, and keeping your car safe, but if you don’t utilise your garage correctly, it quickly becomes messy and cluttered. Turning it into another room is a superb way of creating more living space within your home. Whether you’ve always dreamed of having a home gym or your kids need a new play area, it’s a great alternative to moving to a bigger house.
While a garage conversion will set you back around £5,000, it can add up to 20% to the value of your home in the long-term. Also, it’s easier than a loft conversion as very little structural or invasive work needs to be done, meaning you won’t run into as many planning problems either. Even better if you have a double garage, as you can convert half the space and still have enough remaining to store cars and bikes.
5. Upgrade your central heating
A home without adequate central heating can significantly decrease the overall value of your property, while an old boiler can also cause problems. So, be sure to get these evaluated and tested by a professional to see if it’s time for an upgrade.
Replacing an old boiler (especially if it’s older than 15 years) or installing a full new heating system is expensive. However, it’s a worthy investment that can save you hundreds on your bills a year and increase the value of your home. In fact, new radiators may add up to £10,000 to the selling price. We recommend these alongside modern fittings as they are up to 50% more efficient than older models. Smart heating technology is another solution that will catch the eye of prospective homeowners. This enables you to control the heating system from devices such as a smartphone, tablet, smart thermostat or smart speaker, meaning you can adjust the temperature from anywhere. You could also take this to the next level by installing media wall fires, which are electric and can be adjusted using a dedicated app.
6. Fix structural defects
When it’s time to sell a property, structural defects are often the biggest barrier to doing so. These could be anything from problems like cracked lintels (the beams placed across openings like doors, windows and fireplaces), damp, rotting, asbestos and woodworm, to large structural issues, such as poor design or building materials. Such defects can devalue your home and even lose your potential buyers. Subsidence, for example, could cost your home up to 20% of its value.
Fixing these issues can be expensive, however, if left in disrepair, structural defects make a house dangerous and even uninhabitable. If you suspect your house structure isn’t in the best condition, get advice from a builder or structural engineer.