If you’re anything like me, the current period of lockdown means you’ve spent a lot of time scrutinising your home and thinking about what renovation changes can be made. Slowly but surely the housing market is opening back up again meaning that people can begin thinking about restarting their property buying or selling priorities. Remote viewings are being offered by some companies, and much of the work of the property market can now be done at a distance. While it’s all a little bit strange and dsytopian, it presents a great opportunity to move forward with any home renovation, buying and sales.
If you’ve needed to put your house sale on hold due to lockdown you might have considered taking advantage of the time and added some value to it. Here are five ways you can improve your home and increase its value:
Convert the loft
Imagine selling your house as a four bedroom instead of a three bedroom. It would certainly increase its market value. Converting the loft could increase the market value of your home by up to 15% depending on where and when you sell.
When buying my house, I took care to look at the different ways I could increase its value, from adding a downstairs toilet to turning the bathroom into a four-piece suite. The great news about a loft conversion is that almost any house can have one! In addition you will have an extra bedroom (or potentially two!) to use whilst you’re living at the house and, of course, the additional space will make your home more desirable when it comes to selling.
Although most lofts can be easily converted, it’s a good idea to have it surveyed by a builder before you start. There are two types of conversions: a roof-light conversion, or a Mansard conversion. The roof-light is the cheapest and most cost-effective. It doesn’t require any structural changes to the property but your property will need to be suitable. Excluding all finishing features, the average cost of a standard roof-light loft conversion can be between £1,200 and £2,000 per sqm. Meanwhile, the Mansard alters the structure of your walls and roof, effectively making it flat. Requiring a lot of structural work means the Mansard loft conversion is a more costly option so you will want to weigh up how much value this could add to your home compared to the conversion costs before going down this route.
Improve heating and insulation
Energy conservation is one of the best ways to add value to your home and save money while living there – not to mention reduce your carbon footprint! Many older properties have inefficient heating and insulation systems giving you an excellent opportunity to bring it up to date and benefit from the added value.
When buying your home, you’ll be presented with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating. This EPC rating offers a quick review of the energy efficiency of your property. Once issued, an EPC rating is valid for 10 years. If your EPC is older than this, you’ll need to get a new one issued before you sell or rent your home.
Your house’s EPC rating will depend on:
- The amount of energy used per m²
- The level of carbon dioxide emissions (given in tonnes per year)
EPCs are also a incredibly useful tool for homeowners to improve the efficiency, running cost and overall comfort of their home. You can review your property’s EPC rating to understand where you can make improvements to the energy efficiency of your home. In turn, this will increase your EPC rating and, as a result, increase the value of your home when it comes to selling. When moving into my houe, the radiators will old and fairly useless. So, I installed new modern radiators to help improve the energy efficiency in my house.
Add an extension
An extension, conservatory, or garden room, is an excellent budget way of adding value to your home. They usually cost far less to install than the added value they achieve, providing the design and layout is appropriate for the property and is sufficiently integrated. However, a poorly conceived and flimsy looking extension can detract from the property’s value so when adding an extension it’s important you get professionals in to help with the structural side of things. Extensions are often easy to get planning permission for making them a great way to add value to your home.
When buying my first home, one of the things that drew me to the property was the possibility of adding an extension. My house already has a small extension which I converted into a dog room. However, I envisioned extending this across the full back of the house to create a stunning open plan kitchen and entertaining area. If you also have visions of adding an extension to your home make sure the cost of creating an extension is less than the value you’ll gain from doing so. When it came to calcuating the extension project costs for my house, I felt that the area I lived in meant my house value would be capped at a certain level regardless of adding an extension or not. This meant that adding an extension wasn’t worthwhile for my little two-bed home in the North.
Change windows and doors
Most buyers now expect houses to have double or triple glazed windows and installing them will increase your home’s value. Not only that, it will improve your home’s energy efficiency rating and save you money annually. If your house is a period property you need to be a little more careful about the windows you replace as adding new ones could decrease its value. In this case, you can install like for like by sourcing modern windows that replicate the period style of the traditional windows.
A buyer’s first impression of a property is very important so taking care of the front of your home and replacing the exterior doors can also increase your asking price. The Bristol Bifold showroom has a broad range of excellent sliding doors that are ideal for extending kitchens, opening up the space at the back of your home and bringing in tons of natural light.
Renovate your kitchen
The kitchen is a big factor when selling a house. After all, it’s where you’ll spend most of your time – cooking meals, entertaining guests and stealing small moments of calm as your sip that first coffee of the day. Most potential buyers will take a good look at the kitchen and will likely want to see if it suits their tastes or if it will require renovations. Therefore, renovating your kitchen can obviously affect the the market value of your home.
If your kitchen doesn’t require any structural changes, you could consider redecorating it with plain colours and neutral units that will appeal to a wider market. Even if you’re decorating on a budget, you can still renovate your kitchen. I renovated my kitchen on a budget by repainting the cupboards and laying new flooring. This is a simple way to add value to your home and increase its appeal without spending lots of money. If structural changes are needed a new kitchen can be an option, and the cost of installing a new kitchen will likely be balanced out by increasing the properties overall value.
Of course, there are a lot of things you can do to improve the resale value of your home. Other ways to add value to your home could include installing an en-suite in the main bedroom, refresh the bathroom, give the garden a makeover and sticking with neutral paint colours for the walls. One thing I did to add value to my home was to replace the old, non-functioning electric fireplace. Instead, I installed a log burner to create a more homely environment and improve heating.