Which home improvements can help to increase value – and what to avoid…

Which home improvements can help to increase value – and what to avoid…

Which home improvements increase the value of your property?  Making improvements to a property, whether with the intention of selling, or just for your own comfort and convenience, can help to add value with a good return on your investment.  There are some renovations you can make to a property which won’t really improve the value, but may make it easier to sell.  

Adding square footage

Adding an extra room, whether by extending or converting a loft, basement or garage is a pretty safe bet in terms of adding value to your property.  Adding additional space, provided it is well planned in terms of the flow of the layout, will almost certainly add value to your property.   Converting a loft is likely to be the less disruptive than building an extension as, to an extent, the mess can be contained away from the main living space.  Converting an integral garage into living space can be a very profitable way of adding extra space, especially as many such garages in slightly older properties are used mainly for storage, having been designed for smaller cars and not a great fit for todays larger vehicles – see this house beautiful article for more information on garage conversions.

But…

Think carefully before adding a conservatory with a view to adding floor space.  Conservatories do not necessarily improve the value of your property as it they are often rooms which can’t be used comfortably all year round.  As they don’t always require planning permission to erect, homeowners often think of conservatories as being a quick way to add value.  The reality though, is that they can often look ‘plonked’ on the back of a house and often don’t integrate well into the existing house or compliment the garden.  In that case, it may even be viewed as a negative.  Any additional space you add to a property needs to be well planned in terms of how it integrates with the current building and which rooms it is accessed from.   You should also be wary of having too much house on too little plot.

Creating off road parking

If you have a big enough space at the front of your property, it can be worth converting it into a driveway or parking space to create off road parking.  Guaranteed off road parking is always a good selling point and many people won’t even consider a property without it.   In comparison, a front garden, whilst nice to have, adds relatively little value to a property.

But…

Turning a front garden into a plain concrete slab is not going to be very attractive and is unlikely to add to a property’s kerb appeal.  Think about using nicer quality finishing to make the new space attractive.  If you are able to retain some garden at the front of your house it will make it more attractive and soften the look of any hard landscaping.  Simple, ever green shrubs like box are attractive and stylish in a front garden and are fairly slow growing and low maintenance.   Using natural materials like stone and gravel in hard landcaping in place of concrete and cement always gives an air of greater quality.  If you can retain a bit of garden as well as providing parking, so much the better – just make sure you keep it well maintained!

Flooring

New flooring can make a huge improvement to a property.  The flooring in a property is one of the largest and most visible areas of decorative surface and consequently, it is one of the decorative features in a house which can be a real turn-off for prospective buyers.  The dreaded swirly carpet or vinyl flooring which is poorly fitted makes a house look very dated and can lead people to make an assumption that the rest of the house is run-down.  You may even struggle to get people through the door if the interior shots of your property reveal a dated interior.   A dated interior also makes it difficult for buyers to try and imagine themselves living at the property.  Replacing flooring is perceived by buyers as being inconvenient and difficult.

But…

The jury is out on whether you will be adding value to your property by renewing the flooring – this is obviously dependent on what you are spending!  If you are renewing the flooring with a view to making your property more attractive to buyers, spending £100 plus per square metre on hardwood flooring is unlikely to be a wise in pure ROI terms.  It will though, make your property more attractive to buyers and that is worth something.  It is possible to replace problem flooring with something easy on the eye and neutral without breaking the bank and it is certainly a job worth doing to maximise buyer appeal

Overall

Making improvements to your home is not necessarily all about increasing value – especially if you carried them out to improve your own enjoyment living at the property.  However, if you are thinking of making improvements purely with a view to increasing value to sell, you need to think about your buyer and what will add tangible value to them.  For advice on selling, whether you are ready or still considering your options, get in touch your local Seddons branch.