Home improvement projects are, without a doubt, big undertakings. Along with the commitment of time, there’s also the question of cost: according to data from the Office of National Statistics, the UK collectively spends a predicted £30 billion per year on home improvements. That’s around £43 million a week!
But although the initial cost can seem off-putting, is it worth it in the end? How much do home improvements add to your home’s overall value?
A new kitchen
“If you are only going to improve one room, make it the kitchen.” That’s what Phil Spencer, the presenter of both Location, Location, Location and Relocation, Relocation told The Telegraph, “This has now become the showpiece area of the home. We don’t just cook in it, we do homework in it, we watch television in it and hold dinner parties there.”
Keep in mind that you need to keep the price of the kitchen in line with the price of the house. There’s not going to be very much value added to a house that’s valued at £170,000 if it’s fitted with a £25,000 kitchen.
If you are successful, Phil goes on to note that a new kitchen can add around 4.6% to a house’s total value. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) echoes this statement, acknowledging that a new kitchen will make a property more appealing and can add up to four per cent to its overall value.
Changing the bathroom
A new bathroom, such as a second bathroom or en-suite, can add around 5% to the value of a home, says the Nationwide Building Society.
Phil Spencer advises that homeowners should keep it simple though. He points out: “You don’t need to do a lot with the room, it’s all about the features that you put in, such as a set of new taps, a heated chrome towel rail, a big new shower head, a power shower, and a glass screen or glass door instead of a shower curtain.”
Phil estimates that a newly-done bathroom would add 2.88% to the value.
Homes with a loft sporting a maximum headroom of 2.3 metres, or homes built before 1975, can benefit from a loft conversion. The Nationwide Building Society estimates that a loft conversion may be able to add up to 21 per cent onto the overall value of a home, while Nationwide indicates that adding a double bedroom to your property — to which the loft can be transformed into this suitable space — can add over 10 per cent to the property’s value.
Seek professional advice before starting your project though; loft conversions must meet building and fire regulations.
Better use for a garage
We’ve already mentioned how an extra double bedroom can add over 10% to your property’s value. If a loft conversion doesn’t work for your property, or you are looking for another room to convert, consider transforming a garage.
90% of British garages aren’t used for cars, says Phil, so they could be put the better use as part of the home’s living space. In general, the British media personality and television presenter says that the value added can be calculated by multiplying the square footage gained by local price per square foot.
Fitting a conservatory
Managing director of the National Association of Estate Ages (NAEA) Mark Hayward told The Telegraph that homeowners should look into adding a conservatory to their homes. He commented: “Conservatories will add value to a home, but they need to be made with quality materials and provide a lot of light in order for the value to be significant.”
You would be better served by a glass conservatory than a uPVC build. A high-quality conservatory can add as much as five per cent to the home’s overall value, according to property valuation providers Yopa, though Phil Spencer is confident that 11 per cent will be added to the value if the conservatory is part of a full-blown extension.
Tending to the garden
Make sure that any new conservatory doesn’t come at the cost of your garden. This is because a property’s outdoor space can also add substantial value. Key points to garden improvement are accessibility and view from indoors. For this, consider fitting glass doors which open out into the garden and install high-quality outdoor lighting throughout the garden. As a simple improvement, Phil Spencer says decking around the garden can add up to 2% to your home’s value.