Property expert reveals the home improvements that are worth the money

Property expert reveals the best home improvements to boost your property price (and why combining bedrooms could LOSE you money)

  • Loft and cellar conversions, as well as extensions will likely add value to home 
  • Also worth investing in double glazing and affordable smart-home technology
  • Smart home technology can add up to 5% to the value of the property 
  • Meanwhile combining bedrooms could actually decrease property value

When it comes to selling a home and climbing up a property ladder, it’s only natural to want to get the best return on your investment.

But it can be tricky to know what home improvements are actually worth the money.

British property expert and journalist Jason Orme, in collaboration with HomeProtect, offered his take on the projects that will boost the value of your property the most and which could leave you out of pocket. 

While loft conversations, extensions and conservatives are all set to boost the value of your home, other renovations – including combining smaller bedrooms – could actually drop the price. 

British property expert Jason Orme offered his take on the projects that will boost the value of your property the most and which could leave you out of pocket. Stock image

There are various home improvements that can be done in order to increase the value of a property – and others that should be avoided. Above, an illustration of the best and worst

DO: Modernise your kitchen 

The kitchen is the hub of the home –  and for this reason, it’s one of the top considerations for those interested in the property and valuation surveyors.

But before forking out for an entirely newly fitted kitchen, consider any smaller upgrades that could be made to your existing set up to bring it up to date. 

Replacing worktops, the sink, lighting or cupboard doors could be all it takes to give it that much needed facelift.

If, however, you think your kitchen could benefit from a complete revamp, consider factors such as storage and use of space, as practicality is paramount. 

A brand-new kitchen could set you back £6,300 on average and add 5% to the value of the property. 

Adding an extension to a property is almost definitely a sure-fire way to add value to a property (stock image above) 

DON’T: Decorate with expensive wallpaper 

Wallpaper may seem like a great option when you’re decorating for yourself, and a high-end design can lend a property a touch of class. 

But in reality, people have varying tastes and your choice may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

When buying a property, a lot of people enter with plans to redecorate and that’s where wallpaper can become problematic, as it’s tricky and expensive to remove.  

Instead, stick to painted walls, which are easy to cover up if necessary.

DO: Add an extension

Adding square footage to your home is usually a guaranteed way to boost the property’s value, but extensions should be handled with care.

Factors such as the positioning, building materials used and general planning of the structure can all influence its impact on property value. 

Depending on the size and location of the extension, adding a single-storey extension can start at around £30,000, while a two-storey extension is generally about 50% more expensive – so from approximately £45,000 (before VAT).

A single-storey side-return extension – typically running adjacent to the kitchen to open up the space – can add approximately 15% to the value of your property.

DO: Convert your loft or cellar space 

The key to getting the best possible price for your property is making the most of the space you have – wasted space is wasted money. 

Lofts and cellars are often left untouched or reserved purely for storage but turning these rooms into proper living spaces could increase the floor space of your home by up to 30%. 

A great deal of value is placed on the number of bedrooms a property possesses, so converting space into an extra bedroom could be the most lucrative upgrade you give your property. 

A typical loft conversion costs an average of £11,500 but can add 12.5% to a home’s value, while a cellar conversion can cost approximately £20,000 and add up to 20% to the property value. 

DON’T: Lose a bedroom 

Knocking down walls to create larger open-plan spaces can be worthwhile when you’re dealing with living spaces.

However, when it comes to bedrooms this is a big no-no – houses are largely valued on the number of bedrooms, so you would essentially be downgrading the property. 

Fitting double glazing may not seem like the most glamorous of home renovations – but it can add value to your property as well as saving money on energy bills 

THINK ABOUT: Building a conservatory 

Compared to the cost of an extension, building a conservatory is an affordable way to add floorspace to your property and they often don’t require planning permission. This being said, they’re dated, and temperature control can be problematic.

Jason Orme, Content Director for My Homebuilding, Real Homes and Period Living Magazine, revealed: ‘While conservatories remain popular, the peak of conservatory additions was in the 1980s and, almost 40 years on, these conservatories pose more problems than benefits.

‘I see a lot of homeowners looking to replace their cold (or very hot, depending on the season) conservatory with a solid walled, but glass-rich, extension that can be used all year round.’

THINK ABOUT: Installing solar panels 

While installing solar panels is a fantastic step to make the property more environmentally friendly, they are costly to install (the average cost of a 3.6-4kWp* solar panel system in the UK is £6,672) and unlikely to add any real value to the property.

In order to reap the financial benefits of solar panels you probably need to be in the property at least a couple of years to earn back the initial cost in savings on your energy bills. 

That being said, once you have recouped your investment, solar panels and other forms of green technology are regarded as a selling point of a property. 

DO: Fit double glazing 

Adapting your home to make it more energy efficient not only saves money while you’re living in the property, it can also add value to it in the long run.

If your home has single-glazed windows, upgrading to double or triple glazing will almost definitely give the value a boost.   

Double and triple glazing also helps to eliminate draughts and improve heat retention, boosting the thermal efficiency of the property and reducing your carbon footprint, by using less energy to heat it.

The cost of the job will vary depending on the size and number of windows being glazed, however, the average price of double glazing is £5,000 and can offer an average increase of 10% to property value.

DO: Install smart home technology

Smart home technology is fast being adopted by households across the globe, so installing it in your property will help you to get ahead of the competition and add up to 5% to the value of the property.  

Jason revealed: ‘We have control of so many aspects of our lives, and people are increasingly finding that they want their homes to work for them, too.’

Systems can be used to control your thermostat, home security, lighting, doorbell and more, and they’re relatively inexpensive and simple to set up.  

A smart thermostat can cost as little as £280, including installation.

Meanwhile experts recommend you don’t install ‘built-in’ electronics such as home cinemas or speakers, which will quickly go out of date. Stock image

DON’T: Install built-in electronics 

While a top-of-the-range inbuilt sound system or home cinema may be something that blows your socks off, for a lot of buyers it may be a luxury they are not willing to pay more for.

The average cost of a home cinema, for example, is £27,500, but is only likely to add £2,000 to a property’s value. 

It’s also worth considering that electronics quickly become dated and require updating or replacing. 

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