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Which home improvements add value to your house?

We've partnered with the HomeOwners Alliance to bring you a list of the best home improvements to undertake if you're looking to add property value.

4 min read

Before you invest in improving your home wouldn’t it be nice to know that the money you spend will be worth it, not just in terms of the enjoyment you’ll get from your new and improved space, but financially too. So, we’ve asked the property advice website HomeOwners Alliance which projects add the most value.

Don’t forget, for tailored home advice, our team is always on hand!

Working out your home’s current value

You’ve probably got a good idea of what home improvement project you want to do next. But before you start, it’s important to work out how much your property is worth now. Ask at least three local estate agents to visit and value your property. They’ll do this for free. And if you feel awkward because you aren’t planning to sell anytime soon, don’t worry. Estate agents are more than happy to meet potential future clients they can add to their books.

It’s also important to understand what projects will add value in the eyes of potential homebuyers. While you have the estate agents there, talk through your plans. If there are a few options, ask their view on which will add the most value. A good estate agent will be able to say what features other properties like yours have that your home is missing and what future buyers of your home are likely to be looking for.

To get the local intel you need and a good valuation, you should speak to a local estate agent. You can find the best agents using the HomeOwners Alliance EstateAgent4Me tool. It’s free and you’ll get results for the best performing agents near you and their contact details.

What projects add the most value?

Now you’ve had input from the estate agent, it’s time to research which projects add most value. This is a common question from visitors to the HomeOwners Alliance website. So we recently conducted some research, asking over 300 members of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and estate agents from the Guild of Property Professionals which projects they thought added value to a house.

1. Knock down a wall to create an open plan living area

Our research found that removing an internal wall to create an open plan kitchen and diner was the best way to add value to your home. We found that the average homeowner spends £3,500 on this project, but can add up to £48,000 to the value of the average London property or £27,000 to the average home in Dorset.

An garden room with open plan design in London, completed 2017

A garden room with an open plan interior, which could be used as an annexe or holiday rental.

2. Build a garden room

Creating a self-contained living space outside was estimated to cost from £7000, but was seen to add around £36,000 to an averagely valued home in Surrey, or £10,000 in London. It’s worth noting that green space is at a premium in big cities, so this likely accounts for the decreased worth in the capital.

3. Spruce up your kitchen

Putting in a new worktop, cabinet doors or floor doesn’t have to break the bank – it costs around £4,000 on average. But, it could add £17,000 to the value of a London property, or the FMB and The Guild of Property Professionals found it could add around £15,000 to the average home in Cambridgeshire.

4. Create a downstairs toilet

A downstairs toilet is a big attraction to a variety of different buyers. So, turning wasted space, such as an understairs cupboard into a loo can add value to your home. And it's a good project if you're on a budget. A relatively small outlay of around £1,500 could add around £26,000 to your home’s value, according to our research.

5. Make way for an ensuite

Whether its just a new addition off the master bedroom, or some extra bathroom privacy for a guest, creating an ensuite bathroom costs around £5,000 but could add £14,525 to the value of the average London home.

A single storey rear extension in Runnymede - dinner

Top tip, it's always worthwhile putting your budget into long-term value items - such as bi-fold doors.

Top tips for adding value to your home

Choosing the right project is just one of the many factors that can affect the value of your home. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment, consider these top tips from Resi’s own experts…

  • Make the right investment, instead of putting all your money into superficial fittings, you’ll find you’re more likely to secure long-term value in classic build features, such as skylights, bi-fold doors, or hardwood floors.

  • Add a touch of green, many homebuyers are keen to invest in eco-friendly properties and some planning authorities will encourage considering the environment in your designs, should you opt to create either a garden room or extension.

  • Make space adaptable, Resi’s Happy Home research shows that the adaptability of a household is a key factor in wellbeing, and many homebuyers will be looking for spaces that can easy fit around their own day to day living.

For details of more projects that add value read How to add value to your house and visit the HomeOwners Alliance for more advice on buying, selling and running your home.

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