The UK housing market seems to be in overdrive at the moment, with many people choosing to move rather than improve their homes. But if you’re happy with where you are and you just need a bit of extra space, what’s the best way to add value to your home?
Extensions can give you more space as well as a fresh interior design impetus, and they can also add real value to the property when you come to sell it. But how much of an increase can you expect to achieve? How can you weigh up the build costs against the potential value gain?
A rough back-of-the-envelope calculation starts with obtaining quotes on the cost of the extension you are envisaging, then compare the quotes to average prices per meter in the local market. That way you will get a ballpark figure of how big the difference can be. Properly executed home extensions can achieve somewhere in the region of a 5-13% increase of the overall property value.
Different rooms provide different increases to the overall value of the property. Here are the top 5 areas where it’s worth spending money on:
1. Building extension
Adding square footage to your home undoubtedly boosts its value. If you benefit from permitted development rights (not applicable to double storey extensions), the amount of red tape required is minimal. Building Regulations will of course still have to be adhered to, and the bigger the build the more important it is that you work with a professional architect to get the best result. Single storey extensions can increase the value of your home by 4-7% on average, while a full-blown double storey extension should provide an increase of more than 10%.
Here’s an excellent example of a single storey extension that combines the best of contemporary design and the practicality of a family home, by creating a seamless transition between the existing building and the new extension:
2. Kitchen/diner extension
Open plan living is becoming increasingly sought after, while formal dining rooms are falling out of favour. Kitchen/diner extensions have been a huge trend for some years now. They’re one of the most popular home improvement projects carried out by architects.
While a bigger kitchen is always nice to have, what are the financial benefits to be gained from this type of building project? Well, it depends on the size of kitchen you are starting with. If you’re planning to extend a kitchen that is already a generous size, the value increase will be small. However, opening up a narrow kitchen could add 15-20% to the average house in the UK.
3. Bathroom extension
It’s not just kitchens that sell houses – bathrooms do too! An additional bathroom can increase the value of the average house in the UK by £15,000. Downstairs WCs, ensuite shower rooms and generously sized family bathrooms are all worth improving or installing.
That said, it’s important to keep the value-for-money ratio firmly in mind. Bathroom extensions can be eyewateringly expensive if extensive plumbing alterations are required, or if you choose luxury sanitary fittings and fixtures. The cost of finishing even a small bathroom can start from £2,500 to more than £7,000, so keep a close eye on your spending.
4. New conservatory
Conservatories have always been a popular addition in the UK. The British climate makes the weather often unpredictable, so if you want to enjoy your home and garden all year round, a conservatory is an excellent way to help bring the outside in.
Conservatory additions can be a big winner when it comes to boosting the value of your home – but only when it’s done right. Quality and style are your watchwords here. Glass conservatories and orangeries can increase the value of the average home by £5,000 or more, while substandard UPVC conservatories may even put potential buyers off!
5. Extra bedroom
An additional bedroom can add 20% to the value of a 3-bedroom home, according to research carried out by NAEA Propertymark. Your safest bet in achieving this significant uplift is by creating a new master bedroom with ensuite bathroom.
Loft conversions are one of the most popular ways of adding a new master suite, particularly if you use dormer windows to increase the useable floor space area. Bearing in mind that the average loft conversion costs around £20,000, profits that can be made by improving this area of your home can be very worthwhile indeed.