House prices are rising at the fastest rate since 2007 and with mortgage rates low, confidence in the housing market is high. With foreign summer holidays looking increasingly uncertain and complicated, many people are opting to splash out on home improvement projects rather than booking expensive holidays which may have to be cancelled at the last minute.
Written by Lisa Proffitt | 21st May 2021
Top Home Improvements to Boost Value
So whether you’re thinking of selling up and capitalising on favourable market conditions or want to maximise the enjoyment of living in your home by making longed-for changes, these six property improvement ideas will boost your home’s value when you do come to sell:
Second only to watching television, gardening was our most popular activity during lockdown and the RHS is convinced that gardening has entered a new “golden age.” A well-maintained garden is more attractive to buyers than ever before and can add a massive 20% to the value of your home. Despite our far from Mediterranean climate, al fresco dining is now a way of life and a smart terraced area with good lighting can extend your indoor living space outdoors. Entertaining space outside will be a major asset for your home when the time comes to sell.
A Garden Office
From sheds to chalets to shepherds huts, a quiet space to work separate from the house is an investment guaranteed to add value to your home. On a budget of hundreds rather than thousands of pounds, the best option is to upgrade an existing or basic off-the-shelf shed. Insulation will be key for the winter months so shouldn’t be skimped on but electrics on a budget could be as simple as a couple of extension cables from the house to power a lap top and a heater. The higher cost option is to buy from a garden building company whose high spec designs all have insulated walls, internal and external lighting, double glazing and heating as standard. Green Retreats is the largest garden room company in the country and have their flagship showroom in Westcott, Buckinghamshire. Whatever route to building a home office you take, check in advance if you need planning permission by researching the guidance on your local council’s website.
Easier to create than a home office because insulation isn’t the same priority, a party barn is one of the least expensive ways of giving your property additional floor space. Party barns took off during lockdown and the beauty of them is that you shouldn’t need planning permission. Oak posts, panelling and a tin roof is all you need for a rustic, weather-proofed party barn at a reasonable price. A couple of electric sockets for lights and music is the only additional cost as long as you don’t get carried away with the furniture and soft furnishings.
Removing an internal wall to create an open-plan living and dining area is one of the most cost-effective ways of boosting the value of your property. Less dramatic kitchen improvements like replacing the flooring or worktops and changing the colour of your cabinets will freshen the space beyond recognition for minimal outlay. If you’re thinking of a complete kitchen refit, bear in mind the value of your house and what return you’re likely to see on your investment.
Loft and Garage Conversions
These are two of the most popular ways of extending and adding value to a property. It’s worth considering the potential of your loft first as a loft conversion is more likely to be allowed under permitted development. This means that planning permission is granted automatically cutting out the money and stress spent on a formal planning application. Basic loft conversions start from £15,000 but anywhere between £35,000 - £45,000 is common and you’ll add around 15% to the value of your home. Converting a single garage to additional living space can increase the property value by up to 20% and the work itself can cost upward of £5,000 so this may be more cost effective if planning permission is granted.
These top three eco-friendly changes will pay for themselves in savings in the first year. Firstly, smart thermostats cost around £225 and allow you to control your heating remotely from a tablet, so you only use heat on demand rather than relying on a timer; secondly, installing loft insulation could reduce your energy bills by up to £215 and is a required building regulation for extensions or loft conversions. Finally, replacing your rainfall showerhead with a water-saving model costs around £100 and will save up to 60% of the water usually used in an eight-minute shower.
Whether you’re actively looking to sell, buy or rent, our Michael Graham team would love to help you with your next move. Call us now or to view all Michael Graham town and country homes to buy or to rent, click the property search button now.
Hyde End Hall
Chesham Road, Hyde End, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0RD