Fancy sprucing up your home a bit?
There’s nothing to lose and plenty to gain if you choose the right projects. Here are five examples of where the time, effort and upfront costs will provide a positive return on investment.
Not just in terms of increasing the property’s value, but also the newfound benefits they will bring to your quality of life too.
1) Install a luxury home lift
Installing a home lift is a majestic way to improve the comfort and style of your property. Its presence is sure to make your life easier when it comes to accessibility, but the addition could also be a blessing when it’s time to move out. As Premier Lift Group explains, home lifts can add significant value to your property: “Current estimates suggest that homeowners may generally receive a return of around 50% of the cost of their home lift, though some may see the value of their property grow by up to 25%.”
The most significant reason lifts have become so valuable is the expanding retirement market. Stairs can be a significant barrier to free and easy movement among the elderly, so it’s unsurprising that a House of Commons report found that 61% of older people wanted to move into a bungalow.
A home lift makes movement between floors as convenient and accessible as possible.
Alongside their practicality, lifts can provide a statement design feature. An uncommon addition in residential properties, installing one is an effective means of standing out and impressing your peers.
2) Get a loft extension
A well-built loft conversion can add between 10–20% to the value of your property, according to Ideal Home.
A loft conversion can be used for any purpose you wish. You may plan to use the space as a home office where you’ll need an abundance of natural light.
Doing so will mean you need to think carefully about how and where you add windows. Alternatively, if you’re going to use it as a spare bedroom for guests, you’ll need to ensure the space is cosy with ample room to move around. Defining the space as a usable area that improves the quality of life is the most reliable way to add value.
Before spending a budget on design or building works, you need to understand the existing structure of your loft. Otherwise, you can’t be sure that the changes you’re considering will deliver a profitable return.
For example, your loft must adhere to height regulations. There needs to be enough headroom in the completed conversion and certainty that the area is safe during building work. If your loft conversion doesn’t meet the height requirements, it can only be used for storage, not as a living area. An extra bit of storage may be more convenient, but it will not improve the value of your property the same way additional living space would.
3) Add a conservatory
Done well, a conservatory could increase value by five per cent — an average of around £15,000. “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,” Mark Hayward, managing director at NAEA Propertymark, explained in The Telegraph. In other words, they can’t just be thrown together.
They need to be created with care and with long-lasting materials. It is also worth remembering that gardens add significant value to your home, so the space the conservatory takes up will impede on this. Therefore, ensure to strike a balance between these: would it be worth it to decrease outdoor space?
Certain physical elements of your house could affect the amount of value the conservatory will add.
For example, if your garden is south-facing, it will enjoy the maximum amount of sunlight — ideal for a conservatory. Similarly, if there are attractive surrounding views, this will also increase its appeal and value.
4) Turn your garage into a living space
A garage conversion could add up to 20% value to your home, while you’ll gain valuable extra living space that’s less prone to planning permission complications. It is a cost-effective way to add more room to the property, whether it’s a home office, a games room or an extra living room.
A garage conversion will cost more if the original structure is unsound. If you are going to spend money stabilising the building, knocking the original garage down and building from scratch may be cheaper. Another factor to consider is the perceived value that it will add to your home.
Check the value of houses in your area — if there is little parking, homes with garages might be valued higher than those without. Although it’s rare, you’ll want to ensure you don’t run the risk of spending money that may reduce, rather than increase, the value of your property.
There are other practicalities to consider, such as central heating and where the current contents of the garage will be moved. If you store garden gear inside, you may need to factor a shed or another type of garden storage into your plans. But considering the potential upsides, these issues are trivial considering the impact they could have on your home, both in its value and your enjoyment of it.
5) Build a slick new driveway
According to Property Price Advice, a driveway can add between 5 and 10% to your home’s value. However, this depends on how easy it is to park on the street, and whether you live on a quiet estate or a busy main road.
Property expert Phil Spencer, from Channel 4’s Location Location Location, estimates paving over the front garden to create a parking space could add as much as £50,000 to the value of a property when located in a “prime city area” where parking is more coveted.
Paved driveways require less maintenance than lawns, reducing the time spent ridding them of weeds and cutting grass. Not only does this save you time, but it also keeps the front of your house looking clean and tidy throughout the year. This is yet another tangible feature that adds to its desirability when you decide to sell.
Off-street parking makes it easier to access your property. The days of battling with your neighbours for the prime parking spot will be gone — you’ll actually be able to transport the shopping from the car to your home without walking the length of your street.
It can also affect your car insurance premiums so be sure to enquire about your policy.