Five ways of adding value to a property including new driveways; garages, loft and basement conversions and new or replacement bathrooms plus repairs and redecorating.
Higher investment and low cost ways to increase your property’s worth
Increasing a property’s value can be more difficult than it first appears – some changes that might add value can in themselves be expensive in the first place while other ‘cheap as chips’ measures can make a huge difference.
In general, it’s deciding whether you wish to make your home more saleable prior to putting it on the market, or simply wish to improve it for your own benefit but hope to add value along the way.
So what can add value to a property?
1. New driveway
More people like to have some hard standing for cars rather than parking on the roadside or on grass, and as many driveways are visible from the front of a property a good quality one will help improve a property’s fabled ‘kerb appeal.’
The kerb appeal of a property is its general appearance when people first see it from the front; much depends on first impressions, so top quality hard standing areas such as modern resin driveways contribute significantly to the look of a property.
2. Garage conversion
A popular way to add value and increase the scope of a property, especially in conjunction with installing a new driveway for parking if you decide to dispense with your garage.
Because the structure is already in place in terms of walls and ceiling, a garage conversion can be good value and not too disruptive while work is undertaken. Integral garages are especially popular as conversions, and various spaces can be created including extra bathrooms and bedrooms, home offices or workshops, home gyms or dens.
3. Loft conversion
These are a relatively easy way to add more room to a property by utilising dead space.
Modern loft conversions can create all sorts of rooms such as a spare bedroom, den, office or an extra bathroom, and these all add value. They may even push a property into the next price bracket if an extra bedroom of reasonable size effectively increases its ‘bedroom count’.
4. Basements and cellar conversions
Either converting an existing cellar to a room of some type or even digging down from the ground floor to create a space below can add considerably to a home’s value – maybe by up to 30% – but they’re expensive and potentially disruptive while work progresses.
Extensive digging would mean a heavy round of structural surveying – including of neighbouring properties – and disruption as you’d probably have to move out for a while during the work.
They’re popular in areas where there’s little room for other types of extension such as some parts of London, but have caused friction with neighbours of those having basement conversions due to the disruption caused.
A basement conversion is probably more appropriate if you intend living in the property for the long haul as opposed to trying to raise its value prior to selling.
Bathrooms are seen as something of a haven in a home, so at the very least updating your present one is worth considering – and adding another whether a full bathroom or an ensuite is a definite value adding step.
Smaller ways of adding value
The above are larger steps to take in adding value to a property, but don’t forget simpler yet cost-effective methods:
Painting and decorating – if paintwork is looking a bit tired then redecorating can make a huge difference to your property’s perceived value and can make it more saleable.
Ensure you paint in lighter and more neutral colours to make the interior feel spacious and appeal to as wider tastes as possible, and even giving hard to reach windows such as skylights a good clean can let more light in.
Frontal tidy up – related to improving the property’s kerb appeal, along with new driveways a lick of paint on tired exterior woodwork and tidying the garden can help add value. Gardens help sell homes, so if yours is going on the market get the lawn mower and shears out.
Minor repairs – frontal areas such as, say, shabby woodwork or repointing brickwork will add value and enhance kerb appeal.
Even repainting and oiling a creaking garden gate can help.
Adding value versus improving living experience
Householders can sometimes get carried away with the idea of ‘doing up’ a property to sell it as opposed to investing in areas to enhance the enjoyment and comfort of their home. It’s important to differentiate what value adding steps you’re making and for what reason – while some steps will give you a return on investment others won’t if selling is your aim.