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10 home improvement dos and don’ts if you want to add value

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What are the best - and worst - ways to improve your home if you are looking to boost its value before selling?
10 home improvement dos and don’ts if you want to add value

How can you increase the price of your property by improving your home before you sell?

And which projects could leave you out of pocket?

Buildings insurance provider,, has come up with a list of what to renovate if you want to sell your home for the best possible price, and what to avoid.

It suggests:

DO: Modernise your kitchen

The kitchen is one of the top considerations for both buyers interested in the property and valuation surveyors.

Before forking out for an entirely newly fitted kitchen, consider whether there are smaller upgrades to your existing set up that could bring it up to date and refresh the look of the room. Replacing worktops, the sink, lighting or cupboard doors could be all it takes to give it that much needed facelift.

If, however, you think your kitchen could benefit from a complete revamp, consider factors such as storage and use of space, as practicality is paramount. Energy efficient appliances are also a big draw.

A brand-new kitchen could set you back £6,300 on average and add 5% to the value of the property.

DON’T: Decorate with expensive wallpaper

Wallpaper may seem like a great option when you’re decorating for yourself and a high-end design can certainly lend a property a touch of class. That being said, people have varying tastes and your choice may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

When buying a property, a lot of people enter with plans to redecorate and that’s where wallpaper can become problematic, as it’s tricky and expensive to remove. Plus, the money you’ve spent on high-end wallpaper has gone down the drain. Instead, stick to painted walls, which are easy to cover up if necessary.

DO: Convert your loft or cellar space

Lofts and cellars are often left untouched or reserved purely for storage but turning these rooms into proper living spaces could increase the floor space of your home by up to 30%.

Furthermore, a great deal of value is placed on the number of bedrooms a property possesses, so converting your loft space or cellar into an additional bedroom could be the most lucrative upgrade you give your property.

A typical loft conversion costs an average of £11,500 but can add 12.5% to a home’s value, while a cellar conversion can cost approximately £20,000 and add up to 20% to the property value.

DON’T: Lose a bedroom

Knocking down walls to create larger open-plan spaces can be worthwhile when you’re dealing with living spaces, however, when it comes to bedrooms this is a big no-no.

Combining two small bedrooms to create one big bedroom has its appeal when you’re living there yourself, but houses are largely valued on the number of bedrooms, so you would essentially be downgrading the property.

Listing prices are calculated based on comparisons to similar homes selling in the same market and number of bedrooms is a key factor in this. Extra bedrooms can add up to 15% to a property value, so removing one could result in an equivalent loss.

DO: Add a fixed extension

Depending on the size and location of the extension, adding a single-storey extension can start at around £30,000, while a two-storey extension is generally about 50% more expensive – so from approximately £45,000 (before VAT).

A single-storey side-return extension – typically running adjacent to the kitchen to open up the space – can add approximately 15% to the value of your property.

DON’T: Build a conservatory

Compared to the cost of an extension, building a conservatory is a reasonably affordable way of adding to the floorspace of your property and they quite often don’t require planning permission. This being said, they’re dated, and temperature control can be problematic.

Plus, while the idea of chilling out in one on a sunny day is pretty nice, adding a sunroom might only generate half the extra value that an additional bedroom would bring, at just 6%.

DO: Fit double glazing

If your home has single-glazed windows, upgrading to double or triple glazing will almost definitely give the value a boost. Not only is single glazing behind in the times, double and triple glazing also helps to eliminate draughts and improve heat retention, therefore, boosting the thermal efficiency of the property and reducing your carbon footprint, by using less energy to heat it.

The cost of the job will vary depending on the size and number of windows being glazed, however, the average price of double glazing is £5,000 and can offer an average increase of 10% to property value.

MAYBE: Install solar panels

While installing solar panels is a fantastic step to take towards reducing your carbon footprint and making the property more environmentally friendly, they are costly to install (the average cost of a 3.6-4kWp solar panel system in the UK is £6,672) and are unlikely to add any real value to the property.

In order to reap the financial benefits of solar panels you probably need to be in the property at least a couple of years to earn back the initial cost in savings on your energy bills. That being said, once you have recouped your investment, solar panels and other forms of green technology are regarded as a selling point of a property.

DO: Install smart home technology

Smart home technology is fast being adopted by households across the globe, so installing it in your property will help you to get ahead of/ keep up with your competition and add up to 5% to the value of the property.

Systems can be used to control your thermostat, home security, lighting, doorbell and more, and they’re relatively inexpensive and simple to set up. A smart thermostat can cost as little as £280, including installation.

This technology can also be used to improve energy efficiency, as it makes the homeowner more aware of their energy usage and where it can be reduced.

DON’T: Install built-in electronics

While a top-of-the-range inbuilt sound system or home cinema may be something that blows your socks off, for a lot of buyers it may be a luxury they are not willing to pay more for. The average cost of a home cinema, for example, is £27,500, but is only likely to add £2,000 to a property’s value. It’s also worth considering that electronics quickly become dated and require updating or replacing.

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