As a house proud nation, having the best home on the street is why 31% of us make home improvements, but which home improvements will add value as well?
I have scoured the internet to find some sound advice, as well as being able to offer some Anglian expertise too. So, here is a list of home improvements that add value to your home.
1- Loft conversion
According to Nationwide Building Society, a loft conversion is one of the best ways to add not only extra space to your home, but extra value too. They claim that if a loft is converted into a double bedroom with an en-suite it can add up to 21% onto the value of the property. This is a great investment, costing about £20,000 to carry out the work, but the potential is huge. Don’t waste space, utilise it. These rooms look great with big windows, especially on pitched roofs. A loft conversion is also ideal for bathrooms, giving you a bright and airy room, with height that gives you added privacy as you are higher than the neighbouring windows.
2 – Single storey extension
If you don’t fancy expanding upwards, you can always expand outwards. Nationwide claim that an single storey extension can add 12% onto the value of your home, whilst property guru, Phil Spencer believes they can add 11% onto the value of your home. Either way it is a job worth doing. Again, this type of extension can give you an extra bedroom, bathroom or even a nice new kitchen.
We have recently seen some beautiful installations of orangeries being used as kitchen/dining areas, harnessing the natural light whilst creating a modern, open-plan dining area too. The picture below is a perfect example of this.
A cheaper way to extend your home could be through a garage conversion. The foundations are already there, it is just a case of ripping out the inside to transform it into a room worth using. If your garage is a wasted space, take advantage of it and make it a room to be proud of.
3 – Conservatory
One of our specialist areas, the conservatory, can add up to 7% to the value of your home according to Phil Spencer. The bright and airy rooms bring you closer to the garden, with clear views into your lush outdoor space. The extra space makes an ideal location for a dining area, or a place to relax and unwind after a long day at work.
Conservatories nowadays are available in a range of styles to sympathise with the style of your home. One thing to avoid is building a conservatory that clashes with your home. Choose a style that blends into the home naturally and effortlessly, if not it can detract from the value of your home.
Conservatories are also built in a range of materials too, from uPVC to timber, the options really are endless, helping you create the perfect extra room for your home.
4 – Bathroom
I think this is a room that has to be clean, tidy and attractive when viewing a house. If it is dated, ugly or not to my taste, it can put me off the entire house. A nice bathroom can add up to 5% onto the value of your home according to recent research by Nationwide.
If you are planning on refurbishing your bathroom, keep it simple. Change the taps and shower head if they are looking withered and covered in limescale; remove the shower curtain and put in a glass door or screen, as they look neater and help the room feel more spacious; if the bath is old, an odd colour or no longer a crisp white, consider changing it to help it blend into the rest of the room.
By following these tips, you should have a much more appealing bathroom to potential buyers. For me, the bathroom and kitchen are the deal breakers.
5 – Kitchen
According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a classy new kitchen can add 4% onto the value of your home. Fresh worktops, a shiny chrome sink and taps, a clean, fully working oven, a fridge-freezer and maybe a dishwasher will all make a kitchen more appealing. As a keen cook I love a hands-on, big kitchen to entertain in, so having a nice area to host and cook in is always a bonus for me.
Kitchens are becoming more sociable rooms, especially with open-plan kitchens. As the song says “you will always find me in the kitchen at parties” and this couldn’t be truer. Breakfast bars or islands in kitchens are a good way to separate the rooms without isolating them completely.
6 – Bi-fold doors and Patio doors
Gone are the days of no light, it is now all about letting as much in as possible. Skylights, light-tubes and large patio or bi-fold doors are farming light like there is no tomorrow, brightening rooms to give the impression of more space and help your well-being. SAD is caused by a lack of light, but these home improvements can help battle the disorder and help you stay happy, even through the dark winters.
The advantage of having bi-fold or patio doors is the ease in which they connect you to your garden. At the slide of a door, the room is opened up to the lovely, fresh air and you are instantly in your garden. I used to live in a bungalow, which had big, glass sliding doors in the main bedroom leading straight to the garden. Waking up every morning to the sound and sight of birds fluttering around the garden and the sun streaming in instantly put me in a good mood and I was ready to tackle the day.
7 – Double glazing and central heating
The director of Connells recently stated that double glazing and central heating can add more value to a home than what they cost, which we couldn’t agree with more. By replacing both, you are not just adding value to your home, you are also saving money.
By replacing an old G-rated boiler, homeowners can save up to £300 a year, whilst replacing old aluminium single glazed windows and replacing them with A-rated windows, like Anglian’s A-rated windows, can save up to £239 a year! Like with a conservatory, when it comes to replacing your windows, make sure they are sympathetic with the rest of the house. You don’t want to put in windows that don’t match what was once there.
8 – Energy saving products
Eco-friendly homes are growing in popularity, especially as energy bills continue to rise. beatthatquote.com recently said that they predict eco-homes will be 6% more expensive than the average home.
With this in mind, making sure your home has a good energy rating and is possibly generating its own energy will help a great deal when it comes to selling it. Improvements such as thermal or photovoltaic solar panels, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, ground source heat pumps or small wind turbines are unique selling features, helping your home stand out from the rest. Our recent survey suggested that having a home that is better than the neighbours is why 20% of us improve our homes!
Even if you aren’t selling your home, improving your home with these methods will save you money in the long run. You can take advantage of the Feed-in-Tariff with photovoltaic solar panels, or heat your home with thermal solar panels or ground source heat pumps.
If you are just looking to make your home retain its heat better, installing loft and/or cavity wall insulation is a quick and efficient way. It is also best to take these measures before installing ground source heat pumps because if you don’t you are potentially wasting all this heat generated. We also recommend you check your windows are energy efficient and not letting heat escape, before installing heat pumps.
Despite the countries poor economical state, as a nation, we would rather improve than move, which has culminated in 1 in 8 of us spending more than £5,000 improving our homes over the last couple of years. The average amount spent was £2,706.
What home improvements have you made to your home this year? Why not send some pictures to us on the Anglian Facebook page?