In an uncertain housing market, properties with the most to offer rise to the top of the pile. If you’re looking to improve your home as a future investment, read our guide to where to spend your money to add value to your property.

1. Loft conversion

A loft conversion is usually an excellent investment, adding plenty of extra space with the wow factor in an underused part of your home. You can use your new room as a master or guest bedroom, with en suite bathroom. Depending on the size of your roof space, you may be able to add additional rooms too, creating a study or games room.

At around half the price of an extension, loft conversions are the most cost-effective way to add value to your property. Prices vary enormously, depending on the size and complexity of your conversion, but will probably set you back around £40-60,000 and can be completed in eight to twelve weeks.

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The great thing about converting the loft is that you don’t need planning permission in most cases – most loft conversions come under permitted development rights. As long as your home isn’t in a protected area and your project won’t add more than 50 cubic metres (40 cubic metres for terraced houses) of extra space or extend higher than the current highest point of the roof, you shouldn’t need permission – but make sure you check.

The number of bedrooms in a property has a big impact on its value; beware that there is a ceiling to every street’s property value, so excessive spending won’t necessarily bring returns.

2. Extension

While extensions are not cheap, a well-executed project can transform you home, adding valuable living space and increasing its value by much more than the cost of the building work. Your extension could increase the size of your kitchen, creating a stunning open-plan dining area or even be a whole new wing of the house.

Remember to ensure the design and layout fits with the rest of the property. An extension that does not integrate well or looks dark and gloomy without much natural light, could put potential buyers off, actually decreasing your home’s value.

3. Convert the garage

If you have a garage that is connected to your house, you could create a useful new room – bringing extra bedrooms, a guest room or a utility.

In many cases converting a garage will be classed as a permitted development and will not require planning permission but you should always check. In either case, you will need to comply with building regulations.

4. Convert the cellar

Transforming an existing cellar into living space can significantly boost your properties value. It is a great way of increasing your property’s square footage, especially in urban areas where there is less space to extend at ground level.

Cellar conversions cost around £30,000, although costs can quickly rise if there is significant work to required to create adequate height and add light wells.

cellar and basement conversion5. Add a conservatory

A good quality conservatory that integrates with the layout of your home and it useable throughout the year is likely to add far more to your property’s value than it costs.

However, beware of going for the cheap option as a poorly thought out and constructed conservatory could devalue your property.

Think about how you want to use the space and what glazing and frame options would most suit your home’s style. In most instances, a conservatory won’t require planning permission, but you will have to adhere to building control regulations.

6. Update the kitchen

Potential buyers may be swayed by your kitchen when weighing up your home – and one that makes an impression will help you achieve a sale. Just be careful how much you spend – too much and you may not recoup your costs.

But don’t just opt for the cheapest either! Basic units and appliances will look out of place in a high-value home and maybe instantly changed by the new owners. Keep to neutral shades and opt for the best quality appliances and tiles available at your budget.

Open plan living is always popular with buyers. Creating an open plan kitchen and dining space will bring you better returns than merely updating the existing kitchen. If the walls separating your kitchen and dining room are non-load bearing creating an open-plan space can be a reasonably easy and affordable job.

You don’t necessarily need to install a new kitchen to achieve a fresh look. Adding new doors to existing cabinet carcasses, new worktops, taps and splash backs, and giving it all a lick of paint is a cost-effective way to make a big impact.

7. Blitz the bathroom

Remodeling an existing bathroom to bring it up to date is a great way to increase your home’s saleability but don’t expect to recoup all the costs when you come to sell.

However, a completely new en suite, downstairs cloakroom or additional bathroom could help you attract a premium price. Ensure that the existing space isn’t compromised, and think carefully before sacrificing a bedroom for an additional bathroom.

Adding a bathroom is essential with a loft conversion – buyers prefer one on ever floor where there’s a bedroom.

update the bathroom8. Improve the energy performance

With global warming such a concern, adaptations which make your home greener and add energy efficiency are becoming more appealing to potential buyers. So, think about ways of improving your home’s energy performance certificate (EPC) – you’ll need to produce this when you sell. A new boiler, double glazing that suits the house’s style and even solar panels can all be selling points.

9. Tidy up the garden

A well designed and attractive garden will add value to your home and help you sell more quickly. Create a patio or decking area for alfresco dining and entertaining. Create interesting shapes with beds and borders and add colour and interest with planting.

10. Finishing touches

If you are looking at making improvements to sell your property, a few simple touches can make a big difference.

Think about your target market and consider the additions and décor that will appeal most to potential buyers of your type of property.

If you are looking to attract young professionals, consider turning the smallest bedroom into a study. If your home would more likely attract young families, show this space as a nursery or playroom.

Finally, give the place a really good clean, banish any bad smells and add soft furnishing to make your home look attractive.

Top Tip…

Whatever work you have work done, it’s essential that you keep proper records of any planning permission and building control approval, as well as gas and electrical safety certificates. When you come to sell, you’ll need to be able to prove that all of your renovations were carried out properly. If anything is missing, it could slow down the sale and even cost you money.

For further information on selling a property in Islington, Newington Green and the surrounding areas, take a look at our website or give us a call today.