Ask the Experts - Home Improvements and Increasing the Value of Your Property
Maximising the value of your property is very much on every homeowners mind – whether it’s to take a step up the property ladder, maximise space or just make improvements for your own comfort and benefit.
Kerr and Co
often get called in by homeowners and asked for their advice 6 months before put their property on the market. This is hugely beneficial as we can support and discuss where value can be added and advise on current market demand. Below we have listed the most popular home improvements which add value, space and buyer appeal to your property whether you want to sell or stay .
This is a really popular way to add square footage. The advantage of a loft conversion is that it can be managed without huge disruption (unlike a two-storey extension for example) and can increase the value of your home by up to 20%. Although costs for such projects have been creeping up with the current market conditions it will also vary considerably according to the type and size of your loft, you could expect to pay anywhere between £35K - £100K depending on if you manage the project your self or its project managed by an architect or another professional, the size of the loft space and the materials you use.
An architect or builder can advise on the suitability of your loft space and once you start planning, you’ll need to get to grips with the types of conversions available. Options range from a roof light conversion, which needs the least amount of structural work and so is the most cost-effective, to a more expensive mansard conversion. Here, one or both slopes of the roof are replaced with a new structure with steeper sides and an almost flat roof.
Mansard conversions generally need planning permission, but most loft conversions are considered a permitted development. It is worth getting clarification from the LBHF planning department . Loft conversions can make an ideal solution if you need more bedrooms or an office space, but you will need to carefully plan for the loss of storage areas. Cupboards can be created in the eaves, and your garage/shed space maximised to get around this problem. Read more LBHF Guide Loft Conversions.
Garage or Out House Conversion
If your garage isn’t being used to house a car, creating an additional room from this space can be an excellent way to add value if you have adequate parking space outside. In Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush, garages are quite rare given the number of roads of victorian terrace houses. However, there are still a number in the area and if you have one attached to your house is definitely a valuable asset.
Converted garages make excellant family rooms, playrooms, home office, gym or utility area, converting your garage can give you a great return if done properly. The cost of this sort of project is generally far less than more major works (such as a loft extension) and can add 10-30% to your house price depending on the space added.
Before starting you will need to check if you need planning permission, but in many cases, the work will be classed as permitted development. Again, you can find out more information in the LBHF Guide .
If you are fortunate enough to have a basement beneath your house you may wish to consider converting this under utilised space . Your home is probably your most precious asset, the basement also underpinnes the rest of the house - so it is important that your conversion project is carefully planned by professionals and they continue to manage the project throughout.
Basements are very popular and on trend with young families. They can give a home extra room(s) without altering the rest of the house, which can be used as an office, cinema, gym room or games room for a growing family. However, some important facts you do need to consider are obvious - ie is there sufficient headroom in the basement, has the basement ever flooded, what is the access like, is there a place for a staircase and is there any ventilation to your basement or could any be provided.
These are all important factors which should be considered before you embark on excavation work and its strongly advised that you seek professional advice as planning permission and building regulations will need to be sort and will affect your conversion. For more information LBHF Guide to Basements
Conservatory/Garden Studio/ Office
A garden room / conservatory or office if well considered and built with quality in mind, they can be more than worthwhile. Similarly, they may be included as permitted development, (check with LBHF council website ) adding up to 10 -15% onto your property’s value (depending on size and quality of design).
Conservatories have a more contemporary feel, containing a higher percentage of glass than garden studios d tend to be cheaper to construct. Prices start at around £10k for a PVC construction and can increase to £30k plus for a timber framed building. Insulation and is an important factor to ensure you can enjoy your conservatory throughout the year.
Garden rooms and offices involve a more complex building and design which generally incurring higher costs. Depending on the size of the construction and if there is a high degree of customisation, then this will involve more costs. There is greater longevity with this more solid type of construction and many come prebuilt and better insulation means fewer issues with over-heating in summer or heat loss in the winter months. Always check with the councils planning department on planning and building regulations. Read More LBHF Guide Conservatories
Kitchens are the heart of the home and can make or break a house sale. Replacing your tired old kitchen can add at least 5 – 10% or even more if a reconfiguration or extension is involved.
Kitchens are definitely one of the most expensive investments you will make on your home, but when you consider the value of properties in the W12 and W6 area, you should recoup the cost when it’s time to sell. The size of kitchen and the type of materials you use (for example if you choose a natural stone worktop over a cheaper laminate) will determine the price. On average they range between £10k - £30K fully fitted but could be in excess of this if they are highly customised or contain top of the range brassware and electrical goods.
If you can’t stretch to a full replacement, there are plenty of tweaks you can make on a budget. Spray painting dated units, replacing door handles and changing the work tops can have a huge impact and won’t break the bank.
Like the kitchen bathrooms must be of high standard and spotless when it comes to sell . Investing in a new bathroom could add 3-5% and there are simple ways to minimise costs and maximise returns.
By undertaking a ‘rip and replace’ job, keeping the existing layout, the plumbing costs will be minimal. Floor-mounted sanitaryware is generally cheaper than wall-hung pieces and you can save even more money by choosing a bathroom suite rather than purchasing individual items.
Consider how much tiling you really need as this is where cost can quickly rack up. Floor to ceiling tiles on each wall are not usually necessary - you can usually get away with doing just the shower enclosure and splash back. Expect to pay between £5k - £10K depending on the specification.
Internal Alterations and Extensions
Making simple alterations can make your property can make your property more inviting by creating lighter and bigger area. The most common way of doing this is ‘knocking through’ front and rear reception rooms which can be one of the best ways of transforming buyer appeal without spending a fortune, and can make a difference to smaller properties to a open plan living space.
Asking advice from your local estate agent such as Kerr and Co
is important research as they have seen various alterations with in your immediate area and will be able to guide to what improvements will add the extra value. As insulation and heating costs rise, open spaces can be more costly to heat. In period properties there’s a danger of creating a sterile environment devoid of the historic features and original layouts that many buyers demand, thereby reducing its market value. Also, internal partitions can perform a useful function keeping conflicting activities in the home separated, or discreetly concealing old dishes and clutter. Kerr and Co have seen several houses within your area and will have comparable evidence to help. Good local architects and local builders will also be able to advise you on budget, party wall agreements if needed, layout, materials and insulation. Open plan living is loved by families and carefully planned layouts can add the
to your property. For more information LBHF Guide to Home Improvements
For a discussion on what can make your property more valuable and profitable please call our sales team on 0208 43 1166 or email email@example.com
For information on planning, conservation or protected areas, building control and building regulations please see the LBHF website LBHF Planning and other Questions