Value added tips for savvy homeowners

More space will add value to your house, as long as you keep things in proportion. But bear in mind the ceiling price of your area and aim to maximise your profit. Here are ten key ways to add value with approximate percentages from our experience of working in central London for 35 years.

1 Build up: can add around 20%
A loft conversion comprising a spacious double bedroom and an en-suite can add up to 15% to the value of your home. You’d be looking at a cost of at least £30,000. But make sure you get it right. Avoid a narrow staircase and low ceilings.

2 Build down: can add around 15%
A good basement conversion can transform an ordinary terrace into a modern mansion, with greatly improved living space provided you make provision for natural light. But it can be more expensive than any above-ground work. You need to call in specialists to design and build it. You would be looking at costs of approximately £500 per square foot. The new space will not be as valuable as your above ground space and will very much depend on whether it is carefully thought out in terms of space and light. Just remember to give your neighbours plenty of warning of the work in advance.

3 Build out: can add up to 25%
Converting a garage and adding a room on top is a popular choice in the suburbs, but if you live in a city centre, your only option might be a conservatory onto a patio garden or garden. The right extension can add up to 25% to the value of your home. If you can’t afford a conservatory or extension, opt for bi-fold doors that open to the garden. These will brighten the room they are in and increase the feeling of space.

4 Double-glazing: can add around 5%
Double-glazing not only conserves heat, it can also cut noise levels. However, make sure the double glazing you install is appropriate for the style of house. If you have older units, where the seals are breaking down or the uPVC doesn’t suit the style of house, consider more efficient and more appealing replacements. It’s now possible to replicate most styles of window, including wooden sash or Art Deco steel frames. Be mindful of the fact that you cannot generally add double glazing to listed buildings. Good double glazing can add 5% to the value of a property.

5 Re-configure: can add around 5-7%
Whereas once we wanted more rooms, the trend now is towards more open-plan living. Re-configuring the layout of your house could create value. We now want kitchens big enough to eat, watch TV and socialise in. We want to entertain in a relaxed manner, so we don’t necessarily need a separate, formal dining room. Dark, narrow corridors can be knocked through to maximise liveable space, but always seek advice from a builder or architect. Upstairs, a tiny room might be better turned into an en-suite bathroom. An extra bedroom will help to add value. But beware of turning one large bedroom into two awkward smaller bedrooms, it is quality over quantity these days. Space under the eaves, under the stairs or cellars can all be turned into cupboards.

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6 New kitchen: can add around 8%
A new kitchen can add 5% to the value of your home and can also be the one room that may win over the buyers. If you are revamping your kitchen to sell, stick to designs that fit in with the house. If you can create a kitchen/family room or just add more space by incorporating a side return, then do so. By making the room bigger and lighter, you could increase the value of the house even more.

7 New bathroom: can add around 5%
Whether it’s a revamp of the only bathroom or moving it upstairs, the addition of an en-suite or a downstairs cloakroom, bathrooms make a big impression on buyers. A great bathroom can add up to 5% onto the value of the house.

8 Get outside: can add around 5%
A patio or decking can extend your living space, especially if you stage it to make it appear to be an additional room. Add a table and chairs or a BBQ area. If you only have a courtyard, add some pots of colourful flowers, healthy herbs and a water feature. Be creative with lighting and this area could add up to 5% to the value of your property.

9 Good communications: can add around 3%
Doubling your internet speed may add 3% to the value of your home. Although you are, to a certain extent, dependent on the fixed broadband speed of your area, there are some ways you can improve your user experience. The position of your router can make a difference. Avoid barriers between it and your computer. Adjust your Wi-Fi settings – if you use the same one as your neighbours, both of you will experience interference and a drop in speed. Secure your network, too.

10 Kerb appeal: can add around 3-5%
Everybody knows that buyers make up their minds about a house within the first few seconds. So concentrate your efforts on the front of the house. Paint the woodwork, metalwork and make sure windows are clean. Consider replacing the door furniture or even the door itself.

* Contact Kay & Co estate agents for details of properties for sale or to rent in Marylebone, Bayswater, Paddington, Notting Hill, Mayfair, Fitzrovia, Regents Park and The West End (020 7262 2030 Kay and Co)

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