What home improvements are good for driving property value?

POSTED: 11th May 2015
IN: Personal Guides

With the summer selling season fast approaching, homeowners will be thinking about how to make their homes as desirable as possible.

undefinedThere are many ways to not only boost the appeal of the property, but potentially increase its value too.

Depending on how much and how long people are willing to spend on improvements, homeowners could increase the current asking price by taking certain steps to make their property stand out in a crowded marketplace while still being value for money.


Going Green

Figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that making energy saving improvements to your property could increase its value by 14 per cent on average, and up to 38 per cent in some parts of England.

Some of the most effective energy-efficient improvements include simple draught-proofing, loft and cavity wall insulation, double or triple glazing, installing a modern combi boiler, and adding solar panels or heat pumps, all of which can help to bring down energy bills while boosting house prices.

The main benefit of carrying out this work is the impact it would have on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Across the UK, energy efficient improvements that move the average home from band G to E, or from band D to B, could mean adding more than £16,000 to the sale price of the property.

This increase is even greater in certain areas; in the North East, improving energy efficiency from band G to E could increase a property's value by over £25,000, while doing so in the North West could see £23,000 added to the home's value.

Kevin McCloud, presenter of TV's Grand Designs and co-founder of the Grand Designs Future Living home retrofit company, says that around 25 million homes in Britain are poorly insulated and need "immediate help" to be made less wasteful.

"People really value the well-insulated, energy-efficient home; that modest investment in measures to make our homes more comfortable, healthier and cheaper-to-run really pays off," he explained.

Do it Yourself

Every homeowner is capable of  adding value to their home if they are willing and able to invest time and money in the work needed.

Many buyers over-estimate the cost of work to refurbish a house and therefore, when refurbishment is needed, reduce their offer disproportionately.

As such, it makes sense to present the property well to avoid any discounting of the price. For example, if the decor of a house is five or ten years old, then vendors should refresh the paint work and carpets.

After all, a well-presented house has the benefit of giving the buyer confidence that it has been well looked after.

Likewise, de-cluttering and cleaning may sound obvious, but it is a simple DIY measure that is a sure-fire way of increasing the value of a home, according to Ed Mead from London estate agent Douglas & Gordon.

He explained: "Interior condition is all, so people will notice grubby grouting and cut up work surfaces. Pretend you’re a buyer and walk round your house. What looks bad - clean it or replace it."

Think Big

It is also worth considering that bigger projects can boost property prices even more. Although certain work may be beyond the average DIYer, having major work carried out can be worth the hassle of short-term disruption, due to the eventual gains.

Some of the major yet basic improvements to a property that add value above their cost include central heating, double glazing, the renewal of kitchens and bathrooms, and possibly adding in a second or en-suite bathroom.

Inside and Out

If your property has a garden, then do not overlook its importance in adding value to the property, or its propensity to devalue the home. A badly landscaped, poorly presented garden will present the wrong impression to valuers and potential buyers alike.

As with the interior, neutrality is the best tactic; heavily personalising a home or garden can be a deterrent to prospective buyers.

Likewise, simple touches like a flower bed, pots and evening out any paving means less work needs to be done by the prospective buyer, and could be the difference between a quick sale or the property staying another few months on the market.

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