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Best & Worst Renovations to Add Value to your Property

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Not all home improvements are considered equal. If you’re looking to sell or rent out your home, choosing home improvements that are the most lucrative is key. This doesn’t just mean diving straight in for the most expensive and luxurious building projects, nor does it mean just spending the absolute minimum on a lick of paint and hoping it will sky rocket the value of your property.

Whether the return on investment (ROI) is in terms of real monetary value or how much enjoyment you will get out of the house, it’s important to consider the cost of the development compared to what you’ll get out of it.

Here are the top home improvements in terms of valued added when selling a 3 bedroom home at an original estimated value of £250,000. This is based on selling the property soon after these upgrades have been made so that they have minimal wear and tear and are based on UK averages:

We’ve looked at a number of different factors that contribute towards ROI on home improvements that take into account any maintenance costs accrued if upgrades were not made. This includes fixing damaged or broken appliances in an old bathroom, and any financial benefits from modernising such as saving on heating costs with double glazed windows or a new composite front door. 

Increasing Value for Renting Out a Holiday Home

For a holiday home, the value lies in how much you are able to charge guests to stay in your property. Think about how many people can stay in your home at a given time: how many bedrooms it has and how many beds. Multiple bathrooms or en-suite shower rooms are also important to guests if you have space for larger families or groups. Large, open plan living spaces are often valued as are up to date cooking facilities.

Don’t forget that the ROI of your home improvements don’t just come in the form of value added to the property when it’s up for sale. If you’re looking to rent out your property long term or as a holiday home, the number of people it can sleep and the facilities available are likely to be more important than eco-friendly appliance upgrades to your customers, but can make a huge financial difference to you. It’s all about weighing up the pros and cons of each improvement and finding a balance that works best for you.

Renovations Ranked by Return when Selling

The return has been calculated by considering the estimated value added to the house of the renovation compared to the average cost to complete the renovation.

Renovation Type Average Cost % value added to house £ Value added to house* Original Total Return Increase on rental rates for holiday home owners
Kitchen remodel £15,000 10% £25,000 £250,000 £275,000 +67% 12%
Bathroom remodel £6,000 4% £10,000 £250,000 £260,000 +67% 11%
Smart home tech (lighting, heating) £10,000 6% £15,000 £250,000 £265,000 +50% 10%
Landscaping & outdoor maintenance £5,000 3% £7,500 £250,000 £257,500 +50% 8%
Eco-Friendly Home Improvements (solar panels, insulation, appliances) £14,000 8% £20,000 £250,000 £270,000 +43% 4%
Single garage £13,000 7% £17,500 £250,000 £267,500 +35% 4%
Conservatory £18,000 9% £22,500 £250,000 £272,500 +25% 4%
Loft Conversion (including roofing, en-suite bedroom) £35,000 16% £40,000 £250,000 £290,000 +14% 22%
Double storey extension (added bedroom) £37,500 15% £37,500 £250,000 £287,500 0% 19%
Decorating (flooring, painting – whole house) £8,000 3% £7,500 £250,000 £257,500 -6% 8%
Single storey extension £30,000 11% £27,500 £250,000 £277,500 -8% 7%

* Based on a £250,000 3 bedroom property

Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen renovations are popular home upgrades as they’re excellent value for money and tend to pay off in the long run, particularly if you’re replacing outdated appliances that may be wasting money. A minor kitchen upgrade, such as changing cabinet doors, might only add 2-3% to the value of your home as it would likely be considered decorating, but a full overhaul with new appliances, tiling and worktops could add up to 10% to the value of your home – this equals around £25,000 on a £250,000 home, a fantastic ROI considering most kitchen renovations cost between £10,000 and £15,000.

For holiday home owners, a fresh and modern kitchen will persuade guests that they’re getting good value for their money, particularly in the current times when they’re less likely to leave home to dine out. The increase for rental prices could be up to 12%, meaning it comes out third, just below adding additional bedrooms to your property.

Bathroom Renovation

A bathroom renovation is a popular home upgrade, and has a great return on investment, particularly if your bathroom furniture is old and outdated or damaged in some way, adding up to 4% to the value of your home and with a return of 67%. Bathroom remodels are also very desirable in holiday lets though, adding up to 11% to the rental value, thanks to guests looking for spa-like escapes.

Loft Conversion

Loft conversions aren’t often the most popular home renovation, but are clearly pretty lucrative both for selling your home and for renting it out. There’s no need to sacrifice precious outdoor space as you would need to for an extension, but you can gain valuable space indoors that can be used as bedrooms, bathrooms and even work spaces. 

The return looks small compared to others, but converting your loft by adding another bedroom and an en-suite bathroom can bump up the value of a £250,000 home by around 16%, taking it to a selling price of just shy of £300,000. With the average price paid for a loft conversion, including any maintenance to the roof, being between £30,000 to £35,000, homeowners often get back what they paid and more, particularly if they spend cleverly.

Conservatory

Conservatory additions to homes are one of the most popular home upgrades as they are excellent value for money. “Off the shelf” conservatories tend to come as a package rate (which can vary hugely) and can add considerable living space for homes for a good price, sometimes even at £10,000 or less. Considering the value of up to £22,500 this could add when selling your home, the return can be very good.

While adding a conservatory is a good home upgrade for those looking to live in their home or sell in the near future, they don’t add a huge amount of value for holiday home owners as the additional living space is not as desirable as sleeping space. This brings it far lower down on the list for holiday home rental value, only adding 4% to your potential rental rate.

Eco-Friendly Upgrades

For the purpose of this research, we considered adding double glazed windows, a new composite front door and upgrading old appliances to eco-friendly alternatives. We know already that people are more aware about their impact on the environment and are choosing sustainability where they can, meaning that homes and holiday cottages that have made steps in this direction are generally more desirable. In addition to this, the long term returns on upgrades such as new boilers, energy efficient lighting and  are excellent, meaning the value goes far beyond simply the monetary outcome of selling or renting your property. 

When selling your home, new eco-friendly upgrades, particularly new windows and doors, can add a huge amount of value to your home – up to £20,000 on a £250,000 house. For a holiday home, rental value will increase but usually only with the availability of modern appliances, meaning the rate you can charge might only increase by 4%.

Single Garage

Garages are desirable as storage space nowadays, particularly in new build homes where built in storage is scarce. In holiday homes, they also offer the added bonus of safe off-street parking and storage. When selling a property, a single garage might add up to 7% onto the value of your home giving a good return of 35%; if renting the property as a holiday let, a single garage might give you the opportunity to charge up to 4% more.

Smart Home Tech

Once a thing of the future, smart home tech such as smart lighting, heating and security are now a desirable feature in properties. This sort of technology is often fairly expensive at the outset, including installation costs,  estimated at £10,000 here, but may be worth it in the long term, particularly for holiday cottages who can offer luxury features to guests and charge up to 10% more. When selling your home, you’d need to make a decision as to which tech is staying and which is coming with you, meaning that, while it may raise your house price by up to £15,000, it might also cause it to drop in value too if you remove the tech and leave new owners having to source their own.

Landscaping

Landscaping your garden and bringing outdoor spaces up to scratch isn’t something that many think of when selling a home, but gardens are particularly sought after at the moment meaning that ones that need little work will increase the value of your property by up to 3%, or £10,000 on the average 3 bedroom home. The return on this depends on how much you spend on the work, financially and timewise – many think it worth it to spend their time and effort in the garden as it often simply means a bit of grafting outdoors, but if you spend close to the average of £5,000, you can get good returns of around 50%.

Landscaping and outdoor work may make a holiday home more desirable in photos, which generally leads to more bookings for holiday home owners and thus an increase in price. You may be able to charge up to 8% if you keep the outdoor space looking neat and tidy.

Decorating

Decorating is a DIY home owners’ favourite job as it’s usually the cheapest and can be done without the need for external help. That being said, painting and decorating generally only adds up to 3% to the value of a home, around £7,500, unless the property has been left in a dire state. Decorating a whole house might lose you money in the long run of up to 6% as costs can quickly rack up for supplies, and there’s a limit on how much 

Similarly to landscaping, decorating can help increase the curb appeal of holiday homes as guests often skim quickly through photos and a good lick of paint and new accessories will do a world of wonders for these, increasing rates by up to 8%.

Double/Single Storey Extension

It’s not surprising that double and single storey extensions are ranked next by how much value they add to your home, considering the massive increase of additional space they can provide. A double storey extension gives the option of additional bedroom space upstairs in addition to downstairs living space, so adds considerably more value to a home – 15% compared to 11%, which is a difference of £10,000. The return on a double storey extension is likely to only just break even if you’re selling your home due to the high cost of building and designing it, however the benefits for living in the home are greatly increased, particularly if it’s for a growing family. A single storey extension alone may even lose you money on your investment, but if including a kitchen remodel as part of the renovation, as is popular, the return value rockets.

Any extension, whether that’s a loft conversion or double storey, that adds bedroom space is always going to be lucrative for holiday home owners, meaning you’re able to charge as much as 22% more for guests staying in your property.

Our Opinion

Phil Schofield, Head of Inbound Marketing at Schofields, commented:

“Don’t forget though that increased value doesn’t always increase your return, and that even a positive ROI doesn’t always equal profit. Properties rarely sell at their market value, and there are several costs associated with selling your property such as estate agent fees, surveys and more. It’s also key to make sure that the pricing for your improvements matches the price of your home – spending huge amounts on a property that’s below the average home value is unlikely to have good returns. These calculations do, however, make a fantastic guideline if you’re wanting to weigh up the different options you have for upgrading your home based on whether you want to sell or rent out your property.

“For holiday home owners, it’s good to see that simple and less costly renovations such as decorating and adding smart home technology could bring good returns without having to take on dramatic building work.”

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