Renovating and extending can add significant value to your home – whether your motive is to enhance your lifestyle or to boost your selling price.
We’re finding clients are increasingly choosing to improve their homes rather than move, carving out new spaces that work better for them and their family. That often involves adding an extra bedroom or study, or creating a bigger dining area for entertaining friends and family.
But simply increasing the size of a home often doesn’t improve the quality of space, or boost its value. There is value in well-designed space, and in a case study we share later in this article we added a loft and side-return extension, but also removed usable floor space to create a dramatic double-height atrium.
At Elfort Road House, The atrium has become a focal point of the home, bringing lots of natural light into a previously dim space and creating a valuable socialising space that the sale price reflects.
“Entertaining space is top of the list for home buyers after location. I’m finding it is even trumping outside space now,” says Henry Sherwood, a London buying agent and property advisor. “People want a large open-plan kitchen, diner and reception.”
If you’re adapting your home explicitly to increase your selling price, your area will likely dictate the improvements that will add the most value to your home. Look at prices in the immediate postcode through property listings or sale prices on Land Registry to get an idea of values in your area.
“Every area has a ceiling price. You could end up spending more on your property than its actually worth,” warns Henry, who finds that the risk typically comes with overspending on interior finishes rather than the build itself. “In some areas the market will keep up with what you’ve spent, it depends on how long you’re planning to keep your property for and if there’s market uplift.”
With this in mind it’s important to have an idea about how long you plan to stay in your home. There’s a distinction between the work you might consider on a forever home and one you plan to stay in for the next 5-10 years. Requesting a feasibility study on a prospective home before putting in an offer will give you the best idea of what can be done and at what cost. Estate agent Zoopla suggests that a loft conversion, kitchen redesign and off-street parking come out on top and can add as much as 15% to the value of your property.
“Get good advice from people who are qualified to advise,” says Henry. “Hire an architect, surveyor or planning consultant who has worked in the area as they will know the precedent for works possible under permitted development or through planning. You might even negotiate a deal subject to planning approval.”
What type of extensions can increase your home’s value?
The obvious way to create new spaces is to expand the footprint of your home with an extension. There are various types to suit your specific property, needs and budget.
- Garden and side return extension
Extending into your back garden can make room for a larger kitchen, dining space and lounge to improve your entertaining space. It can also improve the quality of natural light in your home and connection to the garden.
Cost: £3,000-£4,000 per square metre
See our cost breakdown for a side return extension
- Loft conversion and dormer extension
When it comes to upgrading inner-city Victorian and Edwardian homes, we find it often makes most sense to extend up to create an extra bedroom and ensuite bathroom or home office. Converting an existing loft and adding a dormer extension can be a great way of making the most of floorspace that’s already available.
Cost: £2,000-£3,000 per square metre
- Basement conversion
Converting or excavating a new basement will bring a novel space to your home. But the high cost of labour and energy involved in excavating a deeper basement means this is one area where we think you’re unlikely to see a like-for-like financial return.
Cost: £3,500-£4,500 per square metre
- Adding an annexe
A garden room, home office or separate guest accommodation is a great way to increase space while offering a degree of separation from home life. The popularity of annexes grew exponentially during the pandemic when an additional multi-functional space became invaluable.
Cost: £3,500-£4,500 per square metre
What renovations add value to your home?
If you don’t have the room or budget to extend your property, there are myriad ways to improve the quality of space within the existing fabric of the building.
We find that the cost of renovating or remodelling existing spaces starts at £1,250 per square metre.
The compartmentalised layout of Victorian and Edwardian rarely rarely suit contemporary living standards. We find that reorganising the space by opening up some partitions to create a ‘broken plan’ space – a halfway house between the original layout and an entirely open-planned design – can create a more natural flow of spaces.
- Energy upgrades
Investing in energy upgrades – from LED lighting to underfloor heating, extra insulation and double glazing – will offer saving over the long-term on your bills.
- Create storage
Bespoke storage – whether it’s for a wine collection, books or decorative items – helps to create uncluttered spaces that show off their functionality as well as design.
Case study: Elfort Road House
Our renovation of a Victorian terrace in Islington, north London involved the addition of a side and roof extension, and the complete reorganisation of the living spaces across the ground and lower-ground floors to create a light and spacious home for a young family.
We also took the opportunity to upgrade the energy efficiency of the home, adding underfloor heating, double glazing and LED lighting. The project was completed in 2017 at a cost of £450,000.
Our clients bought their home for £1,170,000 in 2016 and renovated it with the intention to make it a long-term family home, but a change in life’s direction meant the house went back on the market in 2022 and sold for £1,865,260.
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