How to add value to your home

From emergency repairs to cosmetic changes, any work you do on your home should add to its sale price, or at least help retain its value. But if the improvement aren’t done out of necessity, think carefully about the changes you make as certain alterations add more value than others.

Homeowners can add significant value - up to tens of thousands of pounds - to their homes through making improvements. A newly landscaped garden or new kitchen can add enormous value - historically as much as 77% or 26% respectively (but remember that the property market is changing all the time, so these values are not guaranteed).

Here are some of the most effective ways to add value to your home:

  • Fit a new kitchen

    A new kitchen is the most common improvement carried out by homeowners, with revamped kitchens accounting for 25% of all home improvements carried out over the last five years. And it’s easy to see why – not only does a newly fitted kitchen make for an eye-catching addition to any home, it can also represent the best value returns, as a layout of around £7,500 can add as much as 26% on to the value of your property.

    It might also be worth combining the dining room and kitchen to create a more attractive, multi-functional living space. Having a new kitchen fitted is a big job that can involve work on the plumbing, electric and gas supplies alongside any construction work, so make sure you use a reputable company to carry out any renovations.

  • Build an extension

    If your family is outgrowing your current home, you might be tempted by a move away to a bigger property, but adding an extension to your current one could prove to be a more financially sound solution. In general, the bigger the extension, the more space it creates and the greater the value it adds to the sale value – a 2017 report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that that a medium-sized extension of 25 square metres adds an average of £59,000 on to the price of a property.

    The type and size of extension will determine how much value will be added to your house, but your main consideration should be the type of extension that will suit you best. If, for instance, you need more living space, a double-height extension might be most suitable as it can add extra living space downstairs and an additional bedroom upstairs. If, on the other hand, your kitchen space is limited, you might want to extend out into the garden or onto your driveway. Bear in mind you might need planning permission before building an extension, and even just getting the relevant plans and permission in place can enhance the value of your property, even if you don’t have the work carried out. If you are getting the work done, bear in mind that building an extension represents a sizeable investment, so always be sure to use a reliable contractor to carry out the work.

  • Converting a garage, loft or cellar

    If you’ve not got the money, space or planning permission for an extension, it’s worth considering other options, such as building a conservatory or converting your loft, garage or cellar. If you’re considering a loft conversion, remember that you’ll need to make room for a full staircase and this in itself can take up a lot of room, so always plan thoroughly to make sure it adds all the space you need without encroaching on and limiting the space in other rooms. If you’ve the option of a garage, loft or cellar conversion, it’s worth considering which is the most practical for your specific needs and property-type, as well as which will add the most value. While all should add roughly the same amount of room to your house, a garage conversion is the cheapest option, at around £7,000, while you can expect to pay at least double that for a loft conversion. A cellar conversion is generally a lot more expensive, and you could easily pay in the region of £90,000 and only add around 10% to the value of your home.

  • Make it more energy efficient

    All homes are now rated for energy efficiency, and homeowners must invest in an energy performance certificate (EPC) when selling, so anything that makes your home more energy efficient will make it more attractive to potential buyers. Consider installing a new boiler or insulating the loft or walls, and bear in mind that fitting double glazed windows and doors can have the added benefit of improving the look of your home while making it more energy efficient.

  • Split your home into two or more properties

    If you own a particularly large building, you might be able to split it into two or more properties. But while this can add considerable value to your property, and even generate an income from rent, this is one of the more complex options. You might even need to move out while the renovation work is being done. If you want to split your property, you’ll need to get a solicitor on board to get advice on ownership of the freehold and drawing up leases for separate residences, and also work out if there are any legal barriers, such as caveats in the deeds, that could scupper your plans.

    But your first stop should be the planning department of your local council, as you’ll need planning permission for any work you do. You may even find there are local planning policies that could place restrictions on parking, the size of each flat or the number of rooms in each, or there could even be a general policy of not allowing conversions to flats.

  • Make it more open plan

    It’s amazing how much difference just knocking a wall through can make - a lighter and larger open-plan living area is often a lot more desirable than several ground floor rooms. This can be a relatively simple and inexpensive job for a professional, but prices can increase significantly if you have to remove a supporting wall.

  • Improve the garden

    A great looking garden can really make all the difference when selling your house, not only in the minds of any buyers but in terms of it valuation – the Post Office Money study found that shelling out around £2,750 on garden landscaping can add a whopping 77% onto the value of your house.

  • Give it a good clean

    If you’ve not got the time or money for wholesale renovations, then simply having a good clear-out and giving each room a lick of paint can make a huge difference. Although this won’t necessarily add any value to the property, making it feel a lot more bright and airy will certainly make you feel better about the place and will have a positive impact on any prospective buyers.

What adds most value to your home?

It all really depends upon the type of property you live in, but new research from Post Office Money has found that garden landscaping and new kitchens are the home improvements most likely to offer the biggest return on investment, adding between one-quarter and three-quarters to the value of the property for between £2,750 and £7,500 worth of work.

Splashing out £10,000 on a home gym can add as much as 44% on to the value of a property, while an £80,000 extension could see returns of 37%. At the other end of the scale, parting with £90,000 for a basement conversion could yield a return of just 17%.

The least profitable renovations are the addition of a conservatory, which adds around 10% to a property’s value, a new driveway, which adds 9% and a wet room, which offers a return of just 7%.

The study, which polled 2,001 homeowners, found that three out of five (64%) made improvements to their homes, spending £14,015 on average. The analysis also found that homes with improvements such as a new kitchen, garden landscaping, extension or walk-in wardrobe had a market 10% higher than the median asking price of £286,000 for a three-bed semi-detached home in the UK.

What adds most value to your home?


Estimated cost of improvement

Value added on average (%)

Garden landscaping £2,750 77%
Gym £10,000 44%
Extension £80,000 37%
Walk-in wardrobe £3,400 34%
Jacuzzi/hot tub £6,000 27%
New kitchen £7,500 26%
Swimming pool £30,000 22%Est
Basement conversion £90,000 17%
Conservatory £9,000 10%
Driveway £25,000 9%
Wet room £7,500 7%

(Common home improvements over the last five years by % value added, Source: Opinium Research for Post Office Money)

What will adding value mean for my mortgage repayments, or if I want to remortgage?

Making improvements and adding value to your home should make no difference to your mortgage repayments, unless you’ve remortgaged the property to release some equity to pay for the renovations. If this is the case, your mortgage repayments will increase in line with the rates and timescales agreed with your lender.

If you’re looking to remortgage after you’ve made the improvements, then you should find that there is a lot more equity in your house to release. This all depends upon the type of work you’ve carried out – not all renovations offer the same returns, as highlighted above - and bear in mind that remortgaging means your monthly mortgage payments will increase, so never take on more than you can afford to pay back, else you could find yourself in financial trouble.