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Which home improvements add the most value to your property?
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Savvy property owners in the UK understand that their house constitutes much more than a place to live; it’s also an investment asset. As such, one way to make your investment grow is to improve the property – but how? Not all building projects are equal. And since you can only spend the money once, it’s important to know which improvements are worthwhile spending your budget on.
Whether you are preparing your house for sale, hoping to get the best possible price, or whether you are thinking about long-term growth for your home, let’s take a look at some of the best home improvements that are sure to make your property appreciate in value.

New kitchen and bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms lead the list for home improvements that add the most value. It’s not surprising; often these are the areas of the house that look tired and out of date first, and they’re probably the most commonly renovated rooms. Kitchens sell houses, estate agents have a habit of saying, and they should know.
In order to save on the cost of refurbishing a kitchen or a bathroom, a little research goes a long way. Depending on the existing layout and the state of the fixtures and fittings, you may be able to get away with less money than you think. Not every kitchen has to be ripped out and redesigned from scratch. If the units are perfectly serviceable, perhaps new doors and a fresh paint job are all you need? Keep the location of sinks, washing machines or bathroom sanitaryware in the same location to save on plumbing costs.
If you do need a brand new kitchen or bathroom, look up all the information about the best brands and fixtures online, and be sure to compare prices – you’ll be amazed at the discounts to be had. This is where the internet is a hugely helpful resource. That said, it’s risky to buy blind online; nothing can beat looking around a showroom where you can touch and feel the quality of the products. Use a two-pronged approach of online and offline to get the best results in terms of quality and price.

More square footage
Generally speaking, the bigger the property, the more it will be worth, especially if your extension adds habitable space. If there is a possibility to increase the square footage, it’s definitely worth considering.
Lofts and garages are prime contenders for conversion. An unused garage can easily be turned into a home office, guest room, cinema or gym, while loft conversions offer a wealth of opportunity to add valuable living space. Check to see if your attic is big enough and has the requisite head height for a conversion to make sense, and consult with a loft conversion company about your design options. The good news is that both loft and garage conversions typically fall within permitted development rights, so you may not need planning permission.
Building extensions are another option to obtain extra living space. Could you add a conservatory? A side return extension to improve the kitchen? Extend downstairs, or add a two-story extension to give you more bedrooms? If the plot your house sits on is large enough, investing big on an extension can be a wonderful way to transform the property while providing a significant uplift in value.

Better energy efficiency
Homes with greater energy efficiency have the advantage of lower utility bills, which is obviously popular with property buyers. Investing in home insulation, better heating solutions and improvements in sustainability are a great way to future proof your home and increase its value.
The biggest source of heat loss in a house are the roof, walls, windows and doors. Poor wall insulation accounts for 35-45%, and up to 20% of heat loss occurs through the roof. Cavity wall insulation is an obvious first step to help insulate your home, as is loft insulation. And if your house should have single-glazed windows, upgrading to double-glazing is another great renovation option that is certain to bring a good return on investment.
If the boiler is more than 15 years old, upgrading your heating system is money well spent. Modern combi and system boilers are highly energy-efficient, while greener alternatives to gas central heating such as ground source and air source heat pumps are also worth investigating.
Using renewable energy sources is becoming increasingly popular these days. If your roof faces south or west, investing in a solar PV roof array and generating your own solar power could be a good idea. Not only will you get free electricity at the point of production, you can sell the surplus back to the grid and receive a regular income from it.

And finally…
Did you realise that homes with planning permission typically sell for more than those without? This could mean that you don’t actually need to make any modifications to the property at all in order to achieve a top value price. Securing planning consent for developing the house can be especially valuable for large building projects or for conservation areas properties. While there are many ways to improve the value of a property, this must surely rank among the least labour intensive and most cost-effective.

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