Last year, the nation was in lockdown resulting in us spending more time that ever in our homes. This led to the change in priorities for UK homeowners when it comes to what we want from our space leading to a significant rise in home improvements.
And with the latest data released by ONS, the average UK house price in March 2021 increased by 10.2% over the last 12 months which is the highest annual growth rate since August 2007, before the financial crisis. Rather than selling up and moving to a bigger property, making well thought out improvements is a more affordable way to turn your house into your dream home.
Here at Hitachi Personal Finance, we’ve put together a list of the top home improvements which will not only make your house a home but also add value to your property.
Add a conservatory
Potential Value Added: 5-10%*
Create more living space in your property by adding a conservatory will not only provide more room for the family but also increase the value of your home from anywhere between 5 to 10%*. However, it will all depend on how well it fits into it’s surrounding and ensuring that it merges well with the rest on your home in crucial.
A fully glazed conservatory will help you blend the indoors with the outdoors and create a greater sense of space. There are plenty of options available when it comes to selecting the glass such as solar control glass and self-cleaning glass, with double glazing being the minimum standard permitted by building regulations.
Let’s not forget the frame – depending on which material you decide to use is likely to affect the performance of the conservatory so always do your research and ask experts for advice when you can.
Even though adding a conservatory is a permitted development provided; you will need to be mindful building regulations as well as exemptions which will require you to make an application e.g. removal of doors or walls connecting the conservatory to your house will require you to prove it’s energy efficiency matches the rest of your property
Top tip - If you already have a conservatory, you can add value by upgrading to a tiled roof. This will transform it into a living space you can use all year round and not just when the weather gets warmer.
Potential Value Added: up to 20%
Loft conversions are one of the best returns on investment you can get, with experts suggesting they can increase your property value by up to 20%. When planning your budget, the cost of the conversion shouldn't exceed the added value to your house so it’s worth doing your homework before calling in the builders.
With a variety of conversions available, from a roof light conversion which needs a minimal amount of structural work (making it the most cost-effective) to the more expensive mansard conversion.
Many loft conversions are considered a permitted development however it’s always worth double checking with your local planning authority before beginning any work as there are exemptions e.g. if you want to extend your roof space by more than 50m3 (40m3 for terraced housing), you’ll need permission.
Convert your cellar
Potential Value Added: Up to 20%
If you’re lucky enough to have a cellar, then converting it into an additional living or storage space has the potential to boost your property’s value by up to 20% according to HomeOwners Alliance.
You’ll be surprised to find out that a cellar conversion is one of the least complex renovations you can make as it doesn’t require planning permission! The reason for this is that it falls under the ‘change of use’ category however if you do want to make any structural changes, you will need to speak with your local planning authority first.
Repurpose up your garage
Potential Value Added: Up to 20%*
Gain valuable living space without the hassle of getting planning permission with a full or even partial garage conversion. If you’re not using your garage to keep your car in, then using it to create more living space is a no brainer. With many of us now wanting to have our own gym or office, it could make sense to convert it.
When planning your conversion, take the time to do the maths and ensure that the cost of the conversion doesn’t outweigh the extra value it’ll add to your home. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a double garage, then converting only half of it allows you to have more space and still keep your car safe.
Before starting any building work, check that your garage is suitable for converting as well as confirming with your local planning authority if you need planning permission (better to be safe than sorry). The last thing to remember is that any renovations are subject to building regulations to ensure its safe and sound so don’t forget to get it inspected.
Add some garden appeal
Potential Value Added: up to 20%*
Transforming your garden into a wonderful outdoor space which can be enjoyed during the warmer months especially with more of us choosing to spend more time at home.
A deck or patio can transform a garden into a fab entertaining or hosting space and when combined with a conservatory, you’ll never want to be anywhere else. Research by My Tool Shed has stated that by simply sprucing up your garden, the average UK house price could increase by up to a whopping £46,552, especially in urban areas.
Low cost home improvement loan
Whether you’re finally ready to convert your loft into an additional bedroom or create that fabulous outdoor space to relax, our low cost Home Improvement Loan can help you turn your dream into a reality. Our rates start from as low as 2.8% APR Representative between £7,500 and £25,000.