Adding value to your property

Some improvements add more value than others. Much will depend on the extent to which it overcomes a major drawback, such as enlarging a small kitchen or provision of parking where none existed previously.

High value improvements, where all or most of the cost is typically recovered, includes things like re-decorating in neutral tones, and anything that improves ‘liveability’ – i.e. space, layout and style. So adding an extra double bedroom, converting the loft or building an extension is normally money well spent.

Medium value improvements, where about half of the cost is typically recovered, include projects like re-fitting kitchens and bathrooms. But when it comes to improvements like installing double glazing, building a swimming pool or converting an integral garage, you may only recover less than a quarter of the cost in the value they add to the property.

Some works can actually damage the value, such as ripping out period fireplaces, historic tiling or antique cornicing. Restoring original features like sash windows
can add considerably more value than fitting cheap replacements, and stripping floorboards and restoring old doors to make the most of a property’s history can
boost its appeal.

But perhaps the best use of money is to fix any obvious defects, such as ensuring the building is structurally sound and weathertight. Although not the most glamorous end of the renovation world, it’s always a good idea to carry out basic repairs – such as touching up paintwork, filling cracks, and straightening cupboard doors. Something as simple as re-sealing mouldy joints around baths and showers can work wonders, as can mending dripping taps and replacing the odd cracked pane of glass.