Home Improvement Ideas for 2016

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A study from peer-to-peer platform Zopa found that homeowners added an average of £30,000 to their home’s value courtesy of home improvements. Buying an average-priced property in Manningtree would cost more than £4,000 in stamp duty, legal fees and additional moving costs. So, it’s understandable that many homeowners choose to add to what they have, rather than commit to moving, which is regularly cited as one of life’s most stressful events. But what is the best home improvement to add value to your home?

Best Home Improvement Ideas


A conservatory is the cheapest way of creating extra space for your home. For only around £5,000 you get an extra room, even if it does eat into your garden slightly. Another benefit of a conservatory is that most won’t require planning permission and, according to Zopa research, can deliver an immediate 108% return on your investment.

Adding an Extra Bedroom

According to Nationwide, adding a bedroom and a bathroom through an extension or loft conversion can increase the value of your property by more than 20%. And now is a great time to think about an extension, as, until May 2016, you could add a 6-8m extension, which is double the usual allowance, without needing planning permission, as long as your neighbours don’t mind. Beyond that, the land around your home is your oyster within certain planning regulations, and you are likely to get back almost three-quarters of your extension costs in the value of your home.


From a selling perspective, the front garden is the first thing a prospective buyer sees, and a well-kept and tidy garden will help create an impression of a well-kept and tidy house.

Around the back, making your garden a more relaxing and enjoyable space works both for you and your house price. Adding a decking area or nice outdoor seating for BBQs, landscaping a beautiful new area, even making sure there’s enough lawn for the kids to play in, all make your garden more desirable to you and potential buyers.

Exterior & Roof

As with the front garden, the exterior of your house will create a lasting impression on potential buyers. But even if you’re not looking to sell, it’s you who has to look at it every day. Replacing or sprucing up tatty windows and door frames, filling or plastering external cracks or just giving the place a lick of paint can change how people view your home.

A well-maintained roof is also vital, whether you are looking to sell or are planning to be in your home for the long term, especially with winter coming. Buyers won’t want to have to fix the roof, whereas for you, the sooner you fix problems, the cheaper it will be in the long term. Like any improvement classed more as a necessity than an actual improvement, a properly functioning roof won’t add value to your house, but a roof in poor condition may well decrease the value and will certainly decrease your chance of an easy sale.

Insulation and Energy

There are numerous insulation options to help lower your energy bills (you can read all about these in our Top Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter blog), and as these savings pass onto potential buyers, they can only be good for property prices.

One of the most popular ‘green’ installations in recent years is solar panels. The average cost of a solar installation is around £6,000, for panels that last a minimum of 20 years and should pay for themselves in eight years. After that eight-year period, you could be earning close to £800 per year for a further 12 years. What about in terms of selling your house? Some buyers may not have the credit score to take over your lease while some may simply not be interested in solar energy. However, solar panels are an income generating asset so while they may narrow your market they should not affect your house price negatively.

Double Glazing

Double, or even triple glazing helps keeps your home that bit warmer and shuts out some of the outside noise. Plus, it comes with a handy reduction in your energy bills. A detached house could save anywhere from £120-£160 per year by installing A rated windows. As long as you install good quality windows which fit the look of your home, you could add as much as 10% to your property price.

Loft Conversions

What do you use your loft for? Surely you can find another home for the Scalextric, Christmas decorations and your children’s old toys?

A loft conversion is one of the easiest ways to add an extra room to your home, perfect for addition space or an expanding family, and can add between 10% and 20% to the value of your home. You may not even need planning permission as part of your ‘Permitted Development Rights’ as long your new room doesn’t have too much ‘external impact’.

New Kitchen

The kitchen sells the house, so they say, but it can also put off potential buyers. The kitchen is one of the most common rooms for renovation and some buyers will want to put their own stamp on the place. But if you make the right improvements – a stylish, modern kitchen – and buyers can fall in love with what is already there, as well as with the lack of work required.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and research suggests investment in your kitchen pays off, providing anywhere from a 45%-120% return, with an HSBC study stating that a new kitchen could add £5,000 to the price of your home.

Add an Extra Bathroom

Anyone who grew up in a house with one bathroom will testify to this improvement, especially in the mornings! Also, HSBC research says a new bathroom could add £3,500 to the value of your home. Like the kitchen, bathrooms are one of the most common rooms buyers want to renovate, so installing a new bathroom for the sake of selling may not be the answer. However, adding your dream bathroom can create your new favourite relaxing space in your home. Plus, while it may not be the top of every buyer’s list, a luxury bathroom is something to fall in love with.

You don’t necessarily need to extend to find space for a new bathroom; en-suites have a particularly strong impact on property prices. Rooms with a bit of extra space, even the cupboard under the stairs can be converted into a new bathroom or half-bath.

Add an Open Fireplace or Wood Burner

Adding a fireplace or wood burning stove can add up to 5% to property value, reduce heating bills, and add bags of character – all for an average cost of around £1,500. According to HETAS, the solid fuels industry body, heating with wood is just over half the cost of gas and a quarter of the price of electricity! And you’re only heating the room you’re using, perfect for those cosy nights in front of the telly.

Call us on 01206 396667 to discuss your home improvement ideas, or send us an email on enquiries@jdoconnell.co.uk for a FREE, no-obligation chat.


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