The Most Profitable Home Improvements


Spending money on a property you’re about to sell may seem counterproductive. However, if you’re looking to achieve the best possible price, committing some time, money and effort to home improvement is essential.

In fact, the average home improvement project in the UK adds £30,000 to the value of your home. Unfortunately, not every quick fix, extension or repair is equal. Some home improvements yield a far greater return, and let’s face it, are actually worth your time and money, while others are not.

Zopa, a peer-to-peer lender, surveyed over 1000 homeowners who recently took out a home improvement loan, and uncovered the most profitable home improvement projects.

In this article, we will outline which projects are likely to give you the greatest return on investment, and some general guidelines to follow.

Most Profitable Home Improvements

Add a Conservatory

According to Zopa’s research, adding a conservatory is the most profitable home improvements project.

A conservatory fundamentally increases the size and livability of your home. A smooth transition between the living room and garden creates a space ideal for entertaining, or an area to relax in and absorb the natural sunlight.

Installation typically costs owners £5,300. However, this indoor-outdoor space adds an extra £5,750 profit to the value of the home. This represents an incredible return on investment of 108%!

An additional bonus to this option is that conservatories do not require planning permission. According to the UK Planning Portal, a conservatory is ‘permitted development’ until May 2019, provided it does not exceed 50% of the original land, is single story and no wider than the house.

However, be sure to consider the extra costs of furnishing and controlling the climate of the conservatory. They can be incredibly warm in summer, particularly if your house is south facing. Another important factor to consider is the size of your garden and the degree to which a conservatory will impose on outdoor space.

Expected Cost: £5,300
Expected Profit: £5,750
Return on Investment: 108%

Landscape or Tidy the Garden

There’s no denying that Brit’s love a glorious garden. A pristine lawn and manicured landscape set the scene for the rest of the house, and if buyers are initially impressed, research shows they are more inclined to overlook the property’s shortfallings.

So hook prospective buyers from the very first moment by sprucing up your garden. If you’re not much of a gardener, you may wish to hire a professional. A landscaper can help to design a well-balanced yard, which makes the area appear larger and more modern while highlighting key features. With all that said, there’s no need to spend a fortune. According to those in the industry, simpler gardens usually sell better.

A garden that requires heavy maintenance can deter buyers. Instead, focus on ensuring the garden is tidy, the lawn mowed, plants healthy and unsightly weeds or clotheslines removed. Most viewings appear in the late afternoon or evening, so many estate agents recommend investing in garden lighting to provide a welcoming setting.

You may wish to focus on improving the privacy and safety of your backyard too. Fencing, in particular, increases the value. Alternatively, if the interior of your home lacks space, installing a shed has proven to be profitable and highly sought after.

Essentially, don’t go overboard. While an alfresco kitchen, hot-tub or large decking may create a luxurious feel, these are expensive and may not bring a healthy return on investment. For the most profitable home improvements, plan your budget and stick to it.

Expected Cost: £4,550
Expected Profit: £4,000
Return on Investment: 88%

Look at the Exterior of the Home

When it comes to house hunting, buyers can’t help but judge a book by its cover. And just like the garden, the home’s exterior is the first feature potential buyers will see.

Paint that’s peeling, tiles that are cracked and doors that are damaged won’t make a pleasant first impression. Get buyers through the front door by paying attention to these details. A minor facelift, such as painting weatherboards, replacing old tiles or repairing broken fittings, is well worth your time and money.

Of course, cosmetics are important, but so too is functionality. Make sure all doors and windows are in working order and repair any exterior electronics such as security systems, garage doors or lighting.

Expected Cost: £6,000
Expected Profit: £4,500
Return on Investment: 75%

Undertake an Extension or Loft Conversion

The United Kingdom is renowned for having some of the smallest homes in Europe, and let’s face it, everyone from families to singles, could do with a little more space in their life.

Adding additional space through an extension or loft conversion typically adds 21% to the value of your home, according to research from Rough Guide to Property. Furthermore, when compared to existing room conversions, such as transforming an office into an extra bathroom, extensions to the existing building appear to be twice as profitable.

Loft conversions, in particular, can be highly valuable with some experts claiming that a well-executed loft conversion can bump up the worth of your home by £20,876.

Additionally, both loft conversions and home extensions enhance the flow of natural light into the home and increase viewpoints, which are both highly sought after features. The latter proves especially beneficial if you live close to the coastline or gardens.

Expected Cost: £19,750
Expected Profit: £14,000
Return on Investment: 75%


Repair the Roof

It’s easy to forget about the features of your home that are not in immediate view. However, a damaged roof can easily be used to re-negotiate the value of your home.

In the case that your RICS report reveals issues with your roof, it is recommended you seek expert advice on the cost of repairs. Don’t limit yourself to one quote, as prices will vary between contractors. Having a clear understanding of costs will not only help decide whether the expense of repair is worth it but will also provide an indication of a reasonable adjustment to the value of your property.

Expected Cost: £4,150
Expected Profit: £2,600
Return on Investment: 63%

Replace Old Carpets

There’s no bigger turnoff than old or stained carpets. Worn out floors age the home, and any potential buyer will see replacing the floor as a future expense. In some cases, a professional clean is enough. However, if you’re looking to sell your house quickly, you really should consider replacing the carpet.

Fresh flooring will not only remove evidence of pets and unpleasant odours; it will depersonalise the home enabling buyers to envision their new life in your home. If you decide to lay down new carpet, opt for neutral tones only, such as beige.

An alternative option is to rip up carpets and polish the underlying floorboards. Wooden floorboards have experienced a revival over the last decade, and are a cost-effective way to rejuvenate your home.

Expected Cost: £4,150
Expected Profit: £2,600
Return on Investment: 63%


Renovate the Kitchen

You may have heard that kitchens sell homes. It’s true. A showstopping kitchen can capture the heart of prospective buyers and seal a quick deal. There’s no other living space we spend more time in. In fact, the kitchen is worth more per square metre than any other room in the house!

If you choose to renovate the kitchen, the most important thing you need to consider is what renovations are going to appeal to your potential buyers. Remember, it’s not your dream kitchen, it is theirs. So, where do the experts recommend you spend your hard earned cash?

For a fresh new look for less, resurface the kitchen cabinets, provided the cupboards, drawers and hinges are in fine working order. Otherwise, you may need to replace cabinetry. Again choose neutral tones, nothing with too much personality.

Replace laminate countertops, preferably with solid-surface natural stone or quartz. While granite is expensive, it is scratch and chip resistant. It will add serious value to your home and appeal to all buyers.

Repair leaking faucets, and upgrade if necessary. Your kitchen should shine! However, take caution splashing out on new silver appliances. A new oven may sell the house faster, but you’re are unlikely to make your money back. A quick and cheap way to modernise the kitchen is to install new lighting fixtures.

Expected Cost: £9,600
Expected Profit: £2,350
Return on Investment: 48%

Do Your Research!

If you’re looking to sell your house fast for an ideal profit, we recommend taking a good look at your house and making informed decisions about what home improvements will be most profitable for you.

There are no hard and fast rules, and the most financially rewarding home improvements will depend on the location of your property and the current buyer market. We recommend speaking to a local estate agent to understand exactly what buyers in the area are looking for. We hope this in-depth guide from Accelerate Homes points you in the right direction! Please contact one of our friendly consultants if you’re looking for any advice on selling your property fast.

About the Author Accelerate Homes

Accelerate Homes connects UK homeowners with qualified Cash Property Buyers. Working in partnership with a small selection of the most reliable cash buyers, we have helped 1000s of homeowners sell their house fast! Our network will buy any house in any condition, nationwide. Contact us today to get a quote!

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