Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Tips on how to add value to your home

  • 20, Oct 2020
  • Read time: 10 mins

Adding value to your home, no matter what your long term plans are, makes sense. Your house will look trim and neat and will possess that X-factor curb appeal needed when it’s time to sell. Plus, regular maintenance will help to ensure there are less unexpected surprises in store.

Built in wardrobe in bedroom.

Convert your loft

One of the most rewarding ways to add value is to convert your loft or garage, or renovate your existing space.

If your home is a family space, an open plan kitchen/diner can create a real heart for the home.

But please call in the experts. However easy knocking down a wall may look on TV, your home improvements will need to be carried out safely.

The average cost of converting your loft in 2020 is between £20,000 and £60,000. Of course, prices will vary depending on the complexity of the job and the things you want to include, such as an en suite bathroom.

While you may or may not need planning permission, you will definitely need to comply with Building Regulations, so make sure you take a look at the government's planning portal to find out what these are.

Add a room

Conservatories and extensions can add vast amounts of space to your home and depending on the nature of the work, can be done with very little intrusion into your existing space. A small UPVC conservatory may cost in the region of £7,000 to £11,000. A wooden conservatory of a similar size or footprint will cost £12,000 to £16,000.

Prices will vary depending on the size of job and the materials used, but in 2019 the average cost of adding an extension to your property is £1,400 per square metre. Therefore, a 10 square metre space will cost approximately £14,000.

Consider what you will use the room for carefully, as this will dictate your choice of roof style, heating method and layout, which in turn will dictate the cost.

Both options will be subject to Building Regulations and possibly planning permission.

Improve your outside space

Garden makeovers may sound costly and sometimes seem less of a priority than your inside space.

But what if you could create an outside room simply by adding a structured dining area, or a home office simply by installing a garden pod?

The average cost of adding a garden room to your property is £1,450 per square metre. Therefore a 10 metre square garden room will cost £14,500.

Adding a garden room to your property may increase its value. However, it’s worth remembering that having an attractive garden can also significantly increase the value of your property.

With living space of paramount importance for most homebuyers, maximising ALL of this, inside and out, can create real impact, both from a practical and aesthetic angle.

Take a look at the garden design ideas on the Royal Horticultural Society website for more inspiration

Restoring original features

If you live in a period property, there’s real value to be had from restoring or maintaining the original features.

Properties that manage to combine this charm with modern décor and fixtures can command a real premium when they come to the market.

It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Perhaps you already have parquet flooring hiding under the carpet, or a beautiful fireplace behind that plasterboard?

If you haven’t discovered any gems but would like to add some, reclamation yards are a great place to start.

The garden and windows

A tidy front garden or fresh coat of paint on the outside walls will really show off your house to its full potential. Adding a softwood decking feature to your garden averages at £70-£80 per square metre. You can double this amount if you use composite or hardwood decking services.

If your windows needs replacing but you can’t afford to do the whole house, consider just the front, it will make the world of difference to both the value and the heating bills. Of course, this will vary depending on size and materials used, such as double glazing.

In this respect, the average cost of double glazing a 3 bedroom house is £5,000 to £7,000.

Adding new windows certainly adds curb appeal, and may also add to the value you of your house. The improved energy efficiency will be particularly attractive to modern families.

A new kitchen or extension

While a new kitchen will certainly add value to your home, it’s not always necessary to replace the whole thing.

Replacing just the doors and worktops and cleaning up the tiles can make all the difference, as can a new floor and a change to the wall colour. However, the average cost of a new kitchen installation, excluding appliances and preparatory work is approximately £5,000 - £6,000. Try out a virtual room design tool or look online to see what you could achieve.

The average cost of a new extension is approximately £1,100 - £1,400 per square metre. Double that cost if it’s a two storey extension of similar dimensions.

Converting your garage

Converting your garage to add space to your property may also add value. Plus, garage conversions are usually less hassle when applying for planning permission.

You will need to decide what is most profitable and comfortable for you: turning an unused garage into a living space or creating a new story on top of the garage.

Converting a standard 3x4 square metre garage into another room can cost in the region of £17,000. But carried out properly and taking into consideration where you live, this could add significant value to your home.

You’ll need to check whether there’s a condition that the garage parking space remains as a parking space. But if you’re thinking of adding a storey to the building, this won’t be an issue.

Adding a conservatory

A well-constructed conservatory is the perfect way to fuse the outside with the inside, often pointing to a fine part of the garden, adding light and space to your home while keeping you constantly connected with nature.

It may not increase your home’s value tremendously, but it will make your time spent gazing out to the gazebo definitely worth the effort.

Prices will vary depending on the size of job and the materials used, but in 2019 the average cost of adding an extension to your property is £1,400 per square metre. Therefore, a 10 square metre space may cost approximately £14,000.

A small UPVC conservatory may cost in the region of £7,000 to £11,000. A wooden conservatory of a similar size or footprint will cost £12,000 to £16,000.

A new bathroom

Adding another bathroom to your property certain increases its appeal, particularly if yours is a family residence.

This may be a trickier and costly job to get right because of the new plumbing arrangement that has to be considered. But, a new 3x3 square metre bathroom may cost approximately £3,800.

Tackling defects

It’s easy to put off dealing with problems such as damp or structural cracks, especially if you’re thinking of moving. But nip these problems in the bud early. Not only can they prove more costly if they escalate, but they will definitely be picked up by surveyors when you do come to sell.

Plus, you are legally obligated to answer all questions posed by the seller. Therefore, some defects may stop your property being sold as quickly as you would like.

Remember, how much you sell your house for usually reflects the amount of care and attention you have paid to it. So, if you don’t tackle existing defects, this could be reflected in the asking price of the property.

Improve your eco-credentials

Items such as loft insulation or a new boiler may seem like ‘invisible’ improvements, but these costly enhancements will definitely yield a return.

Not only will you feel the benefits, but you’ll see them in your reduced outgoings.

A modernised heating system or having solar panels can be great selling points too and can help to improve your Energy Efficiency rating when you put your house on the market.

The same can be said for having cavity wall installation and getting your loft properly insulated as a significant portion of heat is lost through the roof. 

Ensuring your doors, windows, letterboxes and even keyholes are covered from draughts is a great way of saving energy and paying less when the bills arrive.

Tell your insurance company

If you do make improvements that may add value to your home, don’t forget to let your home insurance company know.

Home insurers will want to know about any non-cosmetic work happening to the property before it commences, as it increases the risk of damage to the property depending on what is being done. If you don’t inform your insurer, a claim might be reduced, rejected, or the policy invalidated.

You’ll need to make sure you’re covered to the full property value. And as with any DIY work, if you’re not confident about carrying out the work, get the advice of an expert first and your insurer may be able to help with this.

It’s also wise to check if you’re covered for any accidental damage that may occur as a result of the work being carried out.

If you’re insured with us we’d love to hear about your exciting home improvement plans.

Renewing leaseholds

It’s in your interest to renew your leasehold. Some lenders require the leasehold to have a minimum term of 80 years before agreeing to a mortgage for the buyer.

Properties whose leasehold is less than 90 years may be considered less valuable as a result of them being more difficult to sell.

A new heating system

Improving your heating system can save you hundreds of pounds over the course of a year. By heating system, the focus may be installing a brand new boiler.

However, when you read this guide on how to reduce your bills you can see that having an efficient boiler is just one part of how you save money by heating your home correctly.

The cost of installing a modern central heating system in a three-bedroom house is approximately £3,000 - £5,000.

Prices will vary depending whether the boiler is required to be in the same location or moved to a new location.

Fix any structural issues

If you want to add value to your property, then presenting it with a clean bill of health will increase its appeal at sale. So try to fix those structural problems if you can.

Creating longer term plans, with accompanying budgets will help to sort deeper issues such as subsidence, roof defects, rising damp or bowing walls.

Plus, cracks and damp are signs of a deeper issue that really needs your attention. What’s more, you’ll help to ensure your property continues to be a home for future generations to enjoy.

Structural issues to pay attention to:

Overgrown trees and shrubs

Roots can undermine the structure of a property in many ways, for example if they remove the water from the soil causing it to dry and shrink and therefore causing walls to sag and drop.

Blocked drains and guttering

Any build-up of organic debris can obstruct the flow of water creating new channels that impair the integrity of your property. Make sure guttering and drains are cleared and protected from plant life such as leaves and moss.

Missing roof tiles

Ensuring your roof is in a good state of repair is essential for improving the value of your home while also protecting the contents of your home. That damp patch in the kitchen might be a result of decayed chimney flashing or missing roof tiles. You can tackle the issue now by reading our guide on how to spot and fix leaky roofs.


You need to study the progress of a crack over a period of time, marking where the crack ends, then seeing whether this has grown over a period of days or weeks.


Bowing, leaning or bulging in walls is often accompanied by cracks. It can be caused by lateral movement in the soil under your house, or insufficient support by joists or beams. The wall itself may be too thin to support the height of the building or bowing may even be caused by vibration from nearby traffic. You’ll need the help of a surveyor to properly diagnose the problem.

Signs of damp

This will include weakened roof or floor joists, and door and window lintels. Or you might be able to repair the damage quite simply. For tips, read our guide on how to spot and fix signs of damp.

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