Bored of stagnant house prices? Desperate to trade up, keen to release equity from your home or simply want to live safe in the knowledge your house is worth a small fortune? Then new joint research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the HomeOwners Alliance (HoA) and The Guild of Property Professionals should lift your spirits.
For more tips on how to add value, see our property advice section
Together, they've calculated that's possible to increase the value of your home by close to £50,000 in only seven days, albeit you'll need to live in a specific part of the country.
The three groups have also looked at other projects and regions, and found more profitable home makeover ideas that can be achieved in VERY short spaces of time. Curious? We thought you might be...
Ways to add up to £50k to the value of your home in as little as seven days
1. Knock down the wall separating your kitchen and dining room
Removing an internal wall to create an open-plan kitchen and diner can add £48,417 in seven days to an averagely priced home in London, £26,838 if you live in Dorset and £9,813 if you live in the North East.
But how much will it cost? Well according to Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, you should expect to pay less than £3,500, even in the Capital. ''If you’re looking to move up the property ladder, it’s obviously in your best interests to increase the value of your home as much as possible,' he says.
'By investing in low cost, high return projects, not only will you make your home a more pleasant place to live, you’ll also by increasing its value significantly. Better still, these projects take no time at all so the hassle factor will be kept to an absolute minimum.'
2. Build an outdoor garden room or playroom
Keeping the kids happy can add £35,611 in 14 days to an averagely priced home in Surrey, and £29,168 if you live in Cambridgeshire. Alternatively, you could style the space as an office. With increasing numbers of people working from home, it's easy to see why potential buyers would see a separate working retreat as a reason to buy.
3. Jazz up the kitchen
Investing in kitchen improvements such as new flooring, a new worktop and new cabinet doors can add £26,838 in eight days to an averagely priced home in Dorset. There's no need to go to the trouble of replacing the cabinets – a quick facelift will make all the difference.
4. Create a downstairs loo
Converting a cupboard under the stairs into a downstairs toilet can add £26,708 in seven days to an averagely priced home in Surrey. No more queues for the bathroom? That's worth the work, even without the resulting house price increase!
5. Sacrifice a little of your bedroom for a en suite
Blessed with a large bedroom? Sectioning off some of that space to create an en suite bathroom can add £14,525 in 11 days to an averagely priced home in London.
6. Sort out your driveway
Building a new driveway can add £13,354 in nine days to an averagely priced home in Surrey. And if you're not planning to sell up straight away, you can make even more money by renting it out...
7. Deck your back garden
Installing decking and lighting in the back garden can add £8,946 in seven days to an averagely priced home in Dorset. Down south, it appears buyers are eager to make the most of the sunshine.
This research is encouraging news for homeowners – improving your home to make it more enjoyable to live in can also give you a big financial boost when it comes to sell.
'There is a caveat though,' warns Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HoA. 'If your primary aim is to increase the value of your home, you should consult the experts in order to ensure you will see a return.'
'We always recommend finding inviting a few agents to give you a property valuation and advice on your proposed project. The best local estate agents will be able to tell you what refurbishment projects other homes have benefited from along your road, or in your area, and how much value those projects have added.'
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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