Property owners urged to make ‘important’ check before renovating

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As the average value of UK properties continues to decline, there’s no better time to look into ways to boost how much your home is worth. Even if you’re not planning to sell just yet, investing in a modern extension or interior update could put you in good stead when it comes to moving on. However, according to Ian McConville, Group Procurement Director at MKM, homeowners should hold off investing in any kind of significant property improvements before checking the ceiling value of their house.

Speaking exclusively to, Ian said: “Most renovations and extensions will add value to the resale price of your home but before you embark on any project it is important to know what the ceiling price of your property is.

“This is the maximum price a buyer is prepared to pay for a property on your street before they can find a similar property for the same money in a better street.”

If you are already at the ceiling price, then it is “unlikely” that any further renovations or extensions would affect your home’s value.

The building expert added that ultimately, you could “end up out of pocket” if you do choose to go ahead with them – or fail to check this detail beforehand.

If you do have room for improvements in terms of the ceiling value of your property, it is just as important to ensure you invest in the right changes.

Ian explained that loft and garage conversions are probably the “easiest way” to add both additional living space and increase market value.

He said: “The potential added value of a loft conversion, which could create an extra bedroom and ensuite, could be as much as 20 percent, and 15 percent for a garage conversion.”

However, you will need to check with your local planning authority whether you need planning permission or whether it falls under permitted development, which is often the case with both garage and loft conversions.

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The MKM building expert noted that as attractive as more living space is to potential buyers, the loss of storage can be off-putting.

Ian said: “If you are considering either of these options, you will want to think about how you might be able to incorporate storage into the rest of your home to make up for the storage space you will lose.

“You may be able to incorporate built-in storage into your new rooms or think about investing in a second or larger shed in the garden.”

For properties where loft or garage conversions are not possible, there are other improvements which offer the best value for money.

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According to Ian, other key areas to consider are the kitchen and bathroom. While this is unsurprising, he noted that they remain the “most important rooms for prospective buyers”.

The MKM procurement director explained: “Removing the internal walls between your kitchen and dining room to make your living space open plan is one of the easiest ways to add value and could add up to five percent for minimal cost on your part.

“Renovating or extending your kitchen could add a further 15 percent to the overall value of your home. Depending on your type of property you could think about a side-return extension, gaining valuable additional space and improving the layout of your kitchen.”

In terms of the bathroom, Ian noted that a brand new one could add between three to five percent, though you can also boost your home’s worth by creating an ensuite or smaller cloakroom in unused spaces.

If you’re looking for more simple updates, Ian recommended making some low-key changes to existing bathrooms and your kitchen. Perhaps the easiest way to update the bathroom is by changing the taps, mirror and cabinets – all of which can be done on a budget.

The property expert added: “If you are looking for a cost-effective way of updating your bathroom rather than a complete refit, think about money-saving upgrades.

“These include choosing a framed enclosure, exposed shower rather than concealed, floor mounted sanitaryware rather than wall hung and always choosing a bathroom suite rather than purchasing items separately to keep costs down.”

In the kitchen, Ian noted that new appliances, worktops and a lick of paint on existing cabinets can give the space”a new lease of life”.

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