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Adding value to your home is a key motive for embarking on a renovation project. But which upgrades are truly cost-effective, and where might your money and effort go down the drain? Here’s our pick of top home renovations that bring real value.

Energy saving initiatives are fast becoming a priority for many buyers. Think double glazing, solar panels, insulation and modern boilers. Find out more here.

Bathrooms and kitchens indeed sell houses, and giving your kitchen a facelift is a top-notch way to boost your home's value.

Prioritise the kitchen if you're choosing a room to revamp. What really catches a buyer's eye? Think roomy storage units, stylish yet practical worktops, high-quality fixtures like sinks and taps, and appealing flooring.

Sprucing up your bathroom is another worthwhile investment. Even just swapping out taps and tiles can modernise the space. Adding an extra bathroom, or even just a loo downstairs, is always a win. Homes with two bathrooms generally have the edge over one-bathroom properties. It's estimated an additional bathroom could bump up a property’s value by around 5%. On an average home, that's roughly £12,000. But a word of caution – avoid squeezing in a cramped bathroom just for the sake of it, as buyers typically give it a thumbs down. And remember, despite the trend of showers, a home without a bath might just dampen a buyer's interest.

An extra bedroom is estimated to add up to £30,000 to your home’s value, based on the average UK property. This could be in the form of a loft conversion, and the cost typically ranges from £20,000 to £60,000 but on average it increases the value by 20%, so it’s worth doing your sums. If you can add an ensuite to your loft conversion, that makes it particularly attractive. However, a cheaper win could be a garage conversion. Instead of ‘dumping ground’, think ‘home office’ or ‘playroom’. If you’re lucky enough to have a basement, turning this neglected space into a usable room can add 10 to 15% to the value of your home.

Creating bespoke extra space with an extension could give you anything from a utility room or home office to an airy kitchen to eat in or more generous living space, and this almost always adds value to your home. If you love a conservatory but worry these are going out of fashion, they can still add upwards of five percent to the value of your home, providing it’s a good quality glass conservatory. Cheaper materials are considered dated and may actually be a deterrent.

Elsewhere in the house, open plan is a continuing trend and one that tends to bump up your property’s price. Don’t rush into removing internal walls until you’ve had the project properly checked by a professional, however. One of the pluses of open plan living is that it often brings more light into your home. Natural light is a major selling point, and you might be able to achieve this with roof windows, for example.

What about your outdoor areas? A well-kept garden with a place to sit and eat is always a plus and if you have the space, adding a garden room is another way to also add value, providing the scale is in keeping with the size of the garden. Bear in mind that too much hard landscaping, or anything over-done, won’t typically add value and in fact can detract from the price. An attractive front garden is a good selling point too, but if it can incorporate off street parking, that’s a huge plus – developers tend to add another five percent to the price of properties with a parking spot or two.

Outside of these larger projects there are plenty of smaller, less sexy ways to boost your property’s value. Simply dealing with any maintenance or structural issues would be my number one. These problems are always cheaper to tackle sooner rather than later. Likewise, an old, energy-gobbling boiler will potentially put off future buyers so upgrading your heating is key. If you’re replacing windows as part of your home upgrade, choose wisely. They should be double glazed and fit with your home’s look and location. Generally, keeping your home up to date and well-maintained always pays its way.

Bear in mind, you won’t get your money back on lavish wallpaper or fancy patterned floor tiles – and definitely think twice before taking tiling into living areas, as this is something most buyers dislike. But if you are updating your home, try to conserve or bring to life period features which help your home stand out from the crowd and give it some charm. Think where you can add storage space, like built-in furniture, as this appeals to buyers and can help rooms feel more spacious. Don’t worry if you don’t have the energy or cash to embark on some of the bigger projects. Simply getting planning permission for some of the schemes we’ve talked about here can add value to your home.

For more information on this topic, visit Move iQ.

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