When looking for ways to increase the potential sale price of your house, increasing the living space is one of the most popular things to do. But, does an extension add value to your house?
While the answer may almost always be a resounding yes, there’s more to consider than simply how much more your house will be worth.
Is Building An Extension Worthwhile?
Sure, everyone likes a little extra living space, and extensions increase the square footage of a property which usually adds value. But, before you rush in, take your time to consider the following factors so you can be sure an extension is right for you:
Ceiling Price In The Area
All areas have a ‘ceiling price’. That’s the maximum amount people will pay for a house in a specific area, regardless of what work has been done to it.
People will often look to buy the worst house on the best street. Few people want the best house on the worst street.
Therefore, before starting work on extending the property, check that the house isn’t already approaching its ceiling price. A good estate agent will be able to advise on this.
Build Costs Vs Value Gain
In most cases, adding an extension will increase the value of a property. However, that isn’t the only consideration you should make.
If you are planning on selling your property in the near future, the cost of creating an extension must be less than the value you’ll gain from doing so.
You can get quotes from local tradesman for the cost of the build and then compare them to the estimated value increase you’ll get.
Complexity Of The Build
The complexity of building your extension will also come in to play when asking if building an extension will add value to your property.
If you are looking to build on sloping ground, for instance, the extra work that will be required to lay the foundations could make the extension more expensive than the amount you’ll gain in added value.
Quality Of The Build
If you’re looking to build to add value to your property, make sure that the work is done by qualified people to a high standard.
For instance, if the extension will require electrical work, use a Part P qualified electrician who will ensure the work meets current building regulations.
A poorly built extension that doesn’t comply with building regulations can actually lower the value of the property, rather than increase it, as potential buyers will need to factor in the costs of rectifying the issues.
Inconvenience & Stress
Of course, as with any major property renovation, there will be an element of upheaval for anyone living at the property.
You’ll want to be sure that the amount you’ll gain in property value increases, justifies the inconvenience and stress you’ll experience while the works are ongoing.
If you don’t have the money to pay for the extension costs up-front, be careful that the cost of gaining the finance needed will not outweigh the value you’ll add to your house.
Best Extensions For Increasing House Value
If, after considering the above factors, you have decided an extension is worth adding to your property, the next step is to decide which type of extension is best for you.
This will depend on a number of factors, not least the style of property you have, but the best types of extensions for adding value tend to be as follows:
This is one of the most popular types of extensions, primarily due to its relatively low cost and the fact it is one of the least disruptive ways to add extra space to a property.
A loft conversion is generally used to add an extra bedroom, and sometimes a bathroom too. It’s estimated that a loft conversion will add around 12.5% to the value of your house.
Single or Double-Storey Extension
Useful for adding extra space to living rooms and/or kitchens, single-storey extensions are often used to increase the living space of a property. If you want more bang for your buck, make it a double-storey extension to add extra bedrooms or create room for an en-suite.
A full-blown double-storey extension could add as much as 11% to the value of your house.
With the irregular British weather, conservatories have become a must-have for creating a space where the garden can be enjoyed all year round.
They are relatively cheap (you’ll be looking at around £5,000 and upwards) and easy to install and can add around 5-7% to the value of your property.
Most single garages are too narrow to comfortably fit modern cars in. As a result, most people use them as a dumping ground for items they don’t actually need anymore.
With living space at a premium, it might make sense to convert your garage into an additional bedroom, particularly if it’s an integrated garage. You can always leave part of it as storage space if you are worried about losing places to put things.
Converting a garage into a bedroom with an en-suite could add as much as 20% to the value of your home. If you use it to create a playroom or study, you could be looking at a 10% increase in value.
Alternatives To Extensions
While extensions do add value to your house (in most cases!), there are a number of factors that may make you decide against adding one to your home. If this sounds like you, don’t despair as there are other ways you can add value to your home.
For example, rather than actually building the extension, you can always just get the planning permission in place. This will make it more desirable to buyers who want to extend and will, therefore, increase the value without you needing to spend the money and time having the work done.
You can also check out our article on how to add value to an investment property since many of the methods also apply to homeowners. If you are putting your property on the market and want to increase the likelihood of getting a higher sale price without any building work, check out our top 5 ways to get higher offers for your house.