Improve the layout

You don’t always need an extension to increase the space in your home; sometimes it’s the layout or room size that is wrong. Improving the spatial flow or maximising the views to the garden can add tens of thousands if done right, but take structural advice before you start. An architect can offer suggestions for improving the interior, perhaps by removing internal walls to open up a kitchen-dining space, or to create a larger room from several smaller ones.

  • Cost: Removing a wall and inserting a supporting beam will be £5,000, plus redecoration costs
  • Added value: Converting a kitchen and separate dining room into an open-plan space can add £20,000-£50,000

Install new windows

If your house has single glazing, consider having double or even triple glazing (if there is outside noise), as it will improve the warmth and energy rating of your home. If it was double-glazed more than 15-20 years ago, the windows may no longer be performing well, or the seal  could have gone in the unit. In this case, they will probably need replacing. New windows in keeping with the style of the house can enhance its external appearance considerably.

  • Cost: Around £25,000, for a typical four-bedroom house
  • Added value: £40,000-£60,000

corridor with glazed roofBring light to a hallway with feature glazing in the roof

You may also consider additional windows to improve internal light, especially in north-facing rooms. Rooflights flood a space with natural light. If it is not possible to install these, try to add a window where the best light source is available – opting for obscure glass if this means facing a neighbour’s house. Check with the duty planner at your local council before proceeding with installation.

  • Cost: £2,000 per new opening
  • Added value: £5,000-£10,000

master bedroom with vaulted ceilingIf you have space up top, use it to create extra rooms, or a stunning master suite

Convert your loft

Converting your loft will offer additional space for an extra bedroom, office or playroom. A dormer extension will give you extra headroom, but site these to the back of the property rather than the front or side, to be less visually intrusive.

  • Cost: £30,000-£40,000
  • Added value: Any additional room should increase the value of your home by around £50,000-£60,000

Upgrade your central heating

Installing efficient central heating creates warmth; potentially reduces energy bills; and is appealing to future buyers. Upgrading doesn’t always mean you need a new boiler. Some plumbers dismiss older models because they aren’t familiar with them, so get more than one opinion.

Cast iron radiators look attractive in a period home, but, to economise, you could reserve these for the ground-floor rooms that are on show, then use steel or aluminium models elsewhere. If you are investing in a new boiler, consider a combi in houses up to four bedrooms. A pressurised system is normally best in larger properties, or if you have low incoming water pressure, as it means you can have more than one shower running at once and still have a strong flow of water.

  • Cost: For a new boiler, £2,000 plus. If you require new pipework and radiators as well as a new boiler, £7,000-£10,000
  • Added value: £10,000-£15,000
scandinavian style master bedroom en suite monochrome

A luxury en suite, if done well, can potentially add far more to the value of your
home than it would cost to install it

Add an en suite bathroom

These are desirable if you have the space to create one, but for resale, they do need to include a toilet, so you will need to consider the drainage. Be wary of compromising too much space in the bedroom or you will lose the impression of a luxury master suite.

  • Cost: £5,000-£10,000
  • Added value: If done well, as much as £30,000

Adapt your garage

It can be tricky to disguise what a converted garage once was, but don’t let that put you off as they are great for creating extra ground-floor space without the cost of an extension. They are often a natural space to extend your kitchen into for an open-plan, kitchen-diner-living room, or to designate as a playroom or media room.

  • Cost: £20,000 plus
  • Added value: Around £50,000

kitchen-diner with sliding door Stylish new kitchen units and glazing that links the room to the garden make this
room a delightful place to cook and relax in 

Install a new kitchen

A brand-new kitchen will add value to your home, especially something neutral that will suit most people’s tastes. Open-plan rooms are very popular, so look at knocking through to a smaller room. Kitchen designers can optimise  optimising your space, and suggest I integrated appliances and modern amenities – such as a larder cupboard or hot water tap – to give your kitchen an edge.

  • Cost: £10,000–£20,000 for the kitchen and building costs
  • Added value: £20,000-£50,000

Create a downstairs cloakroom

The first consideration here is drainage; if you can’t site the toilet on an outside wall or where it can connect straight to the mains, don’t do it. Avoid macerators as they are noisy, easily blocked and won’t add value at resale.

Ensure you site a downstairs toilet in a convenient place, ideally leading off the hallway and with an outward- opening door. There used to be a requirement for having two doors between a downstairs toilet and a kitchen. This has now been relaxed – so long as adequate space has been left for a hand basin to abide by building regulations.

  • Cost: £2,000
  • Added value: £10,000
roof terraces on inner city homes

Make use of a flat roof to gain valuable outside space, particularly in a built-up urban area

Build a balcony or roof terrace

Theses can provide outside space where the light is best (useful if your main garden faces north – you could site a balcony on the south side), or simply add a design feature to your home. With a Juliet balcony, it would make it possible to put in French doors, increasing
the amount of light entering that room. Remember to check if there any planning restrictions before you start.

  • Cost: £5,000
  • Added value: £20,000

Replace your roof

If nothing else, you need to ensure there is adequate insulation as this will improve your energy rating and reduce heating costs. If you have old concrete roof tiles, changing them to slate will add value and enhance the appearance of the exterior. Roofs last a long time – a new one is a great selling point as potential buyers will see they won’t need to worry about replacing it in the future.

  • Cost: £15,000
  • Added value: £40,000-£50,000
Clear Architects Melanie Clear

Melanie Clear is the founder and director ofClear Architects. With experience in both commercial and residential architecture, she believes that great design takes careful though, vision and a deep understanding of a building’s structure