When selling your home, chances are you’ll want to get some additional cash in return for your next investment, so you can move on to a bigger better property. Even if you don’t plan to sell and you’re planning on creating a forever home, it only makes economic sense to understand how to add value to your home and make the most of your investment. We previously created an infographic that showed that a well presented garden could add up to £60,000 to the value of your house. Before applying for planning permission and knocking down any walls there may be some ways in which you can improve the value of your home with some small home & garden improvements.
Seeing as though our expertise lie deep within the garden sector, we’re going to cover what you can do externally to boost the value of your home.
Adding privacy to your garden
One of the ways you can add value to your garden is by making it more secluded; it’s no secret that most people are looking for a nice garden where they can relax, by making the area more secluded and giving people more privacy you’re also adding value. Adding a wall, fence or trees are some of the ways you can approach this. There are some important factors to consider before going ahead and enclosing your garden depending on which approach you’ve decided to take on.
If the plan is to add some additional height to your existing wall then you will be able to raise the boundary wall up to 2 metres without needing planning permission; if your plans extend this then planning permission will be required. However, if your house is located on a highway then a wall can only be extended an additional 0.6m. Another factor to consider which isn’t usually thought about is the light that your neighbours currently receives in their garden, if your fence or wall will get in the way of light that their home has received for 20 years or more, you could be asked to remove it.
With all the limitations and restrictions in place for walls, adding plants may seem like the best way to go, however, without the correct knowledge this could lead to further issues.
Creating designated areas
Sometimes it helps to picture yourself as someone going to buy your home. What would you be looking for? A spacious garden? Somewhere the children can play? Somewhere you can have BBQ’s in the Summer? Considering some of the aspects that potential buyers will be looking for will help you find areas to improve.
Adding designated ‘sectors’ to your garden will help your buyers to picture themselves there helping it sell quicker and for a higher price. Think about things like a seating area, barbecue, storage, lawn & work area. It might also be worthwhile considering who would be looking to buy your home; the number of bedrooms you have, as well as local amenities like schools and coffee shops should help you make educated assumptions.
Adding a patio
Now that your garden is private and well-structured you can begin to think about the slightly more expensive jobs such as adding a patio. Although adding a patio is slightly more expensive than some of the ‘quick-fixes’ you can do in the garden, it’s certainly a worthwhile investment as it is one of the main features that home-buyers are looking for.
Generally, a low-maintenance or unique patio will add a lot more value to the home than it will cost to install. That said, the patio stone slabs must be of decent quality if you’re wanting it to add value, otherwise, you could end up with the opposite effect. A strong, durable surface should add value but it’s always best to check with an estate agent before making any permanent alterations. If the patio is well-designed then it can also extend the perception of usable living space, making the house more attractive to potential buyers.
Adding climbing plants/trellis
Unlike walls there is no planning permission required for you to add plants to your garden, you have the right to plant what you want, where you want within your property. However, before planting anything it is sensible to research the plant or tree that you want to place. Some plants (especially trees) can have strong roots that could lead to potential damage to your property, or even your neighbour’s.
Consider planting away from boundaries and structures to minimise impact, otherwise you will be liable for any damages that they may cause. If you’re still unsure after your completing research then you may want to replace your plans of large or imposing trees and hedges with a different choice of plant. Alternatively, you can phone your local council to check anything you’re unsure about.
Adding a porch
If you plan on adding a porch to your home purely for the purpose of adding more value then it’s important your porch has a purpose. It’s particularly useful for properties where the front door leads directly into the living room or kitchen because the porch creates an entrance area, perfect for storing coats, shoes & umbrellas etc.
Adding a porch can also be a factor towards extra security which can lead to additional value. A well-suited and practical porch can be a really good investment for your property, however, if it looks out of place and doesn’t serve a purpose it could lead to decreasing the value.
Restore the buildings original character
Depending on the age of your property, and the condition that it’s in it can be worthwhile restoring some of the original features of the building, removing them may actually decrease the value of your home. Of course, there will be some aspects that either won’t be worth restoring or should be removed all together. Typically, it’s worthwhile restoring any stairways & handrails along with any decorative mouldings that are consistent with the period in which the house was built. However, any mismatching mouldings, or pine cladding may need removing if you want to get the most from your property’s value. The best way to be sure of any of any alterations you make is by looking back at the building origins and then basing your changes around this.
If you’re unsure about the stonework and how you could possibly restore it, speak to our team. We may be able to help with your bespoke stonework.
Create off-street parking
This is one of the more obvious changes to make if you’re trying to boost the value of your house; especially if parking isn’t available on the street due to restrictions such as a school, bus stop or yellow lines. Even if parking is available on the street it can still significantly increase the value of the property if you decide to add 1 or 2 additional parking spaces in front of, or alongside the property. In fact, for some buyers a well-designed and low maintenance drive can be worth more than the garden itself so it’s worthwhile considering your options.
There are some limitations in place in regards to additional parking such as planning permission and application for a dropped kerb. The general rules to follow are that you will require planning permission for a house that is located on an ‘A’ or ‘B’ road. Any other roads don’t usually need planning permission but you will still need to comply with Highways regulations in place, which will most likely include a request for the dropped kerb installation.