Which home improvements actually add resale value to your home?

When you’re inspecting a property you might buy, among other matters you’ll most likely think about what works you might carry out to improve it. Typically you’ll be thinking about upgrading existing fixtures and fittings and how you can create more space. But the question is, which alterations or upgrades are likely to increase the price you’ll eventually sell your house for?

Is it an upgrade or just maintenance?

We’re generally living in the same property for just over 17 years on average, according to the Office for National Statistics. And during this time, there’ll be plenty of maintenance work to carry out to keep your home in a pleasing state. The thing is, maintenance generally won’t add to your home’s value, even if it keeps it on an even keel where the market value is concerned.

Let’s assume you refit your kitchen a couple of times during a hypothetical 17-year period. A prospective buyer will obviously want a functioning kitchen in a property but generally won’t pay ‘over the odds’ because of a recent refit; however they’ll likely think your property is worth less if your kitchen is in dire need of care and attention.

Getting a return on your investment

If you are particularly keen to see an uplift in your property’s value resulting from any improvements you carry out on it, it’s always worthwhile firstly checking out how the market values similarly improved homes in your area. You need to see what’s potentially achievable.

Be careful not to be too influenced by actual ‘For Sale’ prices – for some considerable time, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has noted that the majority of homes sell for less than the price initially stated. It’s worth consulting RIghtmove to get an idea of selling prices in your local area.

One option to consider is getting a local RICS surveyor or estate agent to give an opinion of what might be the increase in market value if you carry out the intended works.

Get a quote from a local builder for the materials and labour needed to complete your project. You might find that the projected expense of the work exceeds the forecast of the resultant increase in selling price. However, you might still want to go ahead if you think that your quality of life will increase because of the work!

Which home improvements are likely to add value to your property’s selling price?

Here are examples of improvements and whether they are likely or not to add actual value to your property:


Type of improvement Likelihood of an uplift in selling price
Garage (new, not maintenance of existing) Yes
Extension Yes
Loft /cellar conversion Yes
Parking space (non-garage) Yes
Land purchase Maybe, depends on location
Change internal structure (non-extension) Maybe, needs to be considered an improvement taking into account local market
Central Heating Yes
Double Glazing Yes
Replace kitchen Not guaranteed, may just be considered maintenance
Replace bathroom Not guaranteed, may just be considered maintenance
Internal Redecoration No
Pebble-dashing, white-washing etc. Very arbitrary, strongly depends on tastes of prospective buyer!
Gardening Not normally
Rewiring Not normally
Replumbing Not normally
Replacing a radiator No


More space equals more value

As a rule, if you add space to your home, it should increase its selling price.  Structural additions such as extensions, loft/cellar conversions, building new garages and adding bedrooms are the most common of these types of projects. You should always consult your local council’s planning portal to investigate planning permission rules before you start any works and look over the building regulations as well.

As stated earlier, you should never forget your quality of life while you live in your home. As an example, if you create extra space, this can be great if you have a growing family and it may encourage you to stay where you are.

Following from this, don’t forget that if you were to decide to move, you should always factor in the stamp duty and legal costs which accompany buying a new property. You may actually relish your improved home so much that you won’t see a benefit in moving!

Marcus Simpson

Digital Marketing Manager

SAM Conveyancing