Grand Designs

Looking to add value to your property? Then why not consider these simple home improvements

If you are looking to sell your property there are many factors which can add, or detract, from its potential resale value. Adding that little bit extra, whether internally or externally, to make it more appealing to potential buyers will always pay dividends. And there has never been a better time to give your home a bit of an overhaul – whether for financial or personal reasons – as, despite the expected impact of the Brexit vote, the UK property market has remained stable since June and, impressively, has continued its year-on-year growth since 2012. Thus the market is currently favourable, and especially so for those seeking to add value.

Here, we shall take a look at the types of home improvements you should certainly be considering.


One of the more popular home enhancements one can undertake is to add a conservatory to your property. Perhaps the main reasons why people choose to add a conservatory to their home (aside from the extra value it adds to the property) are that it creates a light new space for them to enjoy, and can act as a connecting room through which they can derive extra access and pleasure from their garden.

Jill McLintock, of Everest Conservatories, believes, perhaps unsurprisingly, that adding a conservatory to your property is an easy decision to make: “Our view is if there is a clear benefit to improving your lifestyle and you can afford it, then why not build one?”

“Though prices will vary, a quality conservatory can cost between £5,000 – £20,000, depending on added space”

However, if you are thinking of adding a conservatory to increase the value of your property then there are many factors to consider, one of which is: will it actually make a difference?

“Extra floor space will always add value to your property, providing the space has been well planned and well constructed,” says McLintock. “A poorly planned and poorly built conservatory could devalue your home, so it pays to get good advice before you embark on any major projects.”

Regardless of whether you are planning your conservatory as something for yourself or to entice a potential buyer, it is vital you ensure you have applied for planning permission before any building work begins: “You’ll need to get planning approval from the local authorities, and failing to run these checks could prove costly,” explains McLintock. “Getting retrospective planning permission is an offence. At best, you may have to make expensive amendments at your own expense. Local authorities even have the power to tear down illegally built structures.”

Though prices will vary, a quality conservatory can cost between £5,000 – £20,000, depending on how much space you want to add, and can add around 7% to the value of your home. Therefore, if you undertake the research, quote collecting and planning effectively, it can easily end up paying for itself and more.

However, McLintock warns: “It is more important to be well informed and to plan correctly than it is to build a construction that you might not have permission for, which could be a great waste of time and money!”


Many years ago interior design was considered the preserve of the Chelsea Set, and not something that would be of interest to the average homeowner, however this has changed over the past few decades.

The interior design industry (for any budget) is now omnipresent and the effect it can have on the ‘sellability’ and resale value of a property has not gone unnoticed.

Alexander James Interior Design have more than 20 years’ experience in interior architecture and have seen an ever-growing increase in demand for their services. “Homeowners have an unprecedented opportunity to access interior architecture expertise as the market expands to bring beautiful interiors to a broader client base. We’re seeing rising demand from individual property owners seeking to give their home the interior it deserves, as well as from those looking to maximise their home’s sale value,” says Stacey Sibley, creative director at Alexander James.

Trends expected to be popular throughout 2017 include natural woods and pastel tones as homeowners try to create a serene atmosphere – perhaps as a way to shelter from the turmoil of our current political climate.

“The look and feel of a property has a huge impact on how those who live there feel. An expert interior design service can transform a ‘nice’ home into a real sanctuary – a place of calm that helps you to shrug off the cares of the world the moment you close the front door,” adds Sibley. “Many people work hard at self-improvement during January in order to feel healthier and happier, but don’t appreciate how much of a difference changes within the home can also make.”


By far the most expensive way to go about adding value to your property is to add an extension. You can expect to pay £15,000 – £30,000 for an extension depending on the scope of the work, but in return, you can expect to add about 11% to the value of your property.

You can go about adding an extension to your home in much the same way you would add a conservatory – it is all about ensuring you have planning permission.


However, a word of warning as this process can be particularly complicated if you own a listed property, as Sarah Kahn from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings explains: “The common misconception people have is that just the façade of a property is listed. Works to the interior of a listed building require listed building consent that can be obtained by submitting an application to the council.

“If you plan on doing work to both the interior and exterior of the building, you’ll also need to apply for planning permission. Although listed building controls take precedence, if your listed building is in a conservation area, you need to take this into account.”

Furthermore, considering the delicate nature of the building you will be working with, it is vital that you surround yourself with an expert team. “It’s important to have an accredited conservation professional guide you through this process,” Kahn stresses. “These architects have been rigorously assessed so you can rest assured that you’ll be in safe hands.”

Josh Stephenson