Top tips to maximise existing space and increase the value of your home

Posted on Sunday, February 7, 2021

If there's one thing that we've repeatedly heard over the last few lockdowns it's that people are crying out for more space.

Multiple reports have highlighted that there is a growing desire from many potential home movers to move to bigger homes with larger gardens in an attempt to endure being forcibly cooped-up in greater comfort.

However, having a more spacious home doesn't just have to be a luxury that home movers can enjoy. In fact, making the most out of existing space could drastically add to the value of a property, with additional bedrooms increasing the value by as much as 20% according to experts, or £51,200 considering the average house price in England (£256,000).

New research by self-storage company, Space Station, found several ways in which homeowners can increase the value of their homes without paying for an extension, and instead simply making the most of existing space in a property.

Creating an open plan living area, installing an additional bathroom, or adding another bedroom can all be accomplished for a lot less than the cost of an extension, and in many cases, this does not require planning permission.

Here are five ways you can maximise existing space to increase property value:

1. Convert a room into a bedroom (20% increase in value, £51K of the average house price)

Converting the purpose of a room can add extra value to a property and costs very little to do effectively.

Having an office or a games room may seem desirable, but when it comes to adding value, the number of bedrooms is the figure buyers pay the most attention to, so converting a room into a bedroom will see the greatest increase in value.

As a compromise, consider making a room dual purpose, allowing it to serve as both a guest bedroom and a home office.

Holly Herbert, from We Buy Any House, said: “Not every homeowner is in a position to renovate their property, so thankfully there are other things that they can do on a budget instead. A great option is to use an existing room as another bedroom, especially if you have office space. Adding a bedroom to a property can increase the value by up to 20% and can be done easily enough with some redecorating and reorganising.”

2. Convert your loft space (20% increase in value, £51K of the average house price)

Alternatively, a more expensive solution is to invest in a loft conversion. This is especially useful if you do not have spare rooms which you’re able to convert, or if you want to increase the number of bedrooms whilst keeping your office space.

As lofts are generally used for storage, some homeowners may be left with a temporary shortage of space for these items. This can easily be solved however by temporarily renting storage whilst you undertake the work. Long term, you can find inventive and creative ways to create storage as part of the loft conversion, by installing storage units in the dead space.

Holly said: “For homeowners who are keen to add an extra room but don’t have an office space or dining area to sacrifice, a loft conversion can be the perfect solution. You will need to make sure that if you’re intending to advertise your loft conversion as another bedroom that it’s up to regulations, as it will need to be a certain size and have a door, as well as being safe.”

3. Create an open-plan living area (15% increase in value, £38K of the average house price)

Open plan living areas are incredibly desirable for house-hunters, and they are a great way to make your living area and kitchen feel modern and bigger than they would as separate rooms.

Knocking down the interior walls could be a DIY job, but it’s important that you establish whether the wall is load-bearing. If it is then you will need to ask for expert help to find a solution, as knocking down a load-bearing wall could have disastrous consequences.

Holly says: “Creating an open-plan living area can increase your value by up to as much as 15% when done well and will almost always encourage potential viewers to make an offer on the property.”

4. Install additional toilets or bathrooms (5% increase in value, £13K of the average house price)

A spare storage room or under-stairs cupboard could be converted into an additional toilet, and you can even add an extra bathroom to a property if you have the room.

This is especially worthwhile for homes with a limited number of existing bathrooms, but you should beware of losing a bedroom. A good option would be to create a small en-suite if you have a large bedroom.

Adding extra bathroom facilities could increase the property value by as much as 5%2 and is especially worthwhile in older houses that may have fewer existing bathrooms.

5. Create storage solutions out of spare space (up to 5% increase in value, £13K of the average house price)

Making the most out of nooks and crannies in your home can really make features stand out, as well as adding value.

Converting under-stairs cupboards or alcoves into storage areas helps to make your living areas more practical, as well as adding value by making your home look more unique and functional.

Holly advises: “The value added by storage is difficult to pin down and varies hugely depending on the storage in question. Large scale projects like a wine cellar or basement renovation can add a significant amount to the value, whereas low key storage solutions will increase it by a lower amount.

“However, storage is very appealing to buyers, so even if it does not significantly increase the overall value, it will help to make a property more desirable.”

Vlatka Lake, Marketing Manager at Space Station, concludes: “Adding value to your property is something that can be easily done by any homeowner, and whatever the size of their budget.

“We hope that these tips can inspire people to make the most of their spare space, helping them to maximise their property value when they come to sell.”

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