Is Renovation Right for You?


When looking to sell your property and move on, you will of course be eager to find ways to maximize the value of your house. And it has long been assured that renovation is a sure fire way to add the potential for a serious uplift in your property’s value when it does go to market.

The appeal of additional space and a blank canvas in the eyes of the buyer cannot be underestimated, and there are plenty of very appealing looking numbers and reports that can back this up. Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said in one report on the subject: “Having more useable space is generally thought to be consistent with better quality accommodation and people are prepared to pay for it. A 10% increase in floor space, other things equal, adds 5% to the price of a typical house, while adding space equivalent to the size of a double bedroom to a two bedroom house can add around 12% to its value.”

All of which sounds very nice, but a relatively new stealth tax might make you think twice about your planned extension. The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) will place a tax on any new property extensions that exceed 100sq m, which isn’t very much, even in London. So you would now face additional expenses on top of your planned extension.

So what’s the solution? We’ve spoken in Brik before about selling your property with pre-approved planning permission, which typically costs around £300 (a fraction of what you could end up paying for with CIL in place). This will appeal both financially and psychologically to potential buyers - not only does it mean one less headache and round of form filling in, but it will help them plan and pictures themselves in the future.

However, if you’re keen to extend but don’t much fancy another tax, then you can take your plans back inside your home and carry out some internal renovations. From the small and simple – white washing the walls – to larger, structural renovations, including fitting a new kitchen or bathroom, it’s important to be consistent and strike a good balance.

There’s little point in splashing out on a futuristic kitchen when the hallway still looks like something from a 1970s sitcom. So if you can’t afford to completely renovate the entire property, choose simple quick fix projects such as deep cleans and new paint work.

If your property is already in good condition, then a kitchen conversion could add to your asking price. A bathroom conversion or the addition of an en suite will also add value because psychologically, anything involving plumbing is messy and takes time. Think, as ever, about tasteful neutral colours that can be quickly and easily added to by the new owners.