Ten Ways to Add Value to your Property

This is a guest blog from Portico Estate Agents. 

Home improvements can add considerable value to a property. So whether you are looking to sell up or simply improve on potential returns on investment, there are many ways in which you can make a property more desirable, and thus maximise your earnings.

Robert Nichols, Managing Director of Portico London estate agents reveals his top 10 ways to add value to your property…

  1. Convert a Basement

Potential Value Added*: Up to 30%

One way to add value to a property is by adding a basement and converting it into a living or storage area. Doing so can boost a property’s value by up to 30% – provided that the build cost per square foot is less than the price per square foot of the area.

In addition, if the property already has a basement or cellar, this can be one of the most economical home improvements as conversion qualifies as a ‘change of use’. In this way, you will not need to obtain planning permission to convert the area.

  1. Split into Flats

Potential Value Added*: Up to 30%

Converting houses into flats is very popular in areas of high demand, such as London. Flats are often easier to let to tenants, as potential renters can get a better deal on rent than if they moved into a house.

For this reason, splitting a property into separate units can maximise rental income in the short-term and profit on sale in the long-term. However, it is very important that, before you begin a project, to do the appropriate legwork – particularly when it comes to planning regulations in the area that may limit such conversions.


  1. Convert a Garage

Potential Value Added*: 15%

Garages can also be utilised as living spaces, particularly if there is a parking space outside that is easily accessible. Ask an agent about the buyer demographic in the area and keep in mind when you transform the space.

For example, if the property is located in a family-oriented area, a study or bedroom may be preferable, but if it is in a first-time buyer hotspot, a gym may be a more desirable addition.


  1. Extend a Kitchen

Potential Value Added*: 15%

Well-appointed kitchens can be the all the difference in making a property desirable, so it’s always worth considering whether the existing area could be updated or even re-fitted. To appeal to the maximum number of potential buyers, opt for a neutral, contemporary style.

Side return extensions are often a very popular option, and remember to try and be creative with light and ceiling levels. Lastly, a lot of natural light in a kitchen is important to make the room feel much more spacious.


  1. Convert a Loft

Potential Value Added*: Up to 15%

Adding an extra bedroom can add up to 15% to the value of your home, especially if it’s a loft conversion with an en-suite bathroom. Most lofts can be converted, but it’s essential to get an architect or builder in to double check before you start planning.


  1. Add a Conservatory

Potential Value Added*: Up to 10%

Increasing living space is perhaps one of the most obvious ways to increase the value of a property, but if you are considering a conservatory it is important that you make sure that the style is consistent with the rest of the house.

Conservatories do not require planning permission, so long as no more than half the area of the land of the original house is covered.

  1. Apply for Planning Permission

Potential Value Added*: Up to 10%

If you purchase a property with the intention of adding to its value through extensions or big home improvements, then acquiring planning permission is an absolute must – particularly if you’ve done your calculations on the yields of a bigger square footage.

If a property is being sold with planning permission obtained, there’s a lot of value in that security.

  1. Add a Garden

Potential Value Added*: Up to 10%

In cities and built-up areas garden space is often very limited and as such is a prized asset. It’s therefore worth making the most of the space you have. Adding decking or a patio can transform a garden into the perfect space to entertain guests. It’s also worth considering the addition of lighting and watering systems for ease of maintenance.

  1. Add a new Bathroom

Potential Value Added*: 3-5%

A new bathroom will certainly increase the value of your property – but it’s also an expensive investment. If your current bathroom is just slightly dated rather than in very poor condition, you may not make back a huge amount more than the cost of the upgrade.

  1. Make the living area open plan 

Potential Value Added*: 3-5%

Open-plan spaces are very appealing, so it usually pays to knock down walls that are separating the kitchen and dining room. It also makes the space feel larger and lighter, which will help make your property easier to sell.

*The values quoted here are statistical assessments and not guaranteed.



This is a guide and not a definitive source of legal information.

If in doubt please contact your Local Planning Authority.

2 thoughts on “Ten Ways to Add Value to your Property

    1. Planning permission is not needed when the existing and the proposed uses fall within the same use.
      For example, a basement that’s currently being used as a storage space could be converted into a more conventional living space without the need for planning permission as these uses fall within the same ‘use class’.
      However, this is quite rare as any external building work associated with a change of use (like adding windows) may still require planning permission.

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