Is a seven day project enough to boost your property's value by five figures?

Thinking of selling your home? New research from the Federation of Master Builders and HomeOwners Alliance suggests that you could add around £50,000 to its value in just seven days!

Ah, the FMB. Given how its last release talked about how bricklayers take home more money than dentists, you could be forgiven for not taking this newest claim at face value.

It is fairly common knowledge that adding an ensuite bathroom or a new driveway is hardly guaranteed to boost the value of property by five figures. The secret to adding this kind of value is, unfortunately, having a home in the right location. In an area like London, where the cost of a studio flat could fetch you a castle elsewhere in the UK, improvements can make a property much more desirable to local buyers with serious cash to spend (especially if it adds space). However, in a less-sought-after area, you would have to expect a much smaller return for your investment.

Indeed, the FMB points this out through its examples:

  • Converting an under stairs cupboard into a toilet can add £26,708 in 7 days in Surrey, or £1,963 in NE England

  • Building a garden room/ outside play room can add £35,611 in 14 days in Surrey, or £6,542 in NE England

  • Removing an internal wall to create open plan kitchen/diner can add £48,417 in 7 days in London, or £5,834 in Cambridgeshire

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What the FMB doesn’t point out is that the cost of these jobs can also vary considerably based on location. Tradies in London and the south of England will almost always charge more for their services than those elsewhere.

“If you’re looking to move up the property ladder, it’s obviously in your best interests to increase the value of your home as much as possible,” said Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB. “By investing in low cost, high return projects, not only will you make your home a more pleasant place to live, you’ll also be increasing its value significantly. Better still, these projects take no time at all so the hassle factor will be kept to an absolute minimum.”

Right, because everyone knows that organising major home improvement work is never a hassle, especially when you want all the work done in a short space of time!

If you want to get an accurate idea of whether it is worth investing in home improvements, your first step should be to collect quotes from several different tradesmen. The next step will be to talk to an experienced local estate agent, as Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HOA, pointed out.

She said: “The best local estate agents will be able to tell you what refurbishment projects other homes have benefited from along your road, or in your area, and how much value those projects have added.”

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