Will a home extension add value to my property?
We get asked this question a lot mainly with regard to a properties increase in
value after the house extension works have been completed.
Many homeowners get too focussed on simply adding value after the extension works. In other words they
want to be assured of making a paper profit.
Regretfully this rarely happens for most home extensions for a number of factors. Fortunately most
homeowners extending their homes do so for the quality of life benefits a home extension can bring and they have a
forecasted time period of at least 5 years in which to enjoy the extended property. If this is case then
having an instant paper profit after construction is not really a valid consideration.
There are some types of home extensions that do add more value than the cost of construction. These are
where the property is perhaps already a wreck, but within a sought after location and purchased under value or
without the added premium of a that a quickly rising market can bring called competition from other purchaser.
If a homeowner is focussed on getting added value than I would suggest rethinking it as 'value added' and
completing the works that have a high desirability rating for future owners to secure as wider market appeal as
possible provided it does not compromise your own requirements for the extended property.
Areas of home extensions that do add the greatest amounts of value are large family kitchens with eating areas
incorporating highly glazed doors for accessing the rear garden, semi-open plan ground floor living spaces. A
good test for this is for the extension and any internal remodelling to create more than one access route to the
front door from the rear of the property.
Bedrooms will always add value but only if they are properly proportioned. A cramped double bedroom
with no place for storage incorporating the smallest of en-suite purely for the sake of ticking a requirement
box is no good at all. What good is a 5 bedroom semi-detached house in a undesirable area?
There is a saying that when extending or developing a property you should never be the best house on the street
as you will always be setting the price benchmark & while other properties can aspire to yours, you may not
have any further margins for price improvements.
There are also some definite no no's to. House extensions that add little value are things
- Ground floor bedrooms for a full height two storey dwelling.
- Refitting a kitchen that is already cramped and has no eating area worthy for entertaining.
- Attached garage extensions.
- Tacked on plastic mini-porches and conservatories.
- Gloomy or dark areas of existing rooms adversely affected by restricted light from the new extension.
- Cramped loft conversions where the new stairs look awkward or out of place or have taken away too much
space from an existing bedroom.
- Out of balance floor spaces where the first floor seems top heavy for the limited ground floor space (or
- Adding a great extension, that is well designed and laid out but forgetting that the existing property
still needs upgrading for replacement windows, services, internal joinery or finishes for example.
- Adding floor space that is not flexible for future occupiers (rooms accessed off other rooms is a
- Building in split floor levels that define the use space for ever.
In essence, every property is different and each homeowner will have their own idea of what
they want from the property. Having your own list of requirements is always a good start but often the input from
an experienced home extension designer or architect right from the start can be invaluable in challenging &
stress testing your own concepts within a wider context that you may have previously considered.
Having a separate utility room from the kitchen for example may seem like a great idea and forms part of your
wish list but if the formation of that separate utility room destroys the large open plan kitchen and
eating area then it really is worth sacrificing as it may not be adding the best value if that is your aim.