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home improvements

Home improvements that can add value to your home

Improving your home can add thousands to its value, or just give you a bit of extra space.

We look at some key extensions, how much they cost, and how to pay for them.

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  • Adding a property extension– costs anything between £10,000 and £40,000, but how much value do they add?
  • Loft conversion– this will cost you between £15,000 and £50,000, but will it make your property worth more?
  • Conservatory – a conservatory typically costs around £9,000, but what does it add to the price of your property?
  • Kitchen refurbishment – A new kitchen will set you back as little as £600 or tens of thousands, but can it give you the edge when it comes to selling your home?

Adding a property extension

Extending your home can consist of adding a few rooms or just extending your existing living space.

Extensions range from adding a few more square feet to the living room to multi-room, double-story additions.


How much will an extension cost?

It depends on how big you’d like your extension to be, building access, and the ground and structural conditions around your home.

Shop around as builders will give you different quotes. Typically these will range from £10,000-£40,000 for a modest 1-2 storey extension.

Always get a recommended tradesman as a badly built extension could both damage the value of your home and cause you longstanding problems, and always agree a single price for the whole job rather than paying day rates.

Going the DIY route will more than halve your costs, but bear in mind you will have to meet building safety code requirements, and any plumbing and electrics will need to be checked. And all gas-fittings must be approved by a qualified gas fitter.

And remember – you will need planning permission and survey work completed before you begin or you risk being ordered to tear down your extension.

Always weigh the cost of the extension against the price of moving into a bigger home.

How could you pay for an extension?

Given the high cost of the extension you could consider either a secured or unsecured loan.

Unsecured, or personal, loans are offered against your credit score and let you borrow as much as £35,000 for typical APRs between 3% and 9% with repayment terms typically between one and five years.

However, the amount you are eligible to borrow and the rate you will pay, varies with the quality of your credit score.

Secured loans are offered against your home and allow you to borrow much larger sums, as much as £100,000 and can have repayment periods as long as 30 years.

How much value will an extension add?

This depends on the size and quality of the extension. Estate agents often consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms when quoting value, and often floor area is also used.

Outside of London, property typically costs £900-£2000 per metre square, whilst inside London property costs around £5,000-£10,000 per square metre.

So, in the right location, £20,000 of building work could add more than £50,000 of property value.

Loft conversion


Many homes have extra unused space in the attic which can be converted into another room and adding a lot of extra living space, in a short space of time.

How much will a loft conversion cost?

Just like extensions, the cost of a loft conversion varies with the structural conditions of your building, the access to your attic, and what work you want done, but a typical quote from a builder will usually be anywhere between £15,000-£50,000.

It usually costs around £3000-£6000 per extra window you want added in, depending on the structural conditions and feasibility around your roof.

If it’s easy to access and structurally suitable, the work for a loft conversion can be completed much quicker than building an extension, taking an average of six weeks.

Unless you are altering the roofline of your building, you don’t always require planning permission to convert your loft, unlike an extension. However, it’s still a good idea to seek independent advice from a surveyor, as you don’t want to be caught out.

How could you pay for a loft conversion?

Again, if you don’t have access to the funds to pay for the conversion upfront, you could consider using either a secured or unsecured loan.

You will enjoy relatively low APRs compared to credit cards, but you will have regular monthly repayments that you need to meet each month, so make sure you can commit to the monthly ongoing expense.

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Compare both secured and unsecured loans for home improvements with uSwitch.

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How much value could a loft conversion add?

As a rule, loft conversions do not add as much value as extensions and sometimes the loss of storage space can even have a negative effect, so consider carefully before proceeding.

But, location is key when it comes to adding value. In cities such as London, where space is at a premium, adding an extra room will likely add many thousands to the value of your home.



Building a conservatory is a quick way of adding space to your home with a bright sunny room. You don’t need planning permission and they can be built within a week or two.

How much will a conservatory cost?

Conservatories come in all shapes and sizes and the cost is dependent on what you want.

The average price of adding conservatory is just under £9,000, but at the luxury end they can cost as much as £100,000.

If you want intricate gabling, brickwork, or high-tech glass your costs will increase accordingly. But shop around for a quote and you could get a better deal to the tune of thousands.

How you could pay for a conservatory

Given that they are typically much cheaper than extensions or loft conversions,you could consider using a credit card instead of a loan.

A low APR or 0% purchase credit card could be suitable, as it gives you breathing space if you can’t pay off your entire balance in one go.

Unlike a loan you have flexible repayments with a credit card and you can take as long as you like to repay the debt.

However, credit limits on most credit cards may not be large enough to cover the full cost, so a personal loan may be more appropriate. Also, bear in mind that not all tradesmen will accept payment with a credit card.

How much value could a conservatory add?

Conservatories tend to add less value to a home than an extension. Location is key, so take look at homes in the area and see if having a conservatory is adding anything to their value.

Using your local price per square metre is a good guide to get a rough idea of how much value you could add, but err on the side of the lower estimates as a conservatory is often not considered a full room when it comes to valuation.

Also make sure your conservatory is in keeping with the rest of your house, as an ugly tacked-on conservatory could even harm the value of your home, or at least make it harder to sell.

Kitchen refurbishment

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home and refitting it with a new modern look can give your home the edge when it comes to selling it.


How much does it cost to refurbish a kitchen?

The cost of refitting a kitchen depends on how competent you are at DIY – if you can install new units, flooring, electrics and plumbing yourselfto you will save a great deal of money, as the price of labour and installation will be your biggest cost.

However, by law any gas pipework needs be completed by a qualified gas fitter, so don’t attempt altering the gas fittings or installing a gas oven by yourself.

A set of new units will set you back anywhere between £600 and £5,000 depending on the quality.

Wooden, stone and ceramic flooring will cost you anything from £10-£100 per square metre, laminate flooring is typically cheaper.

Ovens and hobs will cost anything between £3,000 and £300 apiece. A full range oven can come in between £1,500 and £20,000.

How you could pay for a kitchen refit

Again, as the cost is lower than an extension using a credit card could be an option, but if you’re looking at paying more than £3,000 a loan is usually a more suitable way to borrow in the long term.

How much value could a kitchen refit add?

It’s hard to define how much value a modern fashionable kitchen will add to your home, but it can add a bit of ‘wow-factor’, helping you to stand-out and making it easier to sell at your asking price.

That said, following fashion can be dangerous, so make sure you seek advice before spending money on re-fitting your kitchen – if not done tastefully you could find your kitchen is putting potential buyers off.

Read more…

Home improvement loans

Compare both secured and unsecured loans for home improvements with uSwitch.

Home improvement loans