Can An Extension Add Value?

Can An Extension Add Value?

Date Published 10 October 2019

Can A Single Story Extension Increase My Property Price

Many home owners have considered extending their property, especially in recent years with the cost of moving going up year on year. One question people often consider is 'should this extension be one or two floors, and will I make my money back on a single floor extension'.

Any extension work should always be looked at from a ‘time and cost' perspective. If you plan to enjoy the extension yourself and live in the property for years to come the added value on your price may not be as influential. However if you are looking purely from a ‘cost v sale price' perspective then extension works should be more carefully considered.

My name is Lee Whitelaw, and as a local estate agent I am asked this question many times from both sellers and buyers. In this article I have highlighted some top tips, and also given case study examples of properties which I have personally dealt with to help anyone currently asking this question.

Top Tips:

What Am I Extending?
This really boils down to what sort of space you are adding and falls broadly into two categories; Living Space and Bedroom Space.

As a rule of thumb adding bedrooms will increase the value of a home more than simply adding livings space. For example if you split a large bedroom into two smaller ones, although the floor space is the same, typically, and as many sales in Plymouth have proven a three bedroom home, despite having smaller room sizes will be more valuable to the market than a two bedroom home. This also applies to extra space. A four bedroom home has a perceived higher value than a three bedroom home, despite increased living space. There are always exceptions to this rule, but as a general rule of thumb if you're looking to maximise the price tag of your finished build, then bedroom space is a sure winner!

What Am I Losing?
This is always a tricky one as inevitably by extending your property, you will lose some outside space. In my opinion this should never be off putting, as let's face it we live in England, and although we all love spending time in the garden in the sunny weather, the inside of our home is where the majority of time is spent, and also where buyers concentrate. With some clever ideas, time and effort even a small garden can be made to look attractive. If you extend then fail to maximise your garden space then don't be surprised when potential buyers are put off by your reduced outside space. However if you account for some outside renovations in your budget for an extension then you're already ahead of the curve!

How To Build A Budget
Something which many people overlook is the property value, not just the cost of the works. Getting several quotes and using reputable trades people are the basics, but I want to talk more about the actual property value.

When considering this sort of work, either to get personal enjoyment or to seriously consider maximising value, getting some free advice from a reputable local estate agent can be very useful. Once you have a firm idea of the current value, and a rough idea of cost, you can also get the agent to give an estimation of sale price post extension, which many agents are happy to do.

This way you know by doing certain types of building works you will either need to do it for the love of the property and forget the resale price, or you can proceed with full knowledge that following the works if you decided to sell then it's all been worth it in the end.

Should I Go Into The Loft?
This is often a great way to gain extra space but not lose any other part of your plot. If after professional advice it appears your loft space is suitable for conversion, the choice to go ahead can seem attractive but just because something is possible, does not always mean it's prudent.

There are two main considerations when looking at loft conversions. The first is similar to my first tip, and is about deciding if you can add bedroom space. This does not mean adding a slighter bigger room upstairs, but rather adding an actual bedroom. This depends entirely on where the stairs can go, as making another bedroom a walk through with stairs to your new space will remove the label of bedroom, and make this space a hallway extension. In this circumstance to add value, the new bedroom needs to add so much space or convenience that it increases the price of the property without increasing the actual number of bedrooms, something which is more of a minority than majority when taking into account the cost.

The other major consideration is will you be able to secure full planning or most importantly building regulation sign off. The number of times I have visited a three bedroom property which a seller would like a four bedroom price for due to a loft room, but I have had to refuse, is considerable. Getting a family friend to put in a stair case and do a conversion at a great price, but is either not qualified or does not go through the process of building regulation inspection of sign off will mean your newly created oasis will always need to be described as loft space when selling. Therefore seriously impacting the price achievable. Where possible any loft conversion should be done with planning and building regulation sign off as without that you are not extending, you are simply making your loft space more attractive.

Case Study:

This property in the Eggbuckland area of Plymouth has been sold by myself both pre and post extension works. I also valued the property in the middle in accordance with the advice above.

Sale Price £178,500 May 2013

This was a three bedroom semi detached family home with garage, gardens and driveway.

Following the purchase the new owners decided they wanted to make the living space bigger at the rear by adding a single story extension, and also extending the front area, thus re-shaping the living space to allow for an extra bedroom and bathroom.

Sale Price £265,000 August 2016

Now a four bedroom semi detached family home with extended living space and additional bathroom.

This is a prime example of how a single story extension, when done correctly and bedroom space has been added it not only ensured a great property, but the vendor got a great return on their investment.

Any seller who would like some free independent advice on any work they are considering is welcome to contact Novahomes on 01752 206040.