What to think about if you’re renovating or extending your home

Business Insights

Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, shares his top tips for when renovating or extending your home, with additional insight from Susan Gregory, Divisional Sales Director at Purplebricks.

1. Think about your home lifestyle

Covid-19 has irreversibly changed the way we live and work and having the ability to work from home has become more of a necessity than a luxury. Garden offices and separate work from home spaces are also now in demand by home buyers. So, if you’re thinking about extending or transforming an existing room, consider a space for home working. Our research revealed that almost a quarter of homeowners (24%) would create an entirely new room in their home renovations such as a home office or gym, and 16% would build an outbuilding for similar use.


2. Kitchens are the heart of the home

Our research found that almost a third (29%) of potential renovators would expand on existing space, such as creating a bigger kitchen. The kitchen is often the focal point of the home, so when it comes to renovating or extending, paying particular attention to this part of the house can add serious value to your property. Updating a kitchen is no easy feat, so it’s important to take the time and design your space correctly.

Susan Gregory says: 

“Undoubtedly, kitchens are the hub of any home. A multi-purpose, spacious kitchen adds value to a home, and one that opens out onto an outdoor area is also a big tick for buyers. Things to think about when designing a kitchen include whether the area has enough space to socialise, entertain, and relax, whilst providing all the necessities for cooking and dining.”

4. Make the most of your outside space

As we’ve all been keeping mostly indoors for the last year, outside space and garden areas are a definite must have. There are lots of things you can do to transform an outside space, whether that’s adding garden furniture, hanging garden lights, or increasing the number of plants you have, but many people consider gardens an extension of the home so if they’re presented as beautifully as indoors it will certainly help with curb appeal. Don’t forget about the front garden too if you have one as this is the first thing potential buyers will see.

Susan comments: 

“If you have any outside space at all, no matter how small, spending some time and a little money presenting it to potential buyers as an additional and welcoming space. This will not only add value but also saleability.”

5. Improve pre-existing systems

A lot of focus in renovating or extending can be on the aesthetic side of things, but it’s also crucial to consider adding value to your home by updating what you already have. For example, the central heating system or plumbing if necessary. A well-functioning, insulated home will be of much more value in the long term. You might even want to consider eco-friendly additions like solar panels or a biomass boiler, as more environmentally friendly homes become a consideration for home buyers.

6. Consider your target market

If you are thinking of renovating or extending your home, it’s worth considering whether you are increasing or decreasing the desirability of your home for the resale market. For example, if your area has lots of first-time buyers, extending your home too much to create a ‘family home’ could make the property too expensive for them to consider and then alienate this group entirely.

Susan comments: 

“Every target market has different wants and needs – whether it’s for a young family, or a retired couple, and while these are generalisations, it’s useful to consider who is most likely to buy your property in the future. Take the time to consider how the whole home will be enjoyed by your potential resale market when you are considering your renovation or extension. This will ensure not only you create a home you will love, but one that a future owner will love too.”

7. Think about proportions and balance

When it comes to thinking about what you’re adding or changing to a property, consider the practicalities. For example, if you’re adding a bedroom, will this be upstairs or downstairs? How does this change the ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms? Open plan living is very popular, but if the whole of the downstairs is open plan, how would this function as a living space for you or a prospective buyer.

For those looking to understand how to much value they can add to their home through renovation and how to fund such a home improvement, Mortgage Advice Bureau has created an online tool which provides users with the construction project cost vs. the value specific home extensions and renovations can add to the overall property price.