How UK house sellers can add up to £50,000 to their homes in seven days

People selling their home can add almost £50,000 to its asking price by carrying out seven days’ work on it, according to research from the UK trade body the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the consumer body the HomeOwners Alliance (HOA).

The survey was conducted among estate agents from different regions of the UK who are members of the Guild of Property Professionals, and builders who are FMB members.

More than 300 FMB members were asked how long it would take to carry out the following improvements and how much it would cost. The changes most likely to enhance the value of a property were:

  • Removing an internal wall to create an open-plan kitchen-diner can add £48,417 to an averagely priced home in London
  • Building a conservatory or outside playroom for children can add £35,611 in 14 days to an averagely priced home in Surrey
  • Investing in kitchen improvements such as new flooring, a new worktop and new cabinet doors can add £26,838 in eight days to an averagely priced home in Dorset
  • Converting a cupboard under the stairs into a downstairs toilet can add £26,708 in seven days to an averagely priced home in Surrey
  • Converting part of the master bedroom into an en suite bathroom can add £14,525 in 11 days to an averagely priced home in London
  • Building a new driveway can add £13,354 in nine days to an averagely priced home in Surrey
  • Installing decking and lighting in the back garden can add £8,946 in seven days to an averagely priced home in Dorset.

The builders and agents did not always agree as to where the biggest value could be realised. For example, the estate agents felt that a garden room would add, on average, 8% to the value of the property, but the builders ranked it as the second least effective project, possibly owing to the length of time it takes.

Both builders and estate agents agreed that decking in the back garden was not a good idea.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: "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 a minimum."

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HOA, said: "This research is encouraging news for home owners; improving your home to make it more enjoyable to live in can also give you a big financial boost when it is time to sell. There is a caveat though as if your primary aim is to increase the value of your home, you should consult the experts in order to ensure you will see a return."

The FMB offers a vetting service for contractors and the HOA has a similar recommending service for estate agents.

All property prices are taken from the UK House Price Index, in December 2017.

Image: A garden room can add more than £35k to the value of a Surrey home  (

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  1. It would be helpful if an indication of the cost of providing the suggested additions in addition to the surprisingly short time given as indicative the time they would take to achieve.

  2. I doubt the if the improvements listed above would increase the value of a property as much as indicated. I do agree however, that in the wet U.K. Climate, decking is a bad idea.

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