Comment: The home improvements that add the most value

Plenty of loft conversions don't require planning permission. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A loft conversion can add £50,000 to your home's value. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Home improvements, eh? Are they the means of making the absolute most of your place as its current occupant, or a way of adding value ahead of your next move? 

Ideally, a bit of both. 

We all love to increase the value to our homes, preferably at the minimal possible expense.

And it's always interesting to know which home improvements are likely to give the biggest boost to a future asking price. 

According to new research from, a loft conversion is the way to go if you really want to rake in the big bucks. 

While the work will typically set you back just over £33,000, the potential increase in your home's value is likely to be just shy of £51,000 – a tidy £17,000-plus profit.

This sort of 20 per cent increase in value (based on the current average UK house price of £254,624) is by no means the norm: the next best investments include a downstairs toilet, a kitchen renovation and a new conservatory, which will all increase the value of your home by a much more modest 5-6 per cent. 

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Some so-called improvements could even leave you out of pocket: bottom of the list in the value-added stakes are solar panels, which cost an average of £4,000 to install, potentially increasingly your home's worth by just £1,273 (0.5 per cent) – leaving you £2,727 down once the cost has been deducted from the value-added. 

Ultimately, in an area like ours it's the market that will add more value than even the loveliest of loft conversions, and if you stay put for long enough, the prices will continue to increase regardless of the improvements you introduce. 

Though obviously a swish new kitchen and luxury loft will only enhance your chances of a swift sale – and make your place much more enjoyable to live in in the short term. 

So if you can afford it, go for it – but don't expect the work in itself to earn you a fortune.