Which Garden Features Add Real Value To Your Property?
If the recent pandemic-induced lockdowns have taught us anything at all, it’s that we should all appreciate much more what it means to be at home. More than ever before, our homes need to deliver a comfortable environment in which to live and work, socialise and relax.
There’s a financial incentive too. Whether or not property prices continue to rise, bricks and mortar are considered to be a solid investment choice, and upgrading your home can be an excellent way to increase the value of the asset.
That being said, when it comes to making home improvements, don’t forget the garden! The outside of your house can be just as important as the inside.
In fact, recent research shows that a beautifully maintained garden can add up to 20% to the value of the property, with more than 2/3 of homebuyers prepared to pay more for a house with a garden. Of course, it’s not just the space you have but what you do with it that counts. Here are a few suggestions.
Hot tubs and swimming pools
Given the hot summers we’ve been having recently – not to mention the prospect of many more to come as a result of climate change – it is perhaps not surprising that outdoor pools and hot tubs in the garden have seen a significant rise in popularity.
If you have the budget and the physical space to have a pool built in your garden, it could increase your home’s value by 20%. Prices vary widely depending on size and specification, but a typical Block & PVC Liner pool starts from around £25K.
Remember though, that adding a pool means that you might also see your electricity bill rise sharply and you will want to investigate whether having a heated pool makes sense for you. You can research energy providers to make sure you get the best deal.
If your garden isn’t suitable for a full swimming pool or you’d rather use the space for other things such as a seating area, a lawned area with lush planting, or even a vegetable bed for growing your own, a hot tub could be a good alternative to add a relaxing water feature to your outside space.
Prices start from around £3K but can be as much as £20K – check this handy hot tub pricing guide for details. A permanent, built-in spa can increase the value of your home by as much as a quarter, according to Post Office Money.
Garden rooms and home offices
There’s a huge difference between having the use of a regular garden shed (for gardening equipment etc) and a purpose-built room in the garden. The latter is an attractive timber-framed building that offers so much more than simple shed storage.
Fully weatherproofed, properly insulated, nicely decorated and supplied with power and lighting, it’s an extension of the house that delivers valuable extra living and entertaining space.
Whether you regularly work from home and love the peace of tranquility of the garden environment, or you have growing teenagers in the house who are keen to have their own space for entertaining friends, a garden room is a multifunctional space you can make your own.
Use it as a guest bedroom or Airbnb let, study, hobby room or even a gym. Done well, a garden room should add between 5-15% to the value of your home. Get more inspiration on garden rooms and DIY from a favorite blog of ours, The High Performance Home.
Pergolas and conservatories
Moving a bit closer to the house, there are many tried and tested ways to seamlessly connect the inside of the home with the outside. Large bi-fold doors opening out onto a generous timber deck, paved patio or terrace are a popular solution to create additional space for dining and entertaining, lounging and relaxing.
Why not complete the seating area with a contemporary aluminium-framed pergola with a retractable roof for extra privacy and year-round use and to add more value?
Conservatories, usually attached to living or dining areas, have been a beloved staple of UK homes for many decades, and they’re not going anywhere. A quality conservatory in the right place can still add around 10% to your property’s value - particularly if you've invested in a conservatory roof replacement.
It could be the perfect investment when you consider the unpredictable weather. It may even end up being your favourite spot in the house for morning coffee or afternoon tea, fully sheltered from the elements.
We all love having friends over for a BBQ in the garden, but a fully equipped outdoor kitchen takes the idea of alfresco dining and entertaining to the next level.
One of the most exciting home and garden trends in the last few years, it takes the idea of alfresco dining and entertaining to the next level and will make your property stand out.
Homeowners now expect technologically advanced BBQs, pizza ovens, conventional ovens, grills, gas hobs and dedicated kitchen storage that perform every bit as well outdoors as they do inside.
As you might expect, built-in outdoor kitchens are not cheap home improvement options, but a great execution in the right property can add up to 20% to the value.
Firepits are a relatively new garden feature in the UK but they’re rapidly becoming very popular. Budget-friendly and easy to set up, they really come into their own on cool evenings. Think of the cosy comfort of huddling around a fire toasting marshmallows and you get the general vibe.
The biggest garden ‘fails’
Finally, it’s important that we shouldn’t forget to point out that not everything in the garden makes your property worth more.
Crumbling garden walls and dilapidated fences, broken patio paving or decking, mouldy conservatory roofs and leaky guttering, a generally shabby appearance can literally knock thousands off the property value.
When it comes to putting your house on the market, the biggest garden turn-offs for house viewers centre around poor maintenance and neglect.
To present your home and garden in the best possible light, make sure that your garden has had a spruce-up and a deep clean before you list it for sale.
From removing rubbish and tidying unsightly items out of sight, to fixing hard landscaping issues and giving the tool shed a new coat of paint, there’s much you can do to improve the outdoor appeal of any garden, large or small.
Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about interiors. She launched award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she gets creative by redecorating her own home.
Download her free kitchen styles guide here.