When you think of your dream home, what do you picture? You might think you have a strong idea, but there are many surprising new features and inventive spins on classic hallmarks that are sweeping many homeowners off their feet. Not just this, but they can increase a property’s market value considerably.
While these projects vary in length and scope and will impact the appeal of the property in different ways, we’ve rounded up four of the most tantalising and distinctive features that will make your place a cut above the rest.
1. Home lifts
It may not seem like the obvious choice for some, but by installing a home lift, you can stylishly boost the comfort and convenience of your household. Aside from improving accessibility — a great way to futureproof the property — domestic lifts can also increase a property’s resale price over time. As Premier Lift Group explains: “The baby boomer generation are now moving into their later years…as such, they are looking for future-proof places to live, with lifts offering a fantastic way to ensure their homes will always be accessible in the face of any personal mobility issues.”
Beyond the growing retirement market, not only does a home life save time, but the slick convenience of transporting yourself across different floors is a complete gamechanger. Modern domestic lifts also come in a range of elegant bespoke designs that can be tailored to your interiors, so you don’t need to worry about it being too imposing either.
2. Garden upkeep
The importance of an inviting green space should not be understated, given that we now know from multiple lockdowns that this is something that you really can’t put a price on. Except, of course, when you can — according to Property Reporter, garden space can boost a property’s value by as much as 20%. Based on the current average London house price of £494,673, that’s an increase of nearly £100,000 (£98,935).
Finding a house in London with a garden can be futile at the best of times, so the idea of creating one subsequently just seems absurd — or at least, at first glance. However, by simply adding a colourful selection of plants and flowers to your granite-slab yard outside, you can technically convert it into a garden. With the proper maintenance and care, you can lay down either some turf or mulch to make everything feel a lot more organic. Concrete doesn’t have to be the tombstone of your property’s green potential — there are a number of wonderfully inventive landscaping ideas out there.
3. Roof terraces
Similar to outdoor garden space, roof terraces can simultaneously improve your property and add value to it. While the roof terrace boom began around a decade ago, many of the London’s residents have enjoyed getting their thumbs nice and green by using these as mini-gardens. Country Life magazine also found that London has more elevated green space than many other high-rise cities, including Singapore and Tokyo.
Thankfully, building a roof terrace can be incredibly straightforward, though there are some essential steps to follow. You will need to assess whether the top of your home is suitable for this addition, and can support not only people but tables, chairs and canopies — and you will certainly need to acquire planning permission.
You’ll also need an entrance, whether it takes the shape of a stairwell or a roof hatch. The initial expense varies — according to SPS Roofing, a basic terrace can be installed for less than £10,000, but it’s possible to spend up to over four times this number. However, if put together creatively, it can add as much as 10% of the house’s total value.
4. Parking space
While certainly not the most glamorous addition, in London, the worth of a good parking space cannot be understated. The days of stressfully circling round the block will be over — you’ll be able to just gently roll over the pavement and into your homemade driveway. The trick here is to develop the front of your home into a drive to park your car in. Beyond personal convenience, this upgrade will logically enhance your house’s market value, as one day it may be at the new homeowner’s leisure to get their car off the premium packed pavement.
There are a few things to consider beforehand though — for example, paving over your front garden might require planning permission. My Home Extension also has some useful details on exactly how much room you will need: “The standard space requirement is 4.8m long by 2.4m wide. Allow an extra 2m if the parking area is in front of a gate or garage. When measuring up, make sure your car won’t overhang the pavement or road.”