The Economics of House Building

By contributor Lucretia McCarthy

Money! It’s the main bone of contention when it comes to houses. How much they cost, how much they are worth, and what you can do about it. It’s a little discussed topic but it doesn’t need to be taboo, we all want the best return on our investment.

The first thing to consider is what your purpose is in undertaking a project. It’s important to have a clear goal in mind, whether it’s to create more space for you to enjoy in the long term or to add maximum value ahead of selling. Designers like us can advise you on the best approach for your specific circumstances, creating a feasibility study to test a range of options for your home and helping with all important planning applications. But you can begin weighing up your options from the get-go! 

Below, I’ve outlined some of the most common home adaptations and assessed the cost (how much money you could pay for the work done), against the value (how much money it could add to your house’s worth). I’ve based this on a house valued at £300,000 before renovations and used Towergate’s renovations app to calculate.

Update the Bathroom

Average cost: £4,250

Average value increase: £15,000

5% increase

Update the kitchen

Average cost: £8,000

Average value increase: £18,000

6% increase

Add a Conservatory

Average cost: £7,000

Average value increase: £15,000

5% increase

Add a single storey extension

Average cost: £20,000

Average value increase: £33,000

11% increase

Introduce open plan to living spaces

Average cost: £2,100

Average value increase: £18,000

6% increase

Loft conversion

Average cost: £17,500

Average value increase: £45,000

15% increase

Garage conversion

Average cost: £15,450

Average value increase: £60,000

20% increase

Of course these are just a guide, but it is important to see that the most expensive investments don’t always have the best return, and some of the results are surprising! 

If you are thinking of making alterations to increase the value of your home when it comes to sell, don’t forget to consider the demographics of your area. City dwellers and young professionals may want apartments and studies, whereas families are more likely to need houses with extra bedrooms and off street parking.

(Obviously, Staunton Henderson is not responsible for any loss of potential earnings based on the above quoted estimates. Property value fluctuates depending on the market at any given time and place.)


Have you have been inspired to make changes to your home? Get in touch to see how we can help.