Does a cellar add value to a house? 

Does a cellar add value to a house? 

Cellar renovations not only add extra space to your homes, they can add significant value to it while making the property more saleable.

Converted basement space — whether done with practicality in mind or extravagance — amplifies the aesthetics or your property, which heightens the appeal for potential buyers in the future.

Additional habitable floor space can potentially accommodate an extra bathroom, another bedroom, a living area or office space etc, all of which will increase your property’s desirability when it’s put on the market.

As a general rule of thumb, it is thought a fully functional, modernised and usable cellar can add between 10% and 20% to the value of your home.


What are the benefits of renovating a cellar, ready for sale?

  1. Extra liveable space: Should your cellar have the potential to be opened up to its full capacity, and emulating the dimensions of the floor/s above, then you’d be increasing the living space significantly. For example, an additional floor in a two-storey home would increase the property’s habitable room by 50%, while a bungalow would double in size.
  2. Hidden gems: Converted cellars can be used efficiently or experimentally. Both uses, however, will appeal to potential buyers when your house is advertised by your choice of estate agent. There’s scope for bedrooms, bathrooms, utility rooms or work space, though your investment could also be used for additional entertainment, including bars, gaming rooms or cinema rooms. The options are endless.
  3. Extra storage: The more [space], the merrier! A converted cellar provides ample storage space, whether it’s units, shelving or cupboards. It’s a perfect way to rid your home of clutter, store Christmas decorations, paperwork, tools, children’s toys, appliances etc. If they’re not needed on a daily basis then a cellar is an ideal place to keep things organised and safe.
  4. Separate annexe/AirBnB: A brand-spanking new cellar is not only an ideal way to ramp up the valuation of your property, it’s also a great opportunity to bring in some regular income. Should you have the functionality and accessibility to construct a separate annex  —  with bathroom, bedroom, kitchen facilities etc, along with its own heating system  —  then rental could be a brilliant way to help contribute towards your mortgage.
  5. Valuation increase: A finished cellar — one that is aesthetically pleasing and completed to a high specification — can increase your home’s value monetarily. When it comes to selling your property, extra floor space can boost the asking price significantly, some say by upto 20%. Extra living space, that requires no extra work, is a big pull for potential buyers, who would be willing to pay much more for the additional room.

When is it best to leave the cellar alone? 

It is absolutely imperative to consider the risk versus reward factor in the scenario of renovating a cellar.

Homeowners must weigh up potential expenditure for the work that is required and measure that against the projected increase in property valuation.

If the maths make sense, and you can add significant value without breaking the bank, then it’s time to get a specialist workforce in place to get the job done.

However, if the costs are unaffordable, unrealistic, or completely negate any scope for profit, then it certainly isn’t worth compromising your financial or mental health.

Agreeing to get the work completed can be an expensive commitment and outgoings from the first quotation can spiral during the process. It’s important to take everything into consideration before giving the green light.

Expenses can include digging out, underpinning (if necessary), concrete flooring, installation of a waterproof tanking system, insulation, ventilation, pipework, plumbing, drainage systems, electrics/lighting, plastering, joinery work, doors and windows (both internal and external), flooring, decorating, and cosmetic work, such as skirting boards, architraves etc.

All these jobs and procedures come with labour costs, prices of equipment and materials, which have soared in recent times. Before any work goes ahead, ensure that you contact your local authority and make an appointment with a building inspector. If any work runs the risk of compromising the structure of your property, then the council will reject your application.


Take your time to weigh up the pros and cons

Like anything else — particularly when the costs are so high — doing your due diligence is absolutely essential.

Weigh up the pros and cons, get your finances in check, collect several quotes for comparison, speak to numerous estate agents, notify the council and your neighbours, then decide whether the risk is indeed worth the reward.

Ask the various tradesmen for a breakdown of forecasted costs, balance those with the valuations that have been acquired, then finalise whether the renovation makes good financial sense.

Allow for all eventualities, try to enjoy the project, then reap the benefits of your wonderful new living space and the extra profit it will bring when it comes to selling your home.

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