Written by Josh Jackman Updated on 6 October 2022 ✔ Getting a free smart meter will earn you £2,800, on average✔ Buyers will pay £3,419 for a home with an electric vehicle charger✔ A new kitchen will typically make you £13,275 in profitWhether you’re looking to sell your property soon or at some point in the future, it’s always worth asking how you can improve your home.You want to make changes that will benefit you financially whenever you move, and make your home life more enjoyable until that point.In this guide, we’ve covered all the best steps you can take, whether you have tens of thousands of pounds to spend, or just a couple of hundred. What’s on this page? 01 Get a smart meter 02 Get eco-friendly light bulbs 03 Draught-proof your property 04 Install an electric vehicle charger 05 Install solar panels 06 Buy a new kitchen 07 Make an open plan living space 08 Get a basement conversion 09 Get a loft conversion 10 Summary 1. Get a smart meterApproximate cost: £0Expected return: £2,796This is the cheapest addition you can make to your home – because it’s free.Your energy supplier must install a smart meter in your home if you ask for one, at no cost to you. In fact, it’ll make you money once you’re ready to sell.Smart meters add an astonishing £2,796 to a property’s price, according to a survey of more than 2,000 people by Money.co.uk.So go ahead and increase your home’s value today, without paying a penny. 2. Get eco-friendly light bulbsApproximate cost: £145Expected return: £2,469 + £40 per yearReplacing your current light bulbs with LEDs costs £145, on average.This relatively small investment will raise your home’s value by £2,469, typically – and don’t worry about icy light. New models of LEDs emit a warm glow, just like other bulbs.And you can also save money in the short term with LEDs.The average household can cut their energy bills by £40 per year by replacing all their bulbs with LEDs, according to the Energy Saving Trust.That means breaking even within four years, and ending up with a £555 profit at the end of the LEDs’ 15-20 year lifespan. 3. Draught-proof your propertyApproximate cost: £225Expected return: £3,208 + £45 per yearDraught-proofing your home is a no-brainer.It typically costs just £225 to professionally draught-proof your home, according to the Energy Saving Trust, and adds an enormous £3,208 to its value in the eyes of buyers.And if you don’t put your property on the market straight away, you’ll be able to enjoy a draught-free home that cuts your energy bills by £45 per year, on average.That means you’ll earn back your initial £225 payment in five years – all while enjoying a nice, warm home. 4. Install an electric vehicle chargerApproximate cost: £1,000Expected return: £3,419Electric vehicle chargers will soon become a necessity, so it’s worth getting on board now.A charging unit typically costs around £1,000, and they’ll add £3,419 onto the value of your home, according to buyers.This is one of the least invasive ways to increase your property’s worth, especially as earth rods are no longer required for many models – and you may as well get ahead of the curve.More electric vehicles were sold last year than in the previous five years combined. They made up 45.5% of all new car sales, and that trend only seems to be growing stronger. 5. Install solar panelsApproximate cost: £7,860Expected return: £7,349 + £520 per yearInstalling solar panels typically costs £7,860 for a three-bedroom house – and adds £5,109 to the value of your home.If you’re not planning to sell immediately, that’s even better. Solar panels will save you £520 per year on average, by cutting your electricity bills and selling your excess energy through the Smart Export Guarantee.And when it’s time to sell your property, your solar panels will typically make it easier.Our 2022 National Home Energy Survey found 65% of people were ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to purchase a property with solar panels.You can find out more in our helpful guide: Solar Panel Costs. 6. Buy a new kitchenApproximate cost: £7,500Expected return: £20,775Updating an old kitchen will typically add 5-10% to your property’s price – which for the average homeowner will mean an extra £20,775.And considering new kitchens typically cost between £5,000 and £10,000, this means it’s prudent to finally buy the kitchen of your dreams.There are plenty of other options when it comes to adding value onto your kitchen – you could extend into your side return or garden, and you’ll still add 5-10% to the value of your home – but getting a new kitchen is quicker and cheaper. 7. Make your living space open planApproximate cost: £8,000Expected return: £41,550Sometimes the best way to create is to destroy – in this case, by knocking down the walls that separate your kitchen, dining room, and living room.Just make sure none of your walls are load-bearing, as this could spell disaster for your home. If you have any concerns at all, speak to a structural engineer.If your walls aren’t vitally important, they should cost around £500 each to be removed and made good, and it costs around £5,000 to have your new space designed.Depending on your setup, you may well incur plumbing costs too – but the profit should make it well worth it.An open plan living area can increase the value of your home by up to 15%, which is £41,550 for the average owner – plus it makes your property more attractive to many buyers. 8. Get a basement conversionApproximate cost: £28,000Expected return: £34,625Building an extension can be extremely profitable, but it can also be a long, slow, expensive process – and that’s assuming that you get planning permission.If you have basement space that you’re barely using, it makes sense to focus on that first, especially as there are countless possibilities.You could create a home cinema, a wine cellar, a swimming pool, a games room – or just an extra bathroom. You could even power your pool with solar panels to cut back on costs.This new addition to your home should increase its value by 10-15%, which adds up to £34,625 for the average owner.If you’re not excavating or underpinning, it’ll cost £1,400 per square metre – plus you probably won’t have to ask for planning permission or move out while it’s happening. 9. Get a loft conversionApproximate cost: £40,000Expected return: £55,400Adding more space onto your home is one of the best ways to increase its value, and a loft conversion is an excellent way to achieve this.Studies over the past few years have consistently found that a loft conversion with a bedroom and ensuite bathroom will add 20% to 22% to your home’s value.For the average UK homeowner with a house worth £277,000, this would mean raising your sale price by £55,400.And in London, where the average house costs £529,882, you would typically add £106,000 onto your property’s value.This kind of work will usually cost around £40,000, according to Checkatrade.Make sure you’re able to secure planning permission first, and then you can start getting quotes from tradespeople. SummaryYou now have several excellent ways of increasing the value of your property, whether you’re looking to radically change your home or add the final touches.We’re confident that all of these tips should stand the test of time – though we’d recommend getting a free smart meter as soon as possible.You’re more than ready to start planning your next few home improvements, so go and make your enquiries. After all, getting a quote costs nothing. Written by: Josh Jackman Lead Writer Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio.