Does a garden office add value to a house?

Is working at the dining room table starting to get you down? We take a look at whether adding a garden office can boost the value of your home.

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Has the coronavirus pandemic changed the way you work? It may be that you now dream of the perfect garden office space. But before you go look at specs for the latest models, let’s take a look at whether adding a garden office will actually improve the value of your property.

Do garden offices add value?

The simple answer is yes. Adding a garden office to your property will increase its value – but it may not be by as much as you think. It often depends on how well you market your new addition when it comes time to sell up.

As with anything, when it comes to property value, it depends on the market at the time and what buyers want. Generally speaking, adding to the footprint of a home will increase its value. Garden offices are a relatively hassle-free way to do this. They are quick to put up and usually cheaper than a full-on extension.

According to Housebuilder and Developer, most garden rooms add around 5% to the value of a property. Robert Ellis of Nutbrook Property estimates that the value-added would be around 1.5x the cost of installing the building.

Assuming that the garden office you choose is high quality and that your estate agent markets it as more than just a ‘posh shed’, then the value it adds to your home will cover the cost of installing it in the first place. A garden office can add a ‘wow’ factor, and in the current climate, that could be a real selling point.

How much do they cost?

How long is a piece of string? Prices vary hugely when it comes to garden offices. Some say they start from around £10k, while others claim average prices range from £13k to £20k. Some big spenders splash out as much as £90k!

So here are some basics to be aware of. Firstly, pre-made is cheaper. As soon as you go bespoke, you’ll see the price climb rapidly. So unless you have a very strange shaped garden, taking a look at pre-made models is the most sensible option.

Secondly, watch out for hidden costs. You may get a quote for the structure that you are happy with. But when you look at delivery costs or the cost of connecting electrics to the mains supply, it could quickly become too expensive.

Finally, keep in mind that adding extras like air conditioning and underfloor heating will push the price even higher.

Are they worth it?

That is a very personal question. The fact is that in the current market, adding a home office to your property is likely to boost its value. Just increasing your square footage, even if the garden office ultimately becomes your crafting studio, can help push its price higher.

Garden offices can be constructed in as little as two weeks, with very little disruption. And often they don’t require planning permission (although you should always check the rules for your area).

However, if you have the finances available, you may find that a small extension (like an additional room, conservatory or loft conversion) may have more impact on the value of your home. According to Hiscox, such an extension could boost your property price by an average of 8.4%.

How can I finance one?

If you are interested in adding a garden office, then there are lots of different ways to fund your new addition.

Obviously, the cheapest way is to pay for it from savings. If you do need to borrow money, then look for the best possible deal.

You could potentially use a 0% purchases credit card. This type of card gives you an interest-free period in which to pay off your balance. Which means you can avoid costly interest charges.

Alternatively, you could look to get a personal loan. It’s best to compare products to find the rate and fixed term that works for you.

Finally, you could potentially remortgage in order to release some of the value of your home and put that money towards making improvements. This may not be the most cost-effective way of adding a home office, so it is always worth doing your research beforehand.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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