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Who doesn’t long for a utility room to hide away all the messy bits of everyday life? Somewhere to put the laundry out of sight, somewhere for outdoor coats and shoes and anything to do with the family pet. Basically a place for all the things you don’t want on display to spoil your beautiful kitchen or hallway. There’s value in a cleaner lifestyle, but we ask does a utility room add value to a house?
A utility room is an area within the home created for the primary purpose of housing larger household appliances and performing day-to-day tasks such as the laundry. Having a utility room allows you to perform chores that would otherwise cause mess and clutter in other areas of the house, primarily the kitchen, so their popularity has grown along with the rise in open-plan living.
According to Checkatrade utility rooms were among the top 10 areas of the home where people spent money last year and Google searches for ‘Boot room ideas’ were up 80%.
Do utility rooms add value to a house?
‘Maximum value is added to a house by improving the main living spaces, such as the kitchen, dining and living areas. According to data from Zoopla, we know that buyers searching for utility rooms when browsing for a property remains high and that homeowners are sacrificing their bedrooms for other purposes.’ Says Emma Cotterill, Marketing Director of Tilia Homes.
‘Adding a utility room subsequently adds value to the house, particularly if you have gone down the open-plan route which remains very popular. A utility room not only provides additional storage and keeps the noise of white goods out of the living space, it also prevents bedrooms from being overrun with laundry equipment.’
Additional square footage means more money in today’s housing market, but only if you use that extra space wisely. The key is not to overspend. Utility rooms don’t have to be large, which means a simple small utility room addition to your home could add plenty of value. Stud walls can cost anywhere between £400 – £600 to install, and could be built to section off an unused area of your kitchen to create a small utility room idea.
A utility room will tick a lot of boxes for a large number of buyers, so it’s a worthwhile investment to make. Even if you only break even on costs it’s a valuable asset to the smooth running of a busy household. However, it’s hard to put a hard and fast figure on exactly what your return will be. It may be best to check with a local estate agent.
How much value does a laundry room add?
‘A lot of people like noisy appliances to be out of sight, and earshot’ says James Hummerstone-Pope, of Purplebricks. ‘A laundry or utility room can add several thousands of pounds of value in the right home.’
The property valuation experts at MoveStreets have calculated the costs of converting an existing space into a chic utility room. At time of calculation, based on the average UK house price in December 2021 of £274,712 the experts estimate a utility room conversion can add 5% value to the property – on average a grand total of £7,236.
This sum is based on the value after adding an estimated added value of £13,736 but deducting the estimated average cost of works, approximately £6,500. This value is based purely on converting a space, extending the floor plan would cost considerably more.
Why does everyone want a utility room?
‘Utility rooms went out of fashion for a long while as people knocked all their walls down in favour of open-plan family living spaces’ explains Helen Parker, Creative Director of deVOL Kitchens. ‘In recent years, people have started to lust after these old fashioned small rooms again. And this time round they are not just functional but beautiful.’
Helen describes the ‘new’ utility room as ‘An extension of your home and a place to continue your creativity and show your personal style. The world is going mad for homes, pictures of people’s houses, beautiful places to visit and one of these addictive spaces is the utility room. People love to see images on Instagram and see how people have imaginatively turned the humble job of washing and potting up plants and storing your dirty boots into a room to make their friends super jealous.’
If you have gone down the open-plan route, finding a space to add a utility room can be a great practical addition to add value to your house. It keeps the noise of appliances, such as the washing machine and dryer, out of the living space. Plus it gives you a dedicated space to hide away laundry and cleaning materials.
If possible, it’s best to have direct access to the outside so laundry can be hung on a washing line. This has the added benefit of saving energy in the home by not running the tumbler dryer.
If you are really tight on space, you could fit a utility room into a large cupboard, in a hallway for example, or utilise the space under the stairs if it’s big enough. If there is enough room height, stack the washing machine and dryer on top of each other. Installing a worktop will create a handy work station for sorting and folding clothes.
When planning a utility room ask yourself these questions:
- Is it solely for laundry or is it a kitchen offshoot?
- How much storage are you likely to need?
- What appliances will be in there?
- Do you need a large sink for washing wellies, and pets?
- How will you ventilate it?
- Is there a source of natural light?
- What flooring will work best?
Will you be adding a valuable utility room to your house?