How to increase the value of your UK home by up to 20%

Updated: May 18, 2021

Let's not even think about the interior. #kirstyandphil have already got it covered. We're looking at #gardens and #outdoorrooms in this blog by

The clue's in the name, of course, and, yes, research shows that gardens can add up to 20% of value to a home. Clearly, that's a significant amount. Bearing in mind that the average house in the UK is worth nearly £300,000, it doesn't need an 'A' Level maths qualification to work out that a decent garden might add more than £45,000 to the price. You suddenly like gardening, don't you? But how do you go about designing a garden?

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You don't need to turn into a horticultural expert in order to add value to your home: just use some common sense and maybe take some advice.

And what do we mean by 'decent' in terms of a garden? Huge? Nope. Flat? Neh. Ornate or quirky? Definitely not that. Although there's nothing wrong with incorporating unusual features within a garden design.

Quite simply, for maximum appeal, a garden needs to be well thought-out, tidily maintained, attractive and appealing to the masses. A garden should feel like a sanctuary and an extension of the home. Ideally the flow should be easy as nobody wants a contorted journey through awkward doors just to access the outside.

This is why a well designed garden wins over a space that hasn't been given much thought. There are many reasons why it's a good idea to be pro-active with a garden design, and value of a property is just one of them.

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Make sure the flow from indoors to outdoors is simple. This space definitely asks to be explored.


So, now look at your own. Does it feel insignificant? Are you proud of your outside space or is it just an afterthought? If you admit to the latter, you'll be interested to discover that the majority of buyers look for these most important features:

  • Easy to maintain (or at least the perception at a glance)

  • Private and safe

  • Good fencing (it keeps the kids contained, and the pets too)

  • Storage space (we all have too much 'stuff')

  • Pleasant areas for relaxing and dining

  • Good quality paving

  • Space to play

  • Lawn

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Appealing? Probably not. This garden looks like it needs a lot of hard work and it presents an unappealing prospect for a house buyer.


People now really want a nice garden, in fact 37% of people in the UK spend more time in their garden than they did just five years ago. The outside space has become majorly important. You only need wander around a garden centre or to browse shops online to notice the demand for patio furniture, barbecues, outdoor kitchens, patio heaters, ornaments and lighting. There are certain months of the year that prevent us from spending much time outdoors, but we've effectively managed to extend the outdoor season by improving surfacing, giving ourselves shelter from wet weather and warming things up a bit.

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Eating outdoors is cool! Even if the weather isn't sunny, there are heaters to warm up the guests.


According to recent research, people now expect to gain the following pleasures from their garden:

· Relaxation (a sense of being able to 'get away from it all')

· Gardening enjoyment: tending to plants, mowing the lawn and nurturing the space.

· Dining and socialising

· Play

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Gardens are for relaxation. You don't necessarily need a hammock (or a dog) but a comfy seat is always inviting.


And here are the main desirable features that will add the most in terms of value. They have been ordered in terms of importance:

  • A well-organised and sizeable shed, complete with racking and shelving.

  • Good quality paving

  • Secure boundary fence and gates

  • Water feature (not too large; certainly not a swimming pool which is considered hard to maintain)

  • A tidy, yet interesting appearance

  • Garden furniture arranged in a manner that is easy to access and use

  • Lawn

  • Lighting

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A well-organised, sizable shed is said to be one of the most important features of a desirable garden.


The front garden is just as important, if not more so than the back. Why? It's all about kerb appeal. Just ask #kirstyandphil. Most people drive by a house before they decide to view, so you want yours to sparkle.

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A neat, tidy and attractive front garden makes a highly attractive exterior and it helps to make a property desirable.

Here's how to impress the prospective buyers who might be cruising past:

  • Excellent presentation. Tidy beds and lawn, neat edges, no litter, no dead or straggly plants

  • Structure, shape and form: introduce some topiary if it's winter. Make it clear where the beds or lawn end and the parking or path begins

  • Harmony in terms of style and colour. Front door; hanging baskets; fences; plants; paving and surfacing should complement the style of the house.

  • Plants! People like to see greenery and it makes them feel good. A tree is great, but make sure it's a species that won't cause any problems in terms of roots, shade or sticky deposits.


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Topiary can give great structure to a garden during winter when there are few flowers around.

Check list: rush out and improve these things before you put your home on the market:

  • Remove litter and dead plants

  • Add some colourful or shapely plants

  • Replace or repair damaged fences and sheds

  • Mow the lawn and trim the edges

  • Simplify any fussy shapes and remove ornaments if there are many

  • Make sure your garden furniture looks appealing and is easily-accessible from the house

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A tidy, attractive garden contributes hugely to achieving a good price for a property.

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