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The very British garden shed can add value to a home, experts suggest

Gardening is a great British pass time and new research suggests that the good old garden shed is proving to be popular with buyers this summer and adding to the value of a property.

Prospective buyers have a surging appetite for outdoor space with 37% of people in the UK spending more time in their garden than they did five years ago and new research suggests that having the right kind of garden features can add up to 20% to the price.

Estate agents, garden designers and property professionals and consultants were asked which features would add the most value and a decent sized garden shed came out top with 82% of those surveyed.

Good quality paving and patios came second with 76% and secure boundaries, including fencing, walls and gates was this at 72%. The research from Sellhousefast also found that the lowest ranking garden feature was artificial lawns which just 40% thought would add value to a home.

Most the experts agreed that home owners should aim for a combination of these garden features rather than striving for a specific one for it to really boost a property’s value.

‘Over the last three years, I would say prospective tenants and buyers have become really fascinated with gardens. Often when we conduct viewings, I find them wanting to visualise themselves in the garden and carefully thinking about how they would harness the environment around them,’ said estate agent Neil Walter.

‘I would say it has become an extension of a living space, as many have varying aspirations as to how they would like to use the garden space. For home owners looking to sell or rent, I always recommend keeping their garden renovations and refurbishments at a moderate level as potential buyers/renters always have their own vision as to how they want things to look,’ he added.

Lauren Pascal, a garden designer, explained that when home owners hire her to improve the appearance of their garden with the intention of boosting the value of their property they want fancy water features and a sea of extravagant flowers.

‘Whilst understandable, the expense required to have such things exceeds their willingness to spend. My recommendation is to be cost effect by making some light rather than drastic changes, depending on the current state of their garden. Spending tons to have a lavish garden does not always correlate to an increase in property value,’ she pointed out.

‘If a garden is scattered to the point where most of the space is occupied, then it makes it very difficult for potential occupiers to envision themselves there enjoying the outdoors. It might not be an obvious realisation but small changes can have a more significant impact than major transformations,’ she added.

Nina Hayward, a property expert and investor from London, believes that instead of splashing out on flashy additions, owners think about what modern property seekers really want from an adequate outdoor space.

‘They crave privacy and safety, so invest in sturdy fences. Additionally, extra storage space is always helpful, so a shed can be an understated asset to any garden. Paving would also be ideal, if the intended target for the property is families, as it would provide the perfect platform for outdoor furniture and fixtures. Make sure any changes or additions to the garden are modest, as anything that requires a lot of maintenance could hinder potential occupiers and more detrimentally, the valuation price,’ she said.

Robby Du Toit, managing director of Sellhousefast, believes that many people looking to sell their house forget about the exterior. ‘A poorly kept and unmaintained garden can negatively affect a buyer/renter’s perception of a property and in the process, decreases its actual value,’ he said, adding that it was interesting that massive injections of money are not always required to rectify the condition and appearance of a garden.