The Stars Of HGTV's Unsellable Houses Explain How To Add Value To Your Home Before Selling

When selling your home, you want to make sure it's in the best condition so you can receive top dollar. The preparation often requires homeowners to do some renovation so it's well-received by potential buyers. There are plenty of projects that will add value to a home, but one that many potential buyers will appreciate is more bedrooms. That's why Leslie Davis and Lyndsay Lamb from HGTV's "Unsellable Houses" advocated for putting a third bedroom in their client's home. "Most buyers know that you don't need three bedrooms today," Lamb says in the episode via YouTube. "Down the road, either they're going to want that third bedroom, or it's smart to have that three-bedroom for resale."

Creating another bedroom will only help boost the value of your home. On average, a bedroom can add $30,000 to $50,000 to a home's resale value. Factors such as the size and location can affect the final figure. Of course, larger spaces can have a higher return on investment than smaller ones. Similarly, en suite bedrooms may fetch a higher price. However, bedroom additions such as a garage or loft conversion will likely be on the lower end of the return spectrum. But, as Lamb explains, adding another bedroom is always a good option when it comes to resale.

Bedroom conversions

To create a third bedroom in their clients' home, Davis and Lamb converted what was a small office space. Utilizing an existing space is often the more inexpensive option as there won't be much needed to do in terms of construction. This project can range from $12,000 to $57,000, depending on the size of the space, the location, and the features added to the future bedroom.

No matter what kind of space you're converting, for it to be considered a bedroom, there are certain features it must have. "[A] room has to have a window, a door, and a closet," Lamb explains to her clients. According to the International Residential Code, bedrooms also must have an area of at least 70 square feet. One of the walls must also be at least 7 feet long. And in some places, the ceiling height has to be at least 7 feet tall. As for the qualifying window, it must be at least 24 inches tall and 20 inches wide. This information is important to note as it may disqualify some existing spaces from being converted into bedrooms, such as attics, lofts, or garages. Or, they may require more extensive renovation for them to be up to code.

Bedroom additions

Another option to create a bedroom is by building a home addition. Because of the construction involved, this is a more expensive and often more time-consuming option. On average, a new addition can cost between $21,000 and $73,500, depending on the details. Beyond the cost of construction and materials, there are also costs for the contractor and architect, as well as obtaining permits, which can cost as much as $3,000 to obtain. Adding an addition also requires more labor in the form of structural engineers, electricians, carpenters, HVAC, and sometimes plumbers.

The location of the addition will also factor into the cost. A first-floor addition will typically cost less than a second-floor one. Second-floor additions require a foundation, which often means a first-floor addition as well for the bedroom to sit on. 

Whether a bedroom is a conversion or an addition, it will typically add value to a home and translate into a higher list price. When it comes to appraisals, expanding the home's square footage creates more home value. So, an addition may be best for increasing your equity or potential selling price.