This is how a renovation can influence the value of a building

The value of any building does not only depend on its structural condition. Equally important are measures for energy-efficient renovation.

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Without renovation, the value of the building decreases over time

Ruin | insights by LAMILUX

If no investment is made in a property for a long period of time after construction, this can have a detrimental effect on the substance of the building and thus on its value. The same applies if the property is not up to date in terms of energy or if a necessary modernization is not carried out. If the owners use the property themselves and live in it, this may not play such a major role at first. If, however, it is planned as part of your provision for retirement, the effect of an omitted renovation can have painful consequences. If you as an architect or planner come across such a building, you should make the owners of the property aware of the consequences of a possible loss in value and show them that an investment is worthwhile in several ways. For example, the value of the building can be influenced by renovation, since the value of the building decreases over time without renovation.

Bringing more daylight into the building with a renovation

Glass roof in the living room | insights by LAMILUX

Especially in old, large buildings only little light gets into the rooms sometimes even during the day, especially if they are located in the middle of the city between other buildings. Yet daylight is essential for the well-being of the people who live and work in the rooms. Rooflight domes and other skylights from LAMILUX break up walls and ceilings, allowing light and air into buildings. These systems are available for privately used residential buildings as well as for schools, industrial halls or shopping centers. With glass roofs and modern skylights, sunrays reach corners for which lighting with daylight was previously impossible and lighting with artificial light was obligatory. The skylights can be opened and thus naturally ventilate the rooms, while at the same time serving as heat and smoke extraction. 

Are you interested in renovating your building and want to increase its value with a rooflight dome or new windows for a flat roof? Then download the LAMILUX renovation checklist and find out what possibilities are open to you.

The most important aspects for a timely renovation:

  • If the property is used by yourself, necessary repairs and modernization can lead to high investments lateron, at least if the property is supposed to remain comfortably and adequately habitable in old age.
  • If the financial means are not sufficient for a renovation urgently necessary, this can even mean the loss of the property.
  • If the property is rented out, the revenues therefrom serve to secure the income, especially in old age. If the property is not renovated, it is hardly possible to increase the rent appropriately, while at the same time the risk of loss of rent increases. This is due to the fact that only a very specific target group is interested in apartments in relatively poor condition.
  • If the real estate is supposed to be sold in old age to improve the retirement pension, the value can be reduced drastically without renovation. This can ruin possible plans for retirement provision.

Regular check-ups prevent major damage

New vs. old façade | insights by LAMILUX

If minor defects in real estate are quickly identified and just as quickly remedied, the financial expenditure for repairs usually remains low. With this checklist you will always be up to date:

  • in spring and autumn: Check of the roof drainage
  • once a year: Inspection of the boiler, open wooden structures and all roof connections
  • every three years: Inspection of wooden doors and windows, chimney, exterior plaster and paint
  • every five years: Inspection of all pipes, radiators, roof structures, plastic doors
  • every ten years: Inspection of wooden floorboards, interior plaster, tiles and sanitary ceramics, lightweight construction walls and light wells.

If these check-ups identify a need for repair, you should have them carried out as soon as possible. Then the effort and costs are usually much lower than for a later renovation. Especially in case of a planned sale of the property, omitted investments take their toll. If the value of the building is to be increased beforehand, usually a larger sum has to be invested. For larger investments, which include, for example, modernizing the heating system or the energetic renovation, you can take advantage of various federal and state subsidies.

An energetic renovation increases the value of the building

The energetic renovation of older buildings is a topic that does not only play a role for the sale of properties. According to the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) which has been replaced by the Building Energy Act (GEG) in 2020,  this is even mandatory under certain conditions. For example, if more than ten percent of a previously uninsulated facade is renovated, the entire surface has to be provided with thermal insulation with insulating material of at least 035 heat conductivity group. As an architect or planner, you are of course aware of this, but you should point that aspect out to possible building owners. After all, the roof or the top floor ceiling must be insulated: In this case, a fine of up to 50,000 euros may be imposed if an owner disregards this obligation. If the roof fulfills the minimum thermal insulation according to DIN 4108-2, it is exempt from this obligation though. If there are at most two separate apartments in a property and one of them has been occupied by the owner himself since February 2002 at least, only the future buyer is obliged to insulate it. This still affects many buildings that are occupied by their owners, some of whom have grown quite old in the meantime. If the insulation is missing in a subsequent sale, the value of the building will sometimes drop drastically, depending on the region. An omitted investment in a renovation amounting to a few thousand euros can certainly reduce the purchase price by ten to twenty thousand euros.

Renovation and investment save taxes

Married couple calculates the value of their building before and after renovation | insights by LAMILUX

You want to reduce your taxes? Then invest in the renovation of the building and as result increase its value. A precondition for tax recognition is that it contributes to the preservation of the building. Then you can claim the expenses used as maintenance costs in your tax return. If you maintain your property regularly and pay attention to up to date renovations, this is worthwhile in several ways: You do not only maintain the value of the building, but also ensure a high level of living comfort while keeping energy and running costs within limits.

Good to know for your tax return:
Are you a landlord? Then you can claim the expenses in full.
You are owner and use the property yourself? Then you can only deduct part of the investment from your taxes. While the use of materials is not taken into account, the tax office recognizes up to 20 percent of the costs for the work of craftsmen, but only up to a maximum amount of 6,000 euros per year.

Modernization increases the building value

Apart from the energetic renovation of the property, the modernization of the interior of the residential and business premises also plays a major role when it comes to the value of the building. In addition to a regular painting of the interior walls, the modernization of sanitary rooms, floors, balcony or terrace are also useful measures with which you can influence the value of a building in a positive way. Of course, this also applies to the garden, front garden and the entire outdoor area in general, as well as to the sauna, pool or other exclusive facilities. If all components belonging to the property are maintained regularly and, if necessary, serviced or repaired, the value of the entire property is preserved.

Renovation and modernization all at once

There is no second chance for a first glance: If the facade no longer corresponds to the current state of the building, this has a negative effect on its value. However, if it is designed according to modern criteria, the value of the building also increases. If an energy-efficient renovation is due anyway, the facade can be modernized with less effort. In doing so, innovative insulation materials serve as both design and functional elements. That way you kill two birds with one stone, save costs and maintain or increase the value of your house.

Conclusion: Think about renovation in time

If modernization measures are regularly carried out in addition to renovation measures, the value of the property is maintained at least. If you as an architect or planner are responsible for buildings, you should inform the owners of the otherwise threatening decline of the property value. While defects are eliminated during renovation, modernization of the property often requires a one-time investment though, which usually increases the value of the property. Thus, the value is maintained permanently and increases depending on individual preferences and regional location. If a sale is considered at a later date, a steady investment will also result in a higher sales price.

Joy | insights by LAMILUX