Saturday, 25 September 2021

DIY warning: think before you start drilling that hole

NUMEROUS makeover and housebuying television shows have prompted a rash of DIY activity as homeowners dust off the toolbox and

NUMEROUS makeover and housebuying television shows have prompted a rash of DIY activity as homeowners dust off the toolbox and embark on some “home improvements”.

But this can be expensive — and before you start knocking down walls it’s worth considering exactly how much value any such work would add to the value of your home.

People automatically think that money spent on the home is money well invested, but a recent survey carried out by Spicerhaart identified the real value of DIY projects on house prices and saleability.

lBolster the saleability of your home

A new kitchen tops the poll as the most remunerative home improvement, with 71 per cent of estate agents voting it as one of the three most worthwhile additions to a home.

This is followed by a new bathroom (53 per cent) and a conservatory (46 per cent). Other popular home improvements include double-glazing, central heating, a garage and parking space and a loft conversion.

lRoom for improvement — increase your profit margins

The survey clearly shows that creating extra space is the most effective way to increase the value of a home.

As the results revealed, an extra bedroom, loft conversion or extra living space would increase the value of a typical house the most — by £13,996, £12,688 and £10,000 respectively.

Other improvements that would substantially bolster the price of a property include a garage, conservatory or new kitchen. So before undertaking the expenditure and the chaos you have to live through while an extension is built or a loft converted you need to decide whether it will be real value for money in the long term.

lWorthless home improvements

Not surprisingly with the British weather, a swimming pool was conclusively voted as the least popular and least profitable addition to a home, with most of the respondents saying it would not add to, and may even decrease, the value of the home.

Other home improvements that would not add value include transforming rooms into a gym or a nursery.

The top five “worthless” improvements, in terms of adding value to your home, are as follows:

Swimming pool

Garden makeover, decking

Internal décor

Bad loft conversions


Spicerhaart spokesman Russell Jervis, said: “It is interesting that a garden makeover/decking and internal décor were both voted as one of the most worthless home improvements.

“But buyers like to make their own mark on a home and personalise it to their own taste.

“Expensive internal décor and a complete garden makeover can be costly and vendors often will not see their investment returned.

“Having said this, these improvements may bolster the saleability of a home which is becoming increasingly important in today’s market.”

The survey also found that the top 10 things buyers took into consideration when house-hunting were:

1 Parking space or garage

2 Kitchen and dining space

3 Central heating

4 Garden

5 Double glazing

6 Size

7 Number of rooms

8 Enough living space

9 Original features

10 En-suite bedroom

With more households than ever owning one or more cars, a parking space, off-street parking or a garage is the most popular request. Other top features requested include a kitchen/dining space, central heating, garden and double-glazing.

Mr Jervis added: “In this current market, sellers need to pull out all stops to get the highest price for their property and increase their chances of making a successful sale. An experienced property developer will always have at the forefront of their mind what type of feature will appeal to the mass market and consequently add the most value to their home.

“The results from this survey should be a useful guide for homeowners to cash in as much as possible from their renovations.

“However the old adage, ‘if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing well’ really does apply here.

“A botched DIY job will not help improve the saleability of a home — and could even devalue it.”

lSpicerhaart is one of the UK’s most innovative estate agency groups, combining independent residential sales and a lettings network with integrated financial service businesses. The group includes Haart, Spicer McColl, Haybrook, Felicity J Lord and Fine, as well as Darlows in Wales, and the website.

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