FRESH: Give your home a new lease of life
Britons love DIY, spending more than £40 billion on home improvements over the last five years, at an average cost of £1,875 per household.
Redecorating, garden landscaping, new flooring and upgrading the bathroom are among the favourite jobs, but which adds the most value to your home?
There are plenty of reasons why you might be looking to freshen up your home.
Older people may want to prepare it for later life by say, adding handrails or stair lifts, or installing an extra toilet, while growing families may want to extend to create extra space. Others may be readying their home for a sale and want to attract the maximum number of buyers in the minimum possible time.
Whatever your position, it is always worth checking what impact the work will have on the value of your property.
Home improvements do not come cheap: Britons who recently did up their kitchen spent on average £5,016, while bathroom revamps typically cost £2,719, according to estate agency body NAEA Propertymark.
Larger jobs can cost a lot more.
Website DesignFor-Me.com calculates that you could pay up to £32,000 to add a single-storey extension, while a loft conversion costs anything up to £45,000, depending on the size of the job and local building costs.
Propertymark chief executive Mark Hayward said improvements that create a sense of space, privacy and give a great first impression will increase saleability: “Do not over-personalise the décor, but allow future buyers to adapt the property to fit their own needs.”
Redecorating is the most popular upgrade, followed by a kitchen makeover.
He added: “A lick of fresh paint in modern colours can give your home a new lease of life. Painting units or replacing cupboard doors and handles are cheap options and save you the hassle of buying a new kitchen.”
A bathroom refurb will also add appeal.
Again, this can be done for little cost by regrouting, eliminating limescale and replacing outdated taps.
“Ideally replace a shower curtain with a new one or a simple glass screen,” he added.
Painting window frames, weeding your driveway and hacking back overgrown trees and bushes will all give your property instant kerb appeal when prospective buyers visit.
Double glazing can more than pay for itself, especially if you live on a busy road, cutting noise and keeping your home warm.
The trend is towards open living spaces, but Hayward said be careful when knocking down walls, and remember that some buyers prefer the privacy of separate rooms.
“A loft conversion is expensive yet probably gives the best value for money, offering an extra bedroom or storage. Remember to seek planning permission first,” he added.
How much the work adds to your property’s value will largely depend on house prices in your local area, according to research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the HomeOwners Alliance.
In London, removing an internal wall to create an open-plan kitchen and diner typically costs £3,426 but could add £48,417 to the average home’s value.
This falls to £26,838 in Dorset and just £9,813 in the North-east of England.
FMB chief executive Brian Berry said: “By investing in low-cost, high-return projects, you could increase your home’s value significantly.”
Similarly, converting part of the master bedroom into an en-suite bathroom at an average cost of £4,713 adds £14,525 in London and £11,128 in Surrey, although just £1,963 in the North-east.
Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, suggested speaking to a local estate agent before starting work: “They can tell you which refurbishment projects are popular in your area and how much value they have added.”