Are you spending too much on home improvements?

Our homes are our pride and joy, and if you are anything like us, you often ponder how you can improve them.  Maybe you want to add more space, change the layout to better suit your family’s lifestyle, or add an extra bathroom - because you can never have enough toilets when you have a growing family.  What home improvements are people investing in at the moment, and do they add value to their property?

Research by the estate agent trade body, NAEA Propertymark, discovered that UK homeowners spent £41 billion over the last five years improving their homes.  What was interesting is that the motivation for 61% of home improvers was to improve the aesthetic appeal of their home.  Although their motivation was purely personal, there was an added benefit that it would make their home more attractive to potential buyers.

Only a quarter specifically stated the reason for undertaking home improvements was a long-term investment designed to add value to their home.  We all hope that our properties will increase in value over time, and home improvements are seen as a good way of further increasing this value.

Where are you investing?

New research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the HomeOwners Alliance (HOA) found that you could add value to your property in just seven days.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “If you’re looking to move up the property ladder, it’s obviously in your best interests to increase the value of your home as much as possible. By investing in low cost, high return projects, not only will you make your home a more pleasant place to live, you’ll also be increasing its value significantly. Better still, these projects take no time at all so the hassle factor will be kept to an absolute minimum.”

Their research looked into projects that in the shortest space of time could add the most value to your home, their key findings included:

  • Removing an internal wall to create an open plan kitchen and diner
  • Building a garden room
  • Improving your kitchen with new flooring, worktops and cabinet doors
  • Converting a cupboard into a toilet
  • Installing decking and lighting into the back garden.

Word of warning

We must add a word of warning here: not all home improvements will add value to your property.  There are many factors that come into play with when we appraise a property, and on some occasions the location of your home will restrict its value and what people are willing to pay. 

Before you decide to undertake any kind of home improvements, it is maybe worth undertaking some research, especially if your motivation is not entirely for personal reasons.  We are often asked for advice on this subject from families seeking to add value to their property so they can ensure they are investing their money in the right kind of project.

This need for caution is also reiterated by the HomeOwners Alliance, whose Chief Executive, Paula Higgins, stated: “This research is encouraging news for home owners; improving your home to make it more enjoyable to live in can also give you a big financial boost when it is time to sell. There is a caveat though, and if your primary aim is to increase the value of your home, you should consult the experts in order to ensure you will see a return.”

Cheap fixes

You don’t have to invest in large projects to help increase the value of your property, there are some relatively cheap and easy fixes you can undertake to improve the salability of your home. 

  • Make your bathroom sparkle by re-grouting, replacing taps, and fittings, and add new and luxurious feeling accessories.
  • Give your garden a good spring clean and tidy, cut back bushes and trees, add some beautiful plants and keep your lawn in good condition.
  • Kerb appeal can really make a difference, and your front door is central to your home making a good first impression.
  • A fresh coat of paint can transform any room, and the summer months are the perfect time to get that paint brush out.

Value of summer

Summer is such a beautiful season to sell your home, as with the sun shining and your garden in full bloom, it is really shown off at its best.  Whether you’re thinking of adding value to your property through cheap fixes or investing in a major project, there is no time like the present, but remember to ensure that you’re investing in the right places.

If you would like advice on the right home improvements to add value to your property, come and chat to the team at your local Bidmead Cook branch.