May bank holiday is traditionally the season for DIY home improvements, both in the house and the garden. This year, spending on DIY has been even higher than usual as families improve the homes they’ve been staying in over lockdown, and those who have now been able to move house make a start on new projects.
Figures from Barclaycard show that spending on home improvements and DIY are up more than a third compared to the same period two years ago, before the Covid-19 pandemic.
In many cases, home improvements are designed to improve the quality of the house you are living in, but it is also prudent to ensure that the changes you are making would not devalue your property if you were to sell it on. In some cases, adding an extension or upgrading a room can add more value to your house than the cost of the renovation.
Here are some of the most lucrative changes you can make to your home, and maintenance tasks that will stop it losing value.
A loft conversion
Whether it is for a new bedroom with ensuite bathroom or a study space, a loft conversion is usually seen as the most cost-effective home improvement to make.
Although these extensions are expensive, costing between £50,000 and £150,000, they can add between eight and 15 per cent of the value of your house back, according to estate agency Savills.1
A new kitchen
Adding or revamping your cooking space is one of the most popular ways to improve your home. New figures from tradesperson recommendation site RatedPeople, suggest that renovating a kitchen adds an average of over £10,000 to a property, while for those with a larger home in an expensive area it could be far more.2
A kitchen extension could add even more to the value of your home, over £11,000 according to RatedPeople and up to 10 per cent of the value of your property according to Savills.3
A garden office
Increasingly popular since lockdown forced many of us to work from home, a garden office adds nearly £10,000 to a property price, according to RatedPeople.
It is also a very non-invasive form of home improvement, as long as your garden is big enough to take it.
With more of us socialising outside than ever before, garden improvements can be enjoyed now but will also add value to your home if you are sensible with the upkeep.
RatedPeople’s survey suggests that an outdoor entertaining area is worth over £4,000 to a potential new buyer, a lawn is worth over £3000 and bifold or French doors to the garden are worth over £3,000.
Jobs to tackle
While all of these improvements will add value to your home, it is important not to neglect the problems that will devalue it over time. A bank holiday is a great point to check basic house maintenance, since the store of wealth in your home will diminish if it is not properly taken care of.
As examples, RatedPeople suggest that signs of damp will cost a house seller an average of over £9,000, with scuffed paintwork, cracks in walls and peeling wallpaper all removing a similar amount of value.
Whatever you are considering doing to your home, it is important to be realistic about whether you want to and have the skills to tackle the job yourself, or whether it is more sensible to leave it to a professional.
Just as many of us do not feel comfortable managing our own pensions, because we need the wealth in them for later life, home improvements may be best left to the experts when we feel unsure.