The vast majority (98%) of homeowners have made improvements to their properties over the last five years, spending a total of £48 billion, according to a study by NAEA Propertymark.
As the National Home Improvement Month begins, NAEA Propertymark has revealed the most popular changes that people have made in their home. Redecorating (72%), adding new flooring (42%), landscaping the garden (40%) and a bathroom refresh (34%) were in the top four.
The cost of home improvements
The study found one in seven (7%) homeowners who have made improvements did so because the cost of moving was too high.
However, improvements are not cheap, with a new kitchen costing a fixer-upper £5,635 on average. Installing a conservatory to open the living space costs £4,957 on average, while building a garage comes with an average price tag of £4,526.
Home improvement motivation
When asked about the motivation behind their home improvement, the majority (55%) did so to improve the look of their home, while a quarter (23%) thought it would be a good investment and add value.
A further one in five (19%) bought a fixer-upper on purpose, with the intention of making improvements, whereas one in eight (12%) wanted to create more space.
Still, the rising cost of living means not everyone can undertake improvements immediately. More than a third (37%) of UK homeowners want to redecorate in the future, and a quarter (27%) hope to add a new kitchen.
Some have more ambitious aspirations in mind; 4% want to build a home gym and 3% plan to install a swimming pool.
“Our needs are constantly changing and by investing money into our homes, we can really make the most of what we’ve got. Alternatively, improvements can add value and saleability to a home that’s going onto the market,” Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said.
NAEA Propertymark included 10 top home improvement tips to increase the value of a home. They are as follows:
1. Redecorating and easy upgrades
Redecorating is known as the most popular home improvement, as homeowners can give the home a lick of paint and do some general upkeep for a relatively low cost. Fresh paint in modern colours can go a long way to giving a home a new lease of life.
2. Makeover the kitchen
Potential buyers typically put a lot of focus on the look and feel of a kitchen, so it may be the first thing they look to replace if they’re not satisfied with what is already installed. NAEA says painting units or replacing cupboard handles or doors are a cost-effective way of giving the kitchen a noticeable refresh without spending too much money.
3. Adding or updating a bathroom
In the bathroom, it’s worth considering replacing tiles and re-grouting, eliminating all limescale and replacing taps. Bathrooms need to be fresh and clean, so homeowners need to make sure the walls are a neutral shade, and ideally replace a shower curtain with a new one or a simple glass screen. NAEA cites Pinterest as a great platform to find ideas and inspiration.
4. Garden appeal
A tidy and well-designed garden is an attractive selling point for any property. Before any viewings, NAEA recommends that homeowners trim the borders, clear the pathways and cut back any overgrown trees or bushes.
5. Double glaze the windows
Double glazing is an essential for many house hunters, as it will keep the home warm and keep the noise out – even if its near a main road.
6. Open space
Open living space is hugely popular, especially for the kitchen and dining room. Combining the two into one large room helps to create a great sociable space and is ideal for families. However, it’s important to remember that many homeowners still enjoy the ‘front room philosophy’ that can be used for special occasions or for privacy by the adults.
7. Replace doors
The front of your home can say a lot about the rest of the house to viewers seeing it for the first time. By replacing the front door or sprucing it up with a fresh lick of paint, homeowners can give potential buyers a great first impression.
8. Converting the loft
A loft conversion is a more expensive improvement; however, it offers a great return on investment. Most lofts can be easily converted and expanding the house upwards offers homeowners an extra bedroom for growing families or space for extra storage.
9. Create a driveway
The ability to park close to your front door comes at a huge premium in some areas of the country and therefore, if homeowners have the room to add off-street parking, this is sure to increase value.
10. Avoid over-personalisation
Of course, a homeowner’s property should be decorated to their taste, but in order for it to appeal to a range of buyers, it’s important to avoid anything over-personal, such as bold or bright colours which some might consider a turn-off.