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News: Householders go DIY crazy

Thu, 13 Sep 07

Homeowners are going DIY crazy in a bid to add value to their property, according to research from Halifax the UK's largest mortgage lender...

One in four homeowners (25%) undertaking home improvements in the past 12 months did so specifically to add value to their home, an increase from just 7% last year. The majority of respondents (51%) believe that the fruits of their labour will add up to £5,000 to the value of their property.

Younger people are getting more involved in home improvements with over two-thirds (68%) of 18-24 and 25-34 year olds getting involved. It is likely that these are FTBs looking to modernise their property with a view to add value and sell in order to move up the property ladder.

More people are seeking to improve the resale potential of their property through home improvements. One in six cited this as their motivation for home improvements (16%) compared with just 2% last year. This indicates an emerging desire for people to improve, and move.

Kitchens and extensions

Homeowners believe that fitting a new kitchen or building an extension will add the most value. Halifax valuers agree adding extra space to a property is likely to add significant value.

People rely heavily on their partner (31%) friends and family (14%) when improving their home and for advice on how to finance home improvements (31%).

Last year the most popular home improvements were redecorating (66%), gardening (41%), new furnishings (30%), laying laminate or wood flooring (25%) and adding a new bathroom (24%).

Adding value

Over a third of people (36%) who had redecorated their home believed that their home improvement work had added up to £2,500 to the value of their property and almost one in three (29%) thought it would add between £2,500 and £10,000.

Almost one in five green-fingered home improvers estimated that their work in the garden would have added over £10,000 to the value of their property.

Over a third of respondents who had added new furnishings believed their home improvements could add between £2,500 and £10,000 to their home.

Whilst new furnishings – such as sofas, curtains and light fittings – can increase the appeal of a property and encourage a quick sale, it is unlikely that they will add any significant value.

 

 

Amount homeowners expect improvements will add to property

Rank

Main Home Improvement Undertaken

Up to £2,500

Between £2,500-£10,000

Over £10,000

1.

Redecorating

36%

29%

16%

2.

Garden improvements

37%

28%

19%

3.

New furnishing

31%

35%

17%

4.

Laminate/ wood flooring

27%

29%

25%

5.

New bathroom

18%

37%

24%

One in five people highlighted the kitchen as the single improvement which would add the most monetary value to a home, followed by an extension (14%), loft conversion (8%) and conservatory (7%). 

Halifax broadly agreed with the public's view but suggest that improvements which add space, such as an extension or loft conversion, would add the most value.

Improvements most likely to add value

Rank

Respondents' view

Number of people (%)

HalifaxValuer's view

1

Kitchen

21

Extension

2

Extension

14

Loft conversion

3

Loft conversion

8

Kitchen

4

Conservatory

7

Conservatory

5

Central heating

7

Central heating

Who did the work?

Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) got stuck into their home improvements and did all the work themselves. The most called-upon expert was the tradesman, with over a third (35%) of respondents calling upon their services, closely followed by people's partners (31%).

Whilst men and women were equally likely to call on the help of a tradesman, more men (36%) than women (12%) did the work themselves.

The research also identified a group of budding developers amongst the younger generation with two out of every three (68%) 18-24 and 25-34 year olds having improved their home over the past 12 months.

Who did the work

Percentage of respondents (%)

A tradesman

35

Along with my partner

31

Specialist contractor

28

Myself

23

Family and friends

14

My partner

10

DIY chain store

3

Commenting on the research findings Patrick Sawdon, Halifax Valuers, said: “Our research shows that Britain has become a nation of movers and improvers.  It's great to see that so many people are investing time and effort in improving their home. 

A word of caution though, poorly executed home improvements can actually detract from the value of your property.  If you're considering embarking on major work, do consult the professionals and seek any necessary planning permission before getting started."

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