With sellers always aiming to improve the value of their property, Tepilo looks at the most popular type of home improvements in 2017.
Home improvements play a key role in increasing the value of a property – so homeowners, particularly those who are looking to sell now or in the near future, will be keen to know which renovations are the most popular.
A new study conducted by GoCompare Home Insurance has revealed that a new bathroom is the UK’s most popular home improvement, with 39% of homeowners who have carried out a major home improvement in the last five years splashing out on a new bathroom. Not far behind in popularity were new kitchens (38%) and a new boiler or central heating system (34%).
Renovation of garden space (26%), the installation of double glazing (26%) and the building of an extension (17%) also made the top 10 list. Other home improvements, which are less popular but still found their way into the top 10, included knocking through rooms to create open-plan living areas (12%), fitting solar panels (12%), converting loft space (10%) and adding an extra bedroom (9%).
All in all, 43% of homeowners have carried out major works on their homes in the last five years, with the upgrading of bathrooms and kitchens comfortably the most popular type of home improvements. Investing in energy-efficient measures like a new boiler or heating system – increasingly important to buyers in this day and age – is also a high priority for many homeowners.
As a home improver, though, you do need to be wary of your insurance policy and not invalidating it inadvertently. The research revealed that 41% of those carrying out renovations did so without informing their home insurer first, something that could nullify the terms set out in an insurance agreement.
While it’s not necessary to tell your insurer about routine decorating or maintenance works, for any major building or renovation work your provider will need to be informed to ensure that your insurance policy isn’t invalidated. It’s also advisable, when carrying out any major refurbishment projects, to review your buildings and contents insurance to ensure you have adequate cover both during and after the work has been finished.
The majority of home insurance policies don’t include cover for tradesmen or their work, so it’s a prudent move to check that they have their own insurance in place. What’s more, it’s a sensible measure to check the credentials of any tradesmen you employ, to make sure they are qualified to carry out the relevant work and are also registered with an appropriate and recognised government body.
As a seller, you will have a significant interest in home improvements that increase the value of your home. As the findings and other research from the recent past points out, smaller home improvements – such as renovating or upgrading a kitchen and bathroom – tend to be more popular than larger-scale building projects, such as full garden makeovers, conservatories, extensions, loft conversions or creating an extra bedroom.
Improving your home, incrementally, over time, may also be a better way of doing things than carrying out major building projects or renovations. It also means you won’t be paying out a lump sum, but smaller amounts over a number of years.
When it comes to home improvements, budgeting is crucial to ensure you don’t overstretch yourself financially. There are a number of monthly costs associated with owning a home, and these will need to be factored in during the planning stages for major building works. While major building projects could help to significantly increase the value of your home, there are no guarantees surrounding this and you shouldn’t place all your eggs in one basket, so to speak, by splashing out on a conservatory or loft conversion and banking on this bringing your rewards in the long-term.
All major building works carry with them an element of risk. As a result, the pros and cons will need to be weighed up to assess the possible benefits of each different home improvement. Making improvements to your bathroom and kitchen seems a pretty failsafe bet at the moment. They are fairly low-level, low-risk, home improvements which will go down well with buyers if you are looking to sell. After all, modern, glossy, well-furnished kitchens and bathrooms have much more appeal than ones which look tired, shabby or old-fashioned.
Buyers place a lot of emphasis on the kitchen and bathroom – with polls often suggesting these are the two most important rooms in the home – so if you are going to spend money on upgrading any rooms, these seem like sensible ones to focus on. Investing in your kitchen and bathroom will give you a stronger sales pitch to would-be buyers, give you more to show off when it comes to viewings and should improve your chances of getting your asking price or above.