Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

The improvements that will add value to your home…and those that won’t

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Two in five Brits are planning home improvements this year, a new study shows. But those looking to add value to their property may be left disappointed.

Redecoration is by far the most popular change, with one in four people planning new carpets this year and one in five installing a new kitchen.

When it comes to cost, a third of Brits will spend £500 or less, a fifth will spend between £500 and £1,000 and a quarter between £1,000 and £5,000.

One in four plans to part with more than £5,000, according to research by Hargreaves Lansdown.

However, making home improvements for financial reasons alone won’t always pay off.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Unfortunately ‘improving’ your home doesn’t always pay. There’s a risk that changes like a new kitchen or laying carpets actually cost you more than you add to the value of your property.

“If you end up borrowing to pay for the work, even improvements that typically pay off – like a loft conversions or home extension – could leave you worse off.”

A new kitchen, for example, will typically cost around £10,000 but only add 2% or £4,000 to a £200,000 home, according to the research.

Meanwhile, a new bathroom will set you back around £4,000 but only add £2,000 to a property worth £200,000.

Some improvements, however, are more worthwhile doing if you’re after a financial gain.

An extension, for instance, which typically costs around £30,000 would add £40,000 to a £200,000 home, while a £20,000 loft conversion would add £24,000 to the property value.

The worst home improvements for your money

  Value added

(£200k home)

Cost (estimated typical cost)
New kitchen 2% (£4,000) £10,000
Solar panels None £5,000
New bathroom 1% (£2,000) £4,000
New carpets None £4,000

The best home improvements for your money

  Value added

(£200k home)

Cost (estimated typical cost)
Extension 20% (£40,000) £30,000
Loft conversion 12% (£24,000) £20,000
Double glazing 4% (£8,000) £7,000
Conservatory 4% (£8,000) £5,000
Knocking through 2% (£4,000) £3,500
New boiler or central heating 4%  (£8,000) £2,000 (boiler)

Source: Hargreaves Lansdown